Fire In My Eyes by Brad Snyder and Tom Sileo is a story of tragedy that turns to gold. The book covers Brad Snyder, an officer in the Navy, who attended the Naval Academy and served in Afghanistan, where he was blinded by an IED.
Here is more about Brad’s story from the publisher:
In Afghanistan, Lieutenant Brad Snyder had one of the world’s most dangerous jobs: to find and destroy enemy bombs, as an elite US Navy Special Operations warrior. On September 7, 2011, the former Naval Academy captain of the swim team stepped on an improvised explosive device while helping save the lives of his patrol’s Afghan counterparts. The subsequent explosion left Snyder permanently blind.
Through unrelenting pain, hard work, and dedication, Snyder qualified for the US Paralympic Team and on September 7, 2012-one year to the day after suffering his devastating injury-he won a gold medal in men’s swimming for Team USA in London.
Snyder gives a first-hand account of what it is like to serve in today’s military – high stress, intense training, and loss of friends and loved ones. Snyder experienced all of these and more. For example, he lost a good friend from ordnance disposal school from an IED in Iraq and his ex-girlfriend to suicide (she was a Marine officer). Despite the upsurge in appreciation for members of our military, many Americans still do not understand the daily sacrifices (not just financial) of those members to serve their country.
Through the loss of his friends and the loss of his sight, Snyder comes away a stronger and better person. His will to overcome his disability led him to the U.S. Paralympic Team and reconnected him to his love of swimming. In fact, he joined the Team four months after his injury – astoundingly fast. Along the way, he is assisted by a number of individuals who guided or prodded him along. Without their help, I wonder if he would have accomplished so much in so little time.
A truly inspirational story.