Bobby Smith had been a law enforcement officer in Louisiana for nine years, when on the night of March 14, 1986, at point blank range, he was shot in the face & blinded by an armed, violent drug offender. He recalls lying face down on the center lane of the highway, soaked in blood, and thinking, "Will this be the day that I die?" But Bobby chose to not give up; he chose not to die that day; he chose to live.
Life from that day on, however, would not be the same. The days, weeks, and even years following the trauma were filled with many fears about his future, daily struggles adjusting to blindness, and financial hardships. The losses were staggering: eyesight, career, self-confidence, independence, and marriage. Then tragically, in 1997, Bobby’s daughter, Kim, was killed at 22 years old in an automobile accident.
The shooting, the blindness, the loss of his beloved daughter, all made Bobby realize that what he wanted to do was help others who were also going through traumatic times. He did not want them to suffer alone. He wanted to bring them hope.
|Bobby and Janie, with their son, Brad, in 2005.
continues to do just that. He is the author of three books,
Visions of Courage: The Bobby Smith Story, The Will to Survive, and his latest book, What’s In Your Heart Comes Out Your Mouth, published in April 2013. Each year he averages 120 speaking engagements, impacting audiences’ lives with his story. In fact, since 1995 it has been his privilege to speak to over a million people worldwide.
|Bobby shaking hands with President George W. Bush
Ironically, the losses in Bobby’s life have been his catalyst, driving him to discover the true vision for his life. But his life is not defined by the losses that he has endured and triumphed over. No, his defining moment, and ours too, comes every morning when we rise, face the challenges of the day, and decide that today we choose to live.
|President Ronald Reagan, Janie and Bobby Smith