It's not the life Sgt. Major Jesse Acosta pictured. Nearly seven years ago he was catapulted into 24 hour darkness. Shards of shrapnel from a bomb in Iraq ripped through Acosta's eyes. The doctor's words still echo his fate.
"I"ll never forget what he said. He said, 'Well soldier looks like you're going to live. You've stabled. You were hit by a bomb, but your life is going to change. From here on you'll be blind for the rest of your life.'"
Accepting his new reality hasn't come easy, but with help from his guide dog Charlie and a host of supporters, Acosta is embracing life with blind ambition.
On Saturday, Acosta will bravely hop on a tandem bike for a ride in Wallis, Texas that benefits injured veterans.
"It's challenging and rewarding. At the end, it's like I'm back in the game," said Acosta.
The Wallis Independence Ride attracts disabled vets from across the country and raises money for the Independence Fund to help injured veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
All the money raised goes toward buying them the specialized equipment they need to do the things they once loved.
Organizers set up the vets with bikes suited for their disabilities.
"A lot of them haven't done something like this since coming back from fighting. They realize theycan do this and be independent," said Neil Campbell, the ride's organizer.
Acosta hopes the ride brings awareness to the need for quality care for our veterans whose courage knows no darkness.
"I'll never question me raising my right hand and devoting myself to this country," he said.
Everyday, Acosta is proving injured vets have a lot left in them.