In October 2010, an explosion left Dorian Gardner legally blind, California Live reports.
While on patrol in Afghanistan, his unit came under fire. During the firefight a bomb exploded, and Dorian lost his left eye. His right eye was severely damaged.
Afterwards, he told California Live, “(it was an) emotional roller coaster, not knowing whether or not my vision was going to come back or get worse or stay the same. I went through stints of depression and hopelessness, thinking, ‘This is life now. As a career Marine, what am I going to do after this?'”
Dorian says adaptive sports, particularly swimming, gave him hope.
“It was then that I discovered I can still do things. I can still grow and learn new things and compete and contribute and give back,” he said.
And he is still serving, as the communication strategy and operations chief for the Marine Corps Installation West.
Because of his own experiences, he says, he can talk with and encourage Marines who have been wounded.