NORFOLK, Va. - A local Marine blinded by a combat injury is not letting his impairment take hold of his life.
GySgt. Dorian Gardner is legally blind after a mortar sent fragments of metals into his eyes during combat in Kajaki, Afghanistan. The injury happened in 2010 and shortly after Gardner lost his left eye. His right eye has permanent damage to this day.
Gardner knew after the injury he wanted to stay in the Marine Corp., refusing to let a wound ruin the work he loved so much.
After surgeries and rehab Gardner is now not only a Marine in Norfolk, but also an athlete. In his first competition in the DoD Warrior Games in Chicago in late June/early July, he placed in six events. Gardner brought home four gold and two silver medals for track and field and swimming events.
This is not the end of the road for Gardner, who is still actively training.
Britain's Prince Harry invited Gardner to the Invictus Games in Toronto in September.
Gardner told News 3's Rachael Cardin the experience of being around America's heroes was the real benefit of the competition. "You can call it a form of rehab," said Gardner, "its like going to the hospital and going through the rehabilitation process to come back stronger."
The full story on GySgt. Dorian Gardner's road to the DoD Games airs Wednesday on News 3 at 11.