A forklift truck operator blindsided a passing car, piercing the side and badly injuring the soldier who was driving.
James Stubbs was driving past Swansea’s Morfa Industrial Estate when the forklift, driven by Bernard Power, drove out from behind a truck in July 2017.
He suffered compound fractures to his arm and Swansea Crown Court heard he faced his Army career being cut short.
Power, 67, of Cardiff, admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving and was given a 17-month sentence, suspended for 12 months.
In a statement read to court on Friday, Cpl Stubbs said the Army had been “good with supporting my return to work”.
But, he added, he had been told unless he could recover full use of his left arm, he may have to be medically discharged.
Defending, Neil Evans said Power had been a HGV driver for 34 years and had an “unblemished” driving record, but had now retired.
Power must also complete 200 hours of unpaid work and was banned from driving for two years.