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AOL Corporation’s Patch.Com On-Line News Features Gulden’s Eye Shield Donation to US Soldiers

Posted by Tom Cockley | Posted on April 18, 2013 is a news and information platform owned by the AOL CorporationAbington.Patch, the outlet serving the community where Gulden is located, featured a story about Gulden’s donation of 500 eye shields to US servicemen.

Gerry Dungan, Patch editor, wrote:

“Abington Business Sends Eye Shields to U.S. Soldiers”

“Tom Cockley, president of the Elkins Park-based Gulden Ophthalmics, donated 500 Eye Shields when he learned that the troops did not have them.

“Tom Cockley’s family has been a leader in the ophthalmic instruments and devices industry since 1938. Cockley’s grandfather started Gulden Ophthalmics, of which Cockley is the company’s president.

“‘We work with the movers and shakers of the optometrists and ophthalmologists,’ Cockley said.

“According to Cockley, in January of this year, one of his clients had forwarded him an article published in, in which he read that Eye Shields can be found in the first aid kits of all U.S. sailors, Marines, and airmen. Cockley describes the Eye Shields as pear-shaped, single protective eyepiece made of unbreakable polycarbonate.

“However, he read that U.S. Army soldiers do not have eye shield devices in their first aid kits. According to the article, eye injuries have accounted for 15-percent of battlefield traumas. Since 2001, eye injuries to U.S. troops have resulted in 197,000 visits to doctors and 4,000 hospitalizations.

“A recent press release about Cockley’s discovery stated that pressure patches were being used in lieu of the Eye Shields. The release quotes Dr. Mary Lawrence, the Vision Center of Excellence deputy director, speaking to the Department of Defense earlier this year, as saying, ‘A pressure patch on an eye is devastating. A pressure patch can turn an eye that is salvageable in to one that is not salvageable, and will end up in a bucket in an operating room.’

“’We’ve been making Eye Shields since the 1950s,’ Cockley said of Gulden Ophthalmics. When I read the article, I thought this should not be happening.’

“Cockley has had family serve in the military, and he said his company has been contacted by the military for various contracts. So, he said he was surprised to find that he could not directly donate Eye Shields to the government.

“’This was the first time we pursued them, so to speak,’ Cockley said.

“Through his personal research, Cockley came into contact with Troops Direct, an organization that supports troops of larger unit levels serving in the front lines by functioning as a ‘back line’ of supply for units serving in Afghanistan, Africa, at sea, and other troops in ‘hot-spot’ areas.

“By March 20, Cockley, working with Troops Direct, was able to send to soldiers in Afghanistan 500 Eye Shields.

Patch editor Dungan concluded with …

“For more information on Eye Shields and other ophthalmic devices, visit Gulden’s website or contact Gulden Ophthalmics at 215-884-8105 or visit or Troops Direct.”

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The story is also on Abington Patch’s Facebook page and the Troops Direct website and Facebook at:

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Be visionary with Gulden!

Gulden distributes a wide range of eye shields and eye guards for adults and children, including laser eye shields.  In addition, Gulden can design, develop, and produce custom products to meet every patient and eye care professional need.

Click the link here to learn more about our extensive range of eye shields and guards

Tom Cockley is president of Gulden Ophthalmics and is the third generation of the nearly 75-year-old visionary company that brings innovative, time-saving, utilitarian products to vision and health care professionals.

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