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Eye Shields Donated By Gulden Help Save US Troops’ Eyesight

Posted by Tom Cockley | Posted on March 19, 2013

Gulden donated 500 Eye Shields when I learned that US troops did not have them in first aid kits.

An Eye Shield can be found in the first aid kits of all U.S. sailors, Marines, and airmen according to an article in  They are used when a facial injury endangers a soldier’s, Marine’s, or sailor’s eyesight.  But US Army soldiers have not had eye shield devices in their first aid kits – that is, until our recent donation via Troops Direct  (

When I heard about the eye shield situation, I “jumped in” and changed that by donating 500 of our company’s Eye Shields for soldier’s kits.  When I read the article in Military Times I was “dismayed” that the eye shield devices were not available on the front line for eye protection to help save soldiers’ eyesight after a facial injury.

Eye Injuries Must be Protected Swiftly   

I understand, based on years of work with eye care professionals and our relationships with Salus University’s Pennsylvania College of Optometry ( that eye injuries can be “very unforgiving” and that immediate eye protection, especially after an injury, is crucial.  According to medical experts, when injured, eyes must be treated “with respect” at the point of injury to prevent further damage.  Often, the point of injury is in the field, and it seemed essential to me that Eye Shields are provided to help protect eye injuries of our service men and women.

Having an effective response capability – such as tools in first aid kits – helps military personnel considerably, according to military sources.  Congress has created the Defense Centers of Excellence to lead research initiatives and advocate state-of-the-art treatments for severely injured and ill troops.  Dr. Mary Lawrence, the Vision Center of Excellence deputy director, told a Defense Department task force earlier this year that “A pressure patch on an eye is devastating.  A pressure patch can turn an eye that is salvageable into one that is not salvageable and will end up in a bucket in an operating room.”

According to the Military Times, eye injuries have accounted for 15% of battlefield traumas.  Since 2001, eye injuries to US troops have resulted in 197,000 visits to doctors and 4,000 hospitalizations.

To view Troops Direct Facebook post about our eye shield donation go to:  Troops Direct recent Tweet stated:  “These are protective eye cups used to protect eye/eye cavity injuries.  Packing these wounds with gauze could damage the tissue … that’s why we are sending 500 of these to some “docs” [military medics] in need.  Your support made it happen!”

Tell me what you think.

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

 About Troops Direct (

Troops Direct supports our front line troops exclusively at larger unit levels with the objective of making them the healthiest, most energized and highest spirited Marines, soldiers, aircrew and sailors that we can. It functions as a non-profit ‘back line’ of supply for units based in Afghanistan, Africa, at sea and other in other ‘hot spots’. They communicate with the front lines daily and provide “in bulk” detailed hygiene, nutrition, gear, and K9 support.

Not the First Time Tom Cockley of Gulden Has Volunteered

Tom Cockley and Gulden hope to protect troops’ eyes with the Eye Shield donations to US Army first aid kits.  This is not the first time Tom has jumped in to help those in need – he has been a Red Cross trained volunteer for several years and last fall he volunteered for two weeks with the Red Cross in parts of Louisiana battered by hurricane Isaac.

See for details of Tom’s journey.

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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