Sight for Soldiers

Thanks to Sight for Soldiers, Army reservist has one less worry

daniel beth nelson sight for soldiers croppedAs Army reservist Daniel Nelson prepared for his deployment to the Middle East earlier this spring, one thing he didn’t have to worry about was how many pairs of glasses or contact lenses to pack.

For the first time since he was in the third grade, Nelson can see perfectly without corrective lenses, thanks to Phillips Eye Institute Foundation’s Sight for Soldiers program. The program provides financial assistance to obtain laser vision correction surgery at Phillips Eye Institute - a campus of Abbott Northwestern Hospital to troops serving in the National Guard and Reserves.

Ophthalmologist Neal Sher, MD, has donated his services to provide the surgery to about 500 soldiers since the program started. Donations to Phillips Eye Institute Foundation’s Sight for Soldiers fund allow Phillips Eye Institute to discount or waive its fees for the procedure and to help with lodging costs depending on need.

Nelson, who is a truck driver in civilian life, is married with a young daughter and lives in Moorhead, Minn. The Sight for Soldiers program also paid for his lodging in Minneapolis so Nelson could be seen by Sher the day after surgery for a routine post-operative examination.

“My vision was terrible before the surgery. If I looked at an eye chart, I could not even make out the first big E on the chart,” said Nelson. After the surgery, he noticed an immediate improvement. “It’s a great feeling to know you don’t have to rely on something else to be able to see.”

Having good vision is even more important when you are halfway around the world on a military mission. “I did not want to deal with inserts for safety glasses and other equipment issues. It’s not only an inconvenience – if you don’t have it when you need it, it can be a hazard to you or others,” said Nelson. “I’m so grateful that I was able to have this done before my deployment.”

Support Sight for Soldiers

Our Sight for Soldiers fund helps Phillips Eye Institute provide laser vision correction surgery to troops in the National Guard and Reserves. Give the gift of sight to those who serve our country. Donate today.