*Importance of Eye Pro*
By: Monte
16 June 2012

Something that is essential in a survival situation and in everyday life is eye protection. We all have sunglasses to protect our eyes from the sun and the diseases associated with excess sun exposure. Unfortunately, many people now a day's choose them for their "fashion value" rather than their "protection value".

However, the sun isn't the only object that can harm our eyes. Dust, dirt, and debris from everyday activities can cause irritation, and for those who enjoy the outdoors, it seems that trees are always trying to snag that valuable eye ball.

A relatively new development in the eye protection industry is ballistic glasses. These have all of the attributes of sunglasses, with the added bonus of being made of impact resistant material. (I say impact resistant because these are not bulletproof. They might stop birdshot depending on distance, but anything else will penetrate [and there's a good chance that anything penetrating your face around your eyes is going to be fatal anyway])

For example: recently, one of our Afghan counterparts was reducing an IED we had located, and sadly, it had an anti handling device, so it went off as he was bent over attempting to clear it. He survived, and thankfully only suffered minor injuries. He took most of the blast to his face, which was peppered with small bits of shrapnel. The only part of his face untouched was his eyes, protected by his ballistic eye pro. The eye pro saved his vision, and possibly his life (the skull is softer and thinner in the back of the eye sockets, so it is much easier for objects to penetrate into the brain). Also, his face is going to heal. The holes will close, and the skin will meld. If he lost an eye, it isn't going to be coming back. The glasses were a total loss, but they stopped every incoming piece of shrapnel. Keep in mind that these types of glasses have many similar success stories.

I know that after I saw the ballistic eye pro in action (I saw them take a birdshot round) I pulled my designer Oakleys out of my bag, and replaced them with a less "cool" ballistic version. All the ballistic versions offer the same sun protection as the designers, and the added impact protection can't be beat. Additionally, with the draw downs going on across the military, you can probably pick up the standard issue Revision (the brands name) or ESS (also brands name) eye pro on ebay or craiglist cheap. Oakley also offers ballistic glasses, but they tend to be more expensive.

(On that note, now is the time to start shopping at surplus stores, they are getting flooded with expendable items (items we are issued and don't have to turn back in) from people getting out and needing/wanting fast cash….at least the ones around military bases are.)


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