FORT CARSON, Colo. June 30, 2007, /Army Times/ -- An Army eye
clinic that offers free laser eye surgery to soldiers will give
highest priority to special forces groups and other units most likely
to go to combat in Iraq, according to a published report.
The LASIK or photorefractive surgery must be done at least 90
days before a soldier deploys, the Fort Carson Mountaineer reported
Friday, quoting military medical officials at Fort Carson.
"Right now we do 500 per year. Hopefully, we will triple that amount
so that all soldiers who want the procedure and are candidates for
it will be able to have it done," said Mike Ives, eye clinic supervisor
at Evans Army Community Hospital.
Ives encouraged soldiers who need it to consider having one of the
"If soldiers wear glasses that get knocked off or lost during patrol,
they can be in trouble," he said.
The nearby Air Force Academy eye clinic recently became the first
in the services to perform LASIK surgery — the name stands for Laser-Assisted
in Situ Keratomileusis — and allow pilots who had undergone it to
fly. Pilots are not allowed to wear glasses or contacts, but there
had been questions about whether their laser-repaired eyes could
withstand ejection from planes flying at supersonic speeds.
The Army has eight clinics in addition to Evans which can perform
LASIK surgery. The procedure improves eyesight by altering the shape
of the cornea.
Image courtesy US Army