Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Operation Peer Support?
A: An ongoing effort to link recently blinded veterans with
other OIF/OEF blinded service members and their counterparts from
previous conflicts. Operation Peer Support’s highest priority is to
assist these men and women through the process of adjustment to vision
loss by introducing them to and connecting them with the tools and
resources they will need to establish new goals. “Blinded Veterans
Helping Blinded Veterans” is the Association’s motto and serves as the
ideal in its advocacy efforts on behalf of all blinded veterans.
Q: What is the benefit to the newly blinded veterans?
A: Physical and emotional isolation is a huge issue for those
who have only recently lost their eyesight. The process of recovery from
any tragic or traumatic event is characterized by a period of grieving
followed by rehabilitation and restoration. The life cycle of a wounded
soldier often consists of six states: injury, treatment, rehabilitation,
evaluation, transition and maintenance. Substantial changes are
required as a result of such shattering events before a meaningful and
productive new life can be achieved. Similar to the grief experienced by
people following any catastrophic event, blinded veterans must also
grieve over their loss of vision. The veterans attending the BVA
convention meet with other OIF and OEF veterans who are among the few
who understand what they are truly going through. They will also be able
to meet veterans blinded in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. They will
hear and gain strength from their experiences. Throughout the process,
BVA will be there in a variety of ways, but primarily through its Field
Service Program, to help service members and their families along the
Q: How many troops have suffered eye injuries in the Global War on Terror?
A: Exact numbers are hard to come by but 4,790 service members
with penetrating eye injuries have been evacuated from OIF and OEF
operations as of November 2008. The long-term consequences of these
injuries are still unknown. More than 500 have eye injuries that
classify them as low-vision. According to VA Blind Rehabilitation
Service, at least 140 of these are legally blind as of May 2009. The
Army in March 2008 reported that 395 service members had been blinded in
one eye. The statistics on Marines and those in other branches of
service have not yet been disclosed.
Q: How can groups and individuals in America help a blinded OEF or OIF veteran?
A: Tax-deductible donations can be made directly to the Blinded
Veterans Association by mail or phone by credit card. BVA can also be
reached at 800-669-7079. Please help these brave American service
members and family members get the support they need from fellow blinded
veterans. The organization is a 501(c)(3) organization, ID #53-0214281.