1 Inch Away From Losing My Eye Forever
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1 Inch Away From Losing My Eye Forever

by Sunny dodeja on May 23, 2023

The Importance of Eye Protection for Ensuring Safety

I wiped what I thought was a bug off my face, only to see blood on my fingers. “Why am I bleeding?” I thought to myself.  

Up until the panic began to set in, I was enjoying a day of shooting steel with a buddy at my backyard gun range. My grandpa had let me build a giant dirt mound so we could safely shoot on the back 40 acres of his property. 

Growing up, my dad and grandpa drilled gun safety into my head, and I was with a former military service member who was also a stickler on gun safety. We were doing everything right, well, almost everything.  

I wasn’t wearing eye protection.  

Call it laziness, but I didn’t wear eye protection because I was wearing my corrective lens glasses instead of my contacts, so I thought they would provide my eyes with enough protection. 

And yet, here I was with blood running down my cheek. 

I hadn’t seen it coming, literally. It all happened so fast.  

We had already finished shooting a couple of steel targets with our pistols from 10-15 yards away without a problem.  

We then stepped back to 50 yards to sight in his rifle. After sighting in his 5.56 AR-15, we decided to have a little competition on the shooting tree.  

The goal is to get all the targets to swing onto the other person’s side of the shooting tree. I didn’t stand a chance against a member of our military that had completed a couple of tours overseas, but it was fun to test my skills.  

Eventually, I began to run low on 9mm and 5.56 ammo, so I decided just to hang out and let him finish shooting.  

We obeyed nearly all the gun safety rules (lack of proper eye protection on my part).  

I was standing off to his left, well behind him, while he shot in a safe direction when I felt something hit my cheek. Living in the country, I’m used to bugs landing on me, so I thought it was some bug landing on my face and went to brush it off. 

Instead of the feeling of a bug leaving my cheek, it was wet, and when I looked down at my fingers, they were covered in blood.  

I quickly walked over to my buddy, tapped him on the shoulder, and showed him my fingers.  

To which he responded, “What happened?” and I didn’t have an answer for him until I got home.  

Thankfully, he was nearly finished shooting for the day, so we packed everything up and headed home after my cheek stopped bleeding.  

While washing my face, I could feel something embedded in my cheek where the blood was coming out of a small cut.  

I grabbed a pair of tweezers and pulled a small piece of a full metal jacket out of my cheek, just an inch below my eye.  

I was in shock.  

I couldn’t believe it had flown over 50 yards back toward us after striking the target. I sent a picture of the chunk of metal to my buddy to show him what had happened, and he was just as shocked as I was. 

It was a sobering moment as I realized that had it been an inch higher, this piece of metal would have slid under my glasses and sliced open my eye. Possibly causing me to go blind in my left eye. 

That’s why I wear eye protection while hunting, shooting, four-wheeling, fishing, and working. Eye injuries occur when we least expect them, so it’s always important to be prepared with quality protective lenses. 

I’ll happily spend $100 or more to protect my eyes, but with the Chelan AST Kit, I don’t even have to pay that much to know my eyes are well protected during every activity I participate in. 

Once you lose your eyesight, there’s no getting it back. Don’t wait until you have a near accident or worse, to protect your eyes. 

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