One-of-a-kind program envisions helping military veterans, their families

Program will provide eye care to those who have no other way to receive it

Medal of Honor recipient former Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta talks with members of the Jay High School Air Force JROTC
Medal of Honor recipient former Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta talks with members of the Jay High School Air Force JROTC

San Antonio – Former Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta was given the Medal of Honor for the bravery he showed on the battlefield, but on a rainy morning, he traveled to San Antonio to help more military veterans and their families.

“I have friends who have lost their eyesight on the battlefield. This program gives veterans a chance to get part of their life back,” Giunta said.

I Care San Antonio, which has been providing eye care services to the city’s homeless population at no cost at Haven For Hope, launched the All Star Eye Care for Veterans program.

The I Care San Antonio Vision Center, which is the leading charity eye clinic in the United States, has a group of more than 40 ophthalmologists and optometrists who help serve the low income and homeless populations of Bexar County and 10 surrounding counties.

The organization is expanding its services to include veterans and their families. Friday’s first breakfast fundraiser, with Giunta as the featured speaker, helps cover the costs of medications, equipment, glasses and surgical fees for the veterans and their families.

“As we head into 2020, our vision is crystal clear — to improve lives by providing complete eye care, including medical, surgical and optical to those who can’t afford it,” said John McClung, board chairman of I Care San Antonio.

Helping those who served is also why Giunta spoke at the breakfast fundraiser. The Medal of Honor recipient spoke about the importance of having a good team, and he said that’s precisely what he sees at I Care San Antonio.

“I’m a bandwagon fan, and when I see something successful, I want to do my part,” Giunta said.

I Care San Antonio has already provided direct care to more than 60 veterans. The hope is the All Star Eye Care for Veterans program will ease the financial burden and stress veterans and their families endure when faced with military separation, civilian transition and caregiver demands. The reason for including families in the program is a simple one.

“Because when one member joins the military, the whole family serves," said Libby Bentley, executive director of I Care San Antonio.

I Care San Antonio’s Vision Center is located at 1 Haven For Hope Way.

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