by: Michael Fox Updated:
Never in his wildest dreams did Bill VandenBush think he would ever showcase the Seahawks logo on his prosthetic eye.
“I had mentioned it to my wife. She wasn’t a big Seahawks fan. I said it’d be cool to have Seahawks logo right there in my eye.”
For his 10th wedding anniversary on July 23, VandenBush’s wife surprised him with the eye he had set his sights on for years.
In 1969, Bill Vandenbush narrowly escaped death while fighting in Vietnam.
He recalls trying to rescue a crew of a downed helicopter when he was caught in gunfire.
“I was blown up and shot five times,” he said.
As a result of the blast, VandenBush was left without a right eye and lost his vocal cords.
Every six years VanderBush has to get fitted for a new eye.
This year, following the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl championship run, his wife wanted his new eye to be extra memorable.
With the help of Erickson Laboratories in Seattle, his wife surprised him with an eye that showcases the Seahawks logo as the pupil.
VandenBush has two artificial eyes that he uses – one with the Seahawks logo while the other looks like a normal eye.
He says he plans on wearing the Seahawks eye for all the “special occasions.”
“Every game I’ll have it in, or any gathering with Seahawks’ fans present.”
VandenBush has been a diehard fan since it was announced in the ‘70s that Seattle was getting a team.
He shrugs it off when people ask how he keeps such a positive outlook given his situation.
“I believe that even though I have been totally disabled, I try to have a good time with it. With the voice and eye, I try to make the best of it. You have to play the cards you’re dealt. I volunteered to go to Vietnam, this is what happened, I have to live with it. I could be bitter and angry, or I can just have a good time with it.”
VandenBush is the author of “If Morning Never Comes,” a book that tells the story of his near-death experience in Vietnam in 1969.