Fan gets Seahawks prosthetic eye

ByDarren Rovell ESPN logo
Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bill VandenBush has something no other Seattle fan can lay claim to: A Seahawks eyeball.

The 64-year-old Vietnam vet, who says he lost his right eye in combat in 1969, was gifted the prosthetic eye with the team's logo in it by his wife Shannon on their 10th anniversary.

"I had always wanted something in my eye, like a skull and crossbones," VandenBush said.

Shannon, who accompanied Bill on a recent fitting for a new eyeball, which must be replaced every five to six years, knew about the dream.

"We had discussed the Seahawks logo before, but at that time it was really off the table," she said. "I wasn't really comfortable with it. But when I saw the process, I knew this would be the perfect gift for Bill."

When her husband walked out of the room, Shannon asked the designer if it could be done. After negotiating on the price, she surprised Bill with the logoed eyeball when he came back for the fitting.

"I was pretty overwhelmed with joy," said VandenBush, who became a Seahawks fan after moving to Seattle in 1979.

VandenBush uses his regular white prosthetic eye on an everyday basis, but has started wearing his Seahawks eye on game days during the preseason.

VandenBush said that since the story about him was published on local television station KIRO's website, he has heard some negative feedback, including some people who thought it looked "creepy."

But VandenBush, who survived serious injuries in Vietnam and took 10 years to teach himself how to talk again after his vocal chords were damaged in battle, says words don't really bother him.

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