A Tulsa eye surgeon is giving away free cataract surgery to 20 veterans who need it. It's happening next week, just in time for Veteran's Day, and half the spots are still available.
Dr. Dan Langley said this is just the second year he's had this event offering free cataract surgeries for veterans, but he said now that he's started it, he has no plans of stopping any time soon.
Leon Boaz was an airplane mechanic in the Vietnam war.
"Took a lot of troops over, brought a lot of troops back," said Boaz. "Got out in December 1968."
Boaz went to college, got a degree, and became a "computer guru" before retiring in 2010. As he grew older, he said his eyesight grew worse.
"The cataracts just kept getting worse and worse and worse," Boaz said.
That's when the man behind the microscope came in. Dr. Dan Langley announced he'd perform free cataract surgery for 20 lucky veterans and Boaz was one of them.
"If I had 10 lotto tickets and I had nine of 'em, I'd still lose! I'm just not that lucky," said Boaz.
"I'm glad it had such a positive impact, but I don't see us stopping any time soon," said Dr. Langley.
Dr. Langley said he decided to offer cataract surgery specifically because it affects so many people.
"If you're in the military and you've collected enough birthdays, you're going to have cataracts sometime in your life," said Langley. "In some cases, they were blind and hadn't been living the life they should have for many years."
The surgery itself lasts less than 10 minutes but those 10 minutes mean the world to veterans like Boaz.
"Means a lot. Because, in case you don't know, Vietnam veterans were hated. Everybody was against us," said Boaz. "Been long overdue. I still have bad thoughts about it, because why did it take 50 years to say something?"
"He's a good surgeon, he's a good doctor. He'll take care of you," said Boaz.
Dr. Dan Langley will perform the surgeries on November 8, 2018.
If you know a veteran who needs cataract surgery, call the South Tulsa Surgery Center to see if you qualify at (918) 250-2020. You can also apply online at SouthTulsaEye.com.