Thousands of troops serving oversees were greeted with well wishes during the holiday season from the Arizona Eye Institute and Cosmetic Laser Center family following a second annual drive for Christmas cards to support a local radio station’s effort.
Patients waiting in the lobbies of the eye institute’s locations — 10701 W. Bell Road, Sun City and 19052 R.H. Johnsn Blvd., Sun City West — filled out cards with personal messages to the troops to send overseas, which local station KSLX mailed overseas to be distributed to those serving the nation. Many patients brought in cards already filled out — one patient even bringing in a bag of 1,000 cards she made with her grandchildren for the troops.
“Our community really loves giving back, and we care deeply for our veterans and veteran families,” said Emilio M. Justo, M.D., Arizona Eye founder and medical director. “This has become a cherished tradition that one of our ophthalmic technicians brought to us and that we are proud to carry on.”
The ophthalmic practice and surgery center focused the entire year on giving back. During the summer months, water was collected to help the community survive the months of 115 degree and higher weather as the drought continued. The practice works closely with the Salvation Army Sun Cities West Valley Corps on drives throughout the year, also including a holiday toy drive, food drives and school supply drives.
“I want to personally thank the troops for serving overseas at a time when I am sure they would like to be with their families,” Dr. Justo said. “We could never repay them for the gift of our freedoms.”
Editor’s Note: Ms. Lucas is Arizona Eye Institute and Cosmetic Laser Center marketing director.