Eyes that have suffered severe trauma require removal and replacement with artificial eyes. Some of the most grim optical trauma cases involve veterans of wars in the Middle East.

Second Lieutenant Peter Sprenger has a glimmering blue ocular prosthetic, and a story behind it. He was blinded in one eye by a suicide car bomber in Iraq. Lt. Sprenger, 26, shrugs off the experience, and simply talks about having “a missing eye.”

There have been so many cases of soldiers needing prosthetic eye care that the Veterans Administration recently re-wrote its rules