Family Credits Sunglasses for Saving Son’s Eye

November 12, 2009.

Sunglasses save Kevin's eye.

The family of a Medford soldier injured when a Humvee was struck by a truck on Tuesday in Iraq is crediting special protective sunglasses given to his local Oregon Army National Guard unit with saving his right eye.

Spc. Kevin Gallo, 27, son of Ron and Laurie Gallo of Medford, was serving as a gunner in the turret of the armored vehicle when it was struck, causing him to hit his head, his mother said.

“He broke the occipital bone behind his eye,” his mother said. “His glasses broke, but I believe with all my heart that he would have lost his eye at the very least without those glasses.”

She was referring to the Wiley X sunglasses given to the roughly 150 citizen-soldiers of the Guard’s 1st Battalion of the 186th Infantry, headquartered in Ashland. After learning that Medford resident Debbie Hicks had raised about $1,600 this past spring, enough to buy 68 pairs at a drastically reduced price for the soldiers from Jackson and Josephine counties, Wiley X Inc. in Livermore, Calif., donated 90 pairs free. At a retail value of $95 each, that represented a gift of $8,500. Hicks is an American Red Cross volunteer dedicated to helping local soldiers.

Deployed to Camp Victory near Baghdad early in the summer, the local soldiers are among more than 600 members of the 1/186th that joined the Guard’s Tigard-based 41st Infantry Combat Brigade Team, which sent about 2,800 troops from Oregon and some 650 more from other states to Iraq. They are expected to return home next spring.

According to the Guard, the collision occurred early Tuesday morning when a truck traveling with no lights hit the Humvee when the convoy had stopped. Cpl. Richard Martin of Central Point also was injured in the accident. Although information about Martin’s injuries was not available at press time, the Guard reported that neither soldier was critically injured, and both were in stable condition.

Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski, a former Marine, stopped by to visit Kevin Gallo at the military hospital in Balad on Wednesday during his visit to Iraq. The specialist was expected to be flown to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany today where he would receive further treatment.

Laurie Gallo said the family had not heard from the military, but had received a call from their son who informed them of his injuries.

Kevin Gallo, a graduate of Crater High School, and his wife, Tasha, have two young children.

SPY Story

The color orange is symbolic of much of life itself; bold, fiery, unique and sometimes blinding, a color that ignited a group of active friends in Southern California to re-invent eyewear. Their vision was orange and a single thought rang true: “it’s not seeing different things; it’s seeing the same things differently.”

Spy Optic was created by a group of action sports and motorsports enthusiasts who immersed themselves in the culture they knew best. Key founders Mark Simo, Brian Simo and Beaver Theodosakis saw what was on the market for eyewear in 1994 and wanted to make sunglasses better. As authentic, well-connected action sports entrepreneurs, their unbridled enthusiasm for reinventing modern eyewear attracted the world’s best athletes from motorsports, surfing and snowboarding. Spy’s athletes became a huge and influential part of the Spy family and the team’s mojo combined with Jerome Mage’s innovative design sense helped fuel the brand’s rapid growth.

A world-class roster of athletes helped shape, build and lay a foundation for the Spy brand. Snowboarders Shaun Palmer, Victoria Jelouse, Marc Frank Montoya, David Carrier-Porcheron, surfers Sunny Garcia and Malloy brothers, BMX rider Jamie Bestwick, motocross sensation Jeremy McGrath, skateboarder Danny Way, NASCAR drivers Richard “The King” and son Kyle Petty, Indy Car superstars Christian Fittipaldi and Paul Tracy. Spy team riders are not only elite athletes, fun personalities, but also key influencers in the development and design of its technical products for sunglasses, motocross and snow goggles.

Spy’s design is not only aesthetically pleasing, but continues to push the technological limits in eyewear. Spy’s innovative patented Scoop® technology revolutionized its sport sunglass frames. The Spy Scoop® venting system combats lens fogging by promoting airflow between the lens and the wearer’s face. This system was such a success; its technology was seamlessly integrated and applied to its snow and motocross goggles. Spy’s polarization treatments superseded existing eyewear standards with its premium injected Trident polarized lenses. The lenses effectively eliminate more than 99% of blinding glare for precise, unobstructed vision. Spy’s ground-breaking technological advancement of the all new patent-pending dual Mosaic® lens in the Apollo snow goggle uses a proprietary anti-fog and anti-scratch lens that offers brilliant and maximum peripheral vision with nominal profile. Its one-of-a-kind lens technology is the most advanced on the market today.

To continue to push the envelope for exceptional excellence and standards, in 2005, Spy acquired LEM S.r.l., a high quality sunglass and goggle manufacturer in Varese, Italy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Orange 21 Inc., the parent company of Spy Optic. A majority of Spy’s sunglasses are hand fabricated at LEM S.r.l., which has crafted premium eyewear for Spy and other superior eyewear brands for over 15 years. Spy Optic’s products are unique and the development is original. Each sunglass and goggle’s roots can be traced from original sketch to finished product.

Live through our lens…

Spy Optic, Inc. designs, develops and sells premium eyewear products for the youth lifestyle market within action sports, fashion, music, and entertainment sectors. Spy’s principal products, sunglasses and goggles, target the action sports market, including surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding, motorsports, and wakeboarding and skiing. Spy’s innovative proprietary products utilize high-quality materials, handcrafted manufacturing processes and engineered optical lens technology to convey premium quality, contemporary style, and progressive design.


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The ratings are from the direct feedback — collected at the point of sale and after delivery of goods — from customers concerning seven key satisfaction metrics:

- Overall satisfaction at the point of sale
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We extend a humble and sincere thank you to all of our customers for continuing to participate in the feedback surveys that allow us to continually look for ways to improve not only the appearance and function of our website, but ultimately the shopping experience for our loyal and cherished customers.

Safety Glasses USA is especially proud of its dedicated employees who have helped the company achieve this BizRate recognition for three consecutive years.  Thank you all.

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