Now that we have been at war for a decade, the roles of reservists and guardsmen have definantly changed in the military. Soldiers who join the ranks of these units know pretty much that they are going to be serving overseas. I know many reservists who have served three deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, and even a few who have be deployed four and five times.

I have been in uniform more often than not in the last four years myself. I know that the government is doing a better job of taking care of these veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs benefits have increased (although there are still many improvements that could be made), but there are still some benefits that are available to active-duty Army that reservists just do not get.

One of these that I really do not understand is corrective eye surgery. The military pays for more of these procedures for combat troops who are active duty, but for reservists it is considered “elective surgery.” Why is that?

The VA will not pay for it, and neither will Tricare.

Every time I go outside the wire, it is a concern that if my glasses get knocked off, I will become an ineffective fighter. Reservists deploy to the same places as active-duty troops do, and we face the same issues. Why can’t the military give us the same tools for combat?

Sgt. Nathan Lehmer

Joint Security Station Loyalty, Iraq

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