Author Topic: laser eye for pilot  (Read 29272 times)

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Jug

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laser eye for pilot
« on: October 13, 2002, 17:52:00 »
...is this true? That you can‘t get in as a pilot when you‘ve had your eyes corrected. I can understand it for jet fighters, but is this also a restriction for mult-engine and helos?

Offline Ditch

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Re: laser eye for pilot
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2002, 11:55:00 »
Yes, it is true....

furyofmojo

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Lasik Eye Correction / Recruitment
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2004, 19:02:00 »
Hi! Im not exactly sure if this is the proper place to post this question but I‘ll give it go anyways.

Im really interested in joined the canadian Armed forces but my vision is not perfect. I know the air force requires their pilots to have 20/20 vision uncorrected, but does that also include lasik eye surgery? My vision isn‘t bad actually, maybe just worse that perfect. I really want to become a pilot but if that door is closed, I will join the infantry. When I went down to the recruitment centre they made it sound as if Lasik would prevent me from joining even the infantry. Can someone with reliable information let me know what exactly the status is on people who have had lasik eye surgery done?

1) For someone who wants to become a pilot; is a perfect vision after lasik eye surgery a big No No?

2) For someone who wants to become an officer in the infantry; is a perfect vision after lasik eye surgery a big No No?

I would really appreciate a response, I was really disappointed after coming out of the recruitment centre : (

Offline Jonsey

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Re: Lasik Eye Correction / Recruitment
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2004, 19:10:00 »
1) I‘m not sure of this, but I don‘t think that laser eye surgery would help. I could be wrong, though.

2) It doesn‘t matter. Glasses, surgery, I think it‘s all good, as long as you meet the minimum sight requirement.

Offline nULL

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Re: Lasik Eye Correction / Recruitment
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2004, 20:00:00 »
if you want to be a pilot, you must have 20/20 vision uncorrected - that includes laser eye surgury. the problem as i understand it is that during trainer, you learn to fly using planes with ejection seats, and the relation between LASIK and rapid ejections isn‘t understood very well. if you have had lasik, i believe that you have to wait a year (or was it six months?) from the date of your surgury to apply. i dunno, it‘s something like that. you couldn‘t go and apply a week after surgury, that‘s for sure. perhaps someone else could help you more, i‘m still in the recruitment process....

furyofmojo

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Re: Lasik Eye Correction / Recruitment
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2004, 21:39:00 »
Hmmmm where can I find the answers to my question? (For Sure)

I already went down to the local recruitment centre and the guy there told me that he is not sure exactly about the lasik for either infantry or pilot. He gave me a number to call where they deal with medical informations but when I called the number, it said it was no longer in service.

Hey nULL, where did you hear about having to wait 6 months to a year after lasik to apply? If the wait period is true then that must mean that people who have had lasik could still become pilots....just a matter of waiting???

In any case, can someone direct me to a sure proof way to find out? I am in my last year of university and I want to get into the armed forces as soon as I get out, but I need to know now about the lasik so that I can get the lasik over the reading break and still have time to heal for the force while I graduate.

That guy at the recruiting centre didn‘t seem all that helpful or eager to recruit : ) Just sipping and spilling his coffee while reclining on his chair. haha

Offline combat_medic

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Re: Lasik Eye Correction / Recruitment
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2004, 23:01:00 »
For any trade OTHER than pilot, CRFC will accept lasik or PRK vision correction. There is a waiting period after the surgery before you can apply.

As for being a pilot, unless you have 20/20 uncorrected vision, with perferct colour vision, then you cannot apply. This includes ALL corrections, glasses, contact lenses, and surgical corrections.

You still can be in the infantry though. And if your vision is only slightly less than 20/20, you may not need a laser correction at all.
"If you're in a fair fight, your tactics suck." - Paracowboy

furyofmojo

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Re: Lasik Eye Correction / Recruitment
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2004, 03:38:00 »
Argggggggg!!!!

This is not something I wanted to hear : (

Ok, I see on the broucher where it lists the requirements, that the 20/20 vision only applies to a DEO(Direct Entry Officers)

What does that mean? What?!? Does an appicant in a Continuing Education Officer Training Plan not need 20/20 vision?

What about a serving officer in the Canadian Forces who is not MOC qualified or a serving officer in the Canadian Forces who is MOC qualified applying for the pilot program?

 http://www.airforce.forces.gc.ca/pilot/entry_e.htm

Do they need to have none lasik 20/20 vision too?

By the way whats a serving officer who is MOC qualified and not MOC qualified?

Im sorry for asking soo many questions but once I set my mind on something I don‘t let it go easily, especially if they tell me its something I CAN‘T do >: r

Is there no possible way to become a pilot in the Canadian forces if I had Lasik eye surgery? I don‘t know much except for the research I have done online and the pointless visit to the recruitment office, but can I like join the armed forces as an officer other then a pilot and then apply for it under a different plan?

I mean I am even thinking about going to flight school and getting a civilian flight license, if that will help my chances of getting into the program.

I will be graduating from university this year and I like having a routine in my life and what better place to find routine then the armed forces right? I guess if there is ABSOLUTELY no way of getting into the pilot program with lasik vision (which by the way, I think is a little odd) I guess I will settle for the infantry but it makes me soooooo angry that they are telling me that I can‘t do something...AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

To **** with the rules, Im gonna find some way of getting in, Im gonna find a way to weasel my way in. Anyone out there with reliable information on the recruiting process and procedures have any ideas that might be of help?

I appreciate the responses I have received already and hopefully someone knows a way or point me to the right direction. : ) Thanks

Offline portcullisguy

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Re: Lasik Eye Correction / Recruitment
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2004, 08:47:00 »
I joined and I had lasik, but I‘m in reserve infantry.

For my lasik, they needed to see a note from the clinic that did the procedure attesting that my vision had been stable for at least 6 months prior to applying.

The reason is, after the lasik procedure, sometimes your eyes can change as they adjust to the new corneal shape, and because of the risk of regrowth affecting your vision.

As far as I am aware, you simply cannot be a pilot in the CF if you do not have perfect vision already.  Corrections are simply not accepted.  It doesn‘t matter if you are already serving and want to transfer, or if you are joining with a civvie pilots licence.  The rules are antiquated - as nearly every other job in the world accepts some level of vision correction nowadays.

But, last time I heard, those were the rules.
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dwyer.sd

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Re: Lasik Eye Correction / Recruitment
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2004, 12:00:00 »
First, the right direction you are looking for is to use the rules, do what you are told you have to and do not accept rumours and speculation on a chatsite as the be-all-end-all.  Some of these people have an axe to grind.

Second, Pilots must have a 20/20 uncorrected vision, no matter what the program they are trying to enter under or what point in their career they are trying to remuster in.  So, CEOTP is only offered in some cases when not enough Degreed officers are available, so it will close at the end of this Fiscal year (31 Mar 04) and will not be offered again unless significant shortages occur.  There is no way to get into the pilot occupation with less than perfect uncorrected vision at the begining of pilot training.

Third, laser (lasik) surgery causes a weakening of the eye and significant or serious head trauma could result in a "blowout" theoretically.  This is the part of the reasoning for the six-month delay.  In all cases you will need letters from your clinic/doctor and significant research will be done by the Medical Officer who reiews your file, which may also cause a long delay.

Last, MOC qualified refers to someone who has completed all the required courses or OJT and can now work in their occupation unrestricted.  For Infantry, until you are complete Phase 4 your MOC would be 23U (U= untrained).  After Phase 4 you become 23A.

I hope this helps to alleviate some of your questions.  I wanted to be a pilot too, but am now an Inf Officer

furyofmojo

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Re: Lasik Eye Correction / Recruitment
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2004, 13:34:00 »
Im just wonder, is this vision standard higher in the canadian air force then the american air force?

I was just surfing the web and found at this site

 http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/genjoin/a/pilotvision.htm

that they just can‘t have lasik but still enter the program with correctable vision.

I guess the canadian armed forces have higher standards for their soldiers : )

Offline combat_medic

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Re: Lasik Eye Correction / Recruitment
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2004, 14:31:00 »
Is there no possible way to become a pilot in the Canadian forces if I had Lasik eye surgery?

NO! There is a chance that you could be in mid-flight and your corneas could tear off. There is no way you can be a pilot without 20/20 uncorrected vision. Many people have told you this, so please stop asking.

There‘s also no way you can sneak or weasel your way in. Pilot candidates (and yes, there are hundreds of kids just like you vying for that one position) go though a barrage of testing in fields like vision, but also many others.

Every 2nd kid I speak to about recruiting wants to become a pilot (every first kid wants to be a sniper or in the JTF). There are literally THOUSANDS of applicants into the pilot program in the CF. Even if you had perfect vision, the chances of being accepted are pretty minimal. Even if you‘re 1" too tall or too short, you‘re turned down. If you tried to cheat, and were found out, you will be sent to prison.

Stop trying to cheat your way in. If you want to be a pilot that badly, then get your civilian pilot‘s lisence.
"If you're in a fair fight, your tactics suck." - Paracowboy

Offline nULL

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Re: Lasik Eye Correction / Recruitment
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2004, 14:51:00 »
as i understand it furyofmojo, when LASIK is performed, the surgeons use a tool to cut a "hole" in your cornea. through this hole, they shine the laser that is used to correct your vision. at that point, the corneal "flap" is then reattached. it‘s very similar to a medical procedure where someone‘s skin on their chest is cut off and put aside so the surgeons can do their thing...when the surgeons are finished, they put the skin flap back.

were you a pilot, and say, hit turblucence, or had to eject, there‘s always a chance that that "flap" might come apart, and as combat_medic said, more or less tear your corneas off. at that point you‘d be pretty screwed up. any passengers with you would be screwed. anybody on the ground would be screwed, doubly so if you were flying a CF-18; a friend in air cadets told me that when a fighter pilot ejects, the weapons arm so as to ensure that there is no wrackage or technology that could be salvaged by the enemy. this would obviously be serious if your plane was, say, flying over a heavily populated area.

if you are talking about the US air force, yes, they are allowing some pilots to fly with LASIK. however, the way it‘s done (again, as best i am able to understand) is that the individual has to have PERMISSION beforehand. you can‘t have it done, then apply to be a pilot; you‘d be turned away outright. they want you to have it done with THEIR surgeons. i believe the US air force academy  performs the surgery on those who exhibit excellent pilot potential - not just everyday joe off the street who wants to be a pilot.

if it‘s any consolation, look at the bright side (get it? haha); LASIK isn‘t the ultimate laser surgury anymore. Look up something called NO TOUCH® correction.

  http://lasereye.com/  

in this one, there is no flap cut, so in theory, it‘s much safer. before you get your hopes up (too late i imagine) remember that before any air force in the world accepted a set type of "safe" laser vision correction, they would go through years and years of trials and studies. a pilot is a big investment; after all, look how much a private licence costs - nearly 50,000 dollars for a commercial one.

it‘s always been my dream to be a pilot as well, which is compounded with frusturation that my eyes are not quite 20/20. (-1.25L, -1.5R)

so close yet so far....

my plan has always been to get into the army reserves, finish my degree, and see where i want to go from there...regular army, or off to a certain country which (according to a recruiter i got my sister down there to contact)is currently conducting so-far favourable studies into the reliability of laser eye surgury on it‘s pilots....

but hey, it can‘t hurt to try.

dwyer.sd

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Re: Lasik Eye Correction / Recruitment
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2004, 14:59:00 »
Im just wonder, is this vision standard higher in the canadian air force

Yes.  You must have 20/20 uncorrected when you apply and complete training.  In the years following, then your vision may deteriorate to glasses, but you can still fly.  You are a proven entity that changed.  Coming off the street already with problems you are an un-proven and untrained entitiy asking the CF to spend 2M$ on your pilots training.

Call me nutz, but I wouldn‘t advise the CF to spend 2M on a chance.

Offline nULL

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Re: Lasik Eye Correction / Recruitment
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2004, 15:15:00 »
true, but seeing as how at the least a pilot must have a degree, they are obviously looking for someone who wants it. if XXXXXXXX has gone to the expense and trouble to make him/herself an attractive candidate...

i suppose what it comes down to picking somebody based on their hunger for the position vs someone‘s superior genetics (and possibly lower desire)

kind of like the army...would you want to recruit say, ah, a kinda thin guy who wants to be there, or a guy who can do twice as many pushups and is there for the college money?

something to think about; i‘d advise the CFRC to recruit the people most likely to come out the other end.

jutes85

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Re: Lasik Eye Correction / Recruitment
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2004, 15:16:00 »
furyofmojo,

What is your prescription of your glasses or contacts?

If you are really inclined to wear contacts or glasses, and you don‘t want the risk of LASIk or anyother opperation, you may want to give  http://www.visionfreedom.com  a try, as I did. It is not exactly the same program as I did but it is close.

My vision was about -7.5 and -7.75 before I gave this method a try. It was seriously improved my vision from where it was a month ago. Now my vision is around -4.00 in each eye and i‘m hopeing to continue until i‘m 20/20. My vision has also hindered me in becoming a pilot (In the Forces anyway).

Combat_Medic,

Is there really THOUSANDS of applications from people who want to become pilots? I‘ve herd that they are in a real shortage.

Offline combat_medic

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Re: Lasik Eye Correction / Recruitment
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2004, 16:13:00 »
Null: The "no-touch" laser surgery is a misnomer. The laser does, in fact, touch your eye, although they do not make the corneal flap that they do with Lasik. The type of surgery is more commonly referred to as PRK, and is a more dangerous route than Lasik. Your healing time is longer, you have more chances of complications, and the outcome typically isn‘t as good. It‘s an older method, and by no means the ‘latest technology‘, but people are blinsided into having it because they think "no-touch" = less invasive, which it isn‘t.

Jutes: There are scads of applicants to the pilot program. Many are kids with no post secondary, no skills, and in poor medical health who are rejected outright. Once you make it past the BASIC qualifications (bachelor‘s degree, good vision, reasonable health, pass the written test), the numbers are shaved down considerably, and the testing becomes more rigorous. I wouldn‘t know an exact number, but my friend at CFRC has said that they usually see several people a day who put "pilot" as their first trade choice, and this is in just one recruiting centre. There‘s a shortage because every kid and his dog wants to be a pilot, but most aren‘t even qualified enough to get though the initial screening.
"If you're in a fair fight, your tactics suck." - Paracowboy

Offline BadBird

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Re: Lasik Eye Correction / Recruitment
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2004, 16:31:00 »
"corneas could tear off"
I would really like to see if you could show me a documented situation where this occurred. I have never heard of this happening and I believe that this is no different then when the government said that African Americans couldnt be pilots because they naturally had bad night vision. They just made it up for whatever stupid reason.
If you can show me something documented, then Ill take what I said back.

Offline combat_medic

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Re: Lasik Eye Correction / Recruitment
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2004, 16:52:00 »
BadBird: I never said it was a logical reason, but no one has ever taken someone with laser correction up to supersonic speeds and whipped them around to see if they could tear their corneas off. It‘s a slight risk, but one that the government isn‘t willing to take until the long term effects of laser surgery are better documented, and have more time behind them. Maybe in 10 years, they‘ll change their minds. Until then, those are the rules.
"If you're in a fair fight, your tactics suck." - Paracowboy

Offline nULL

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Re: Lasik Eye Correction / Recruitment
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2004, 17:07:00 »
combat_medic...i know about the risks with PRK, but i was under the impression that in that case, the surgeon used a scalpel to scrape away the cornea? The initial advantages to LASIK were that the eye was "suctioned still" and the machine (m-something) would make the cut, so no doctor-error. i was pretty sure that No Touch® was a completely new method, it being paired with the relatively new Wavefront method of laser mapping the eye...?

then again, you‘re the medic, heh, so i‘m gonna lose this no matter what   :)  

i wonder if they‘ll ever get to the point of performing LASIK on an ape, strapping it into a jet, and ejecting it somewhere over cold lake to see if the corneas tear off? you‘d think that would save alot of time...


EDIT: quote from the no touch people "As defined above, this technique involves total epithelial removal with the laser, a technique developed at London Place Eye Centre Inc. This is coupled with a multi-pass/multi-zone method and advanced lasers with the most updated hardware and software used anywhere in the world. Techniques such as standard PRK and LASIK that utilize manual epithelial removal introduce many variables that are eliminated with ‘no touchâ„¢‘."

ahh...i think i "see" where you‘re going with this.

"....Techniques such as standard PRK and LASIK that utilize..."

standard? so i guess this IS just more advanced.

furyofmojo

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Re: Lasik Eye Correction / Recruitment
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2004, 17:27:00 »
jutes, to answer your question. My prescription is -2.25.

By the way whats the exact program you did called?

That visionfreedom place looks a little shady but I‘ll take a closer look anyways : ) thanks for your reply.

Combat_medic, sorry if Im starting to get on your nerves.

I was just really excited about it when I saw the advertisements for the pilot program. I got even more excited when my best friends cousin got accepted for one of the fighter pilot spots earlier this year or something. I was really hoping uncorrected didn‘t count lasik. I mean as far as I can see I think I would have been a pretty good candidate; the right size, build, shape, education. (But then what can I SEE? excuse the pun, hehe)

Now im really sorry to bring this point up, but seeing as how people on the replies are talking about the extreme cases of the dangers of lasik on pilots; helicopter pilots or cargo pilots don‘t have too much of a worry with the high Gs : )

I guess either eye exercises like the one jutes is talking about is going to help fix my vision or it off to the infantry for me.

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Re: Lasik Eye Correction / Recruitment
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2004, 17:49:00 »
null: here‘s an excerpt from a laser surgeon whom I‘ve met with and discussed the procedure with:

 What is "No Touch" or "touchless" PRK?

"No touch" is transepithelial PRK (Photorefractivekeratotomy) with the where the top layer of the cornea (the epithelium) is removed by the laser beam.

Is this method of removing the epithelium the most accurate?

In my opinion as a surgeon, it is not as accurate as using the cornea‘s natural plane between epithelium and it‘s underlying tissue to gently wipe away the epithelium. All methods of epithelial removal yield very similar outcomes. I have no strong oppinion on one method versus another. I have performed several different techniques and have selected the method I use as in my hands it is the most accruate.

Does a surgical instrument touch the eye in the "No Touch" procedure?

The laser is a surgical instrument. It removes tissue from your eye. The only way to correct vision without touching the eye is to wear glasses (contact lenses touch the eye).

Which is a better procedure, LASIK or PRK? This is best determined by a discussion with your doctor and by having a pre operative eye evaluation. Generally speaking for low corrections, both LASIK & PRK can provide excellent results. With the LASIK procedure the advantages include little or no pain, faster healing time, minimal regression and low incidence of scarring. For moderate to high levels of correction, LASIK is generally preferred. 95% of surgeons prefer LASIK. Of this group, PRK is reserved for a select group of patients i.e., patients with scarring on the eye that require surface removal, as well as patients with occupations where risk of direct trauma to the eye (boxers, martial arts professionals) etc make PRK the more desirable procedure. If one does not have enough corneal tissue for LASIK, PRK is the safest and most preferred method.

In essence, PRK and "no-touch" are the same thing.
"If you're in a fair fight, your tactics suck." - Paracowboy

dwyer.sd

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Re: Lasik Eye Correction / Recruitment
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2004, 18:20:00 »
Since nobody is going to tear cornea off to check the feasability study and to confirm that "**** yeah when I went too fast my eyes tore open" effect, the Medical Officers within the CF are of the opinion that, eye surgery weakens the strength of the cornea for an indeffinite period of time.  This being said, anyone who is employed in a high impact or physically stressful employment (Cbt Arms, pilots?)where a blow to the head can occur at almost any time during training, be it from a rifle butt on your shoulder on the obstacle course, a high G turn or hard landing, paratrooping, it is not recommended.

The skull is made up if plates, a hard blow to the head can cause swelling of the brain, plate movements and general pressure build-up inside the skull.  Physics would dictate that pressure escapes through the path of least resitence.  Put the pegs in the holes and you have weakened cornea = BLOW-OUT!  Remember, people at risk for irreversible injuries are not going to get into the military, we can‘t take the risk.

Offline portcullisguy

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Re: Lasik Eye Correction / Recruitment
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2004, 18:49:00 »
LASIK = This is a laser keratotomy (skin removal) in which the subcorneal layers are removed to reshape the light passing through the cornea.  It involves leaving the top 1-4 layers of corneal tissue intact, and burning the middle 5-7 layers with a laser.  To qualify for the procedure, you must have a minimum corneal thickness in order to allow the flap incision.

PRK = Photo Refractive Keratotmy.  In this procedure, which has been practiced for nearly 20 years now, a laser simply removes the corneal tissue all the way from layer 1 to about 7.  There is a significant recovery time because layers 1-4 will regrow to approximately their original depth and shape, leaving the middle layers to remain as they were altered.  This requires wearing a contact lens bandage during recovery time, but has less chance of infection generally.

Radial Ortho-K = This procedure does NOT involve a laser, and is the oldest method of surgical eye correction.  A surgeon makes incisions in a number of radials on the surface of the cornea.  The scar tissue then reshapes the cornea as the eye heals.  This has been associated with "star patterns" when viewing bright lights at night, and other vision problems, because of the presence of the radial incision scars.

All of these procedures involve weaking the structure of the eye to some level, and for that reason, all of them have been at one time or another a bar to many types of employment.

I was looking at applying to the police several years ago, and it was a transitional phase in police employment.  They didn‘t want to hire people who had any of the surgeries, in a lot of cases, because of the unknown long term risks.  But, many police agencies changed their policy when they realized the risks were minimal for the job, and they needed more applicants.

However, the CF only has so many pilot positions, and can‘t afford to spend good money on bad risks, so I completely understand why they do not accept any form of vision correction for new applicants.
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Offline BadBird

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Re: Lasik Eye Correction / Recruitment
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2004, 19:53:00 »
The CF should not be turning people away based on a thesis of their own making without any substantiated facts;  not even remotely proven at all.