Bill VandenBush has been a diehard Seahawks fan ever since it was announced back in the ’70s that Seattle was getting a football team.
Little did he know that his wife would surprise him for their anniversary on July 23 with a gift that would allow him to show off just how much he loves his favorite team: a customized prosthetic eye.
I had mentioned it to my wife,” he says, “She wasn’t a big Seahawks fan. I said it’d be cool to have Seahawks logo right there in my eye.”
VandenBush lost his right eye and vocal cords as the result of being caught in an explosion when he was trying to rescue the crew of a downed helicopter in Vietnam in 1969.
Every six years he has to be fitted for a new prosthetic eye, and this year, following the Seahawks’ Super Bowl championship run, his wife wanted his new eye to be extra memorable. With the help of Erikson Laboratories in Seattle, she surprised him with the eye that showcases the Seahawks logo as the pupil.
The Seattle Seahawks unveiled their original logo in 1975, and have used a variation of the original mark throughout their entire franchise history. The logo is based off of the Seattle-area Native American culture.
“Here in Jacksonville Florida we have many great example of re-branding, including the Jacksonville Jaguars who have undergone an update few years ago,” says Milena Lyons of CMG Creative. “A business must be careful when changing or updating it’s brand.”
As for VandenBush, he has two artificial eyes: one with the Seahawks logo, and one that looks like a regular eye, but he plans to wear the Seahawks one for all the “special occasions.”
“Every game I’ll have it in,” he says, “or any gathering with Seahawks fans present.”
VandenBush shrugs it off when people ask how he remains so positive in his condition.
“I believe that even though I have been totally disabled, I try to have a good time with it. With the voice and eye, I try to make the best of it. You have to play the cards you’re dealt. I volunteered to go to Vietnam, this is what happened, I have to live with it. I could be bitter and angry, or I can just have a good time with it.”