U.S. Representative Dan Crenshaw is already hailed as the rising star of the Republican Party, even though he began his career in politics only a few years ago.
The former Navy SEAL was first elected as the Congressman representing Texas' 2nd congressional district in 2018 and he won the seat again in 2020. He lost his eye during a mission to Afghanistan, but this hasn't stopped him from achieving unparalleled success. So, what happened to his eye?
This is what happened to Rep. Dan Crenshaw's eye.
Rep. Crenshaw was first commissioned as a U.S. Navy officer in 2006. He deployed to Iraq twice. The tragedy that cost him his right eye occurred in 2012, when he was about six months into his third mission to Afghanistan. According to The Washington Post, the accident took place in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, where Rep. Crenshaw and his platoon were sent on a last-minute mission.
One of the interpreters, Raqman, crossed in front of Rep. Crenshaw just as the platoon made motions to secure a compound. Raqman stepped on a pressure plate, accidentally triggering 15 pounds worth of explosives. He suffered fatal injuries, while Rep. Crenshaw lost his right eye. According to The Washington Post, Rep. Crenshaw compared the experience to being "hit by a truck." According to the outlet, he felt as though his body "been scratched open" and "doused in Tabasco."
Rep. Crenshaw was put into a medically-induced coma and sent to Germany for treatment, where the remains of his right eye were scraped out, and a copper wire was removed from his right eye. Reportedly, it took him about two years to fully recover. He deployed to Bahrain and South Korea after the accident.
Rep. Crenshaw previously said that he is "very self-conscious" when he wears a glass eye.
"When I meet people in public, and especially campaigning, I noticed it's very distracting to people," Rep. Crenshaw said about the glass eye he sometimes wears in a video posted on Twitter, as per The Hill.
"Even if it's a natural-looking eye, it doesn’t quite look right [...] It's extremely distracting. And I'm very self-conscious about it," he added.
Rep. Crenshaw prefers items adorned with the Navy SEAL trident or the bonefrog symbol.
"Some of the first ones I had made were actually wooden and they had certain SEALs symbols, Navy SEALs symbols — not only the trident but also what we call the bonefrog [...] So I've been wearing a lot of different eye patches for a long time," he explained in a video posted on Twitter.
Over the last year, I've gotten a lot of questions about where I got my eye patch, why I wear it, and the glass eye underneath. So here is the scoop. I get my eye patches at https://t.co/H6fZqbcFRk pic.twitter.com/pctcy1Iq6S— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) December 10, 2018
"The truth is I have about 10 different glass eyes [with] all kinds of different symbols. The one I wear the most is the Navy SEAL trident. What that actually is is a gold earring that they sell in Coronado, Calif. that we had implanted into a glass eye," he added.
As Rep. Crenshaw explained later on in the video, he draws a distinction between his public and private life, mostly wearing eye patches when he has to meet strangers or appear at political events.