Tom Little (optometrist)

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Tom Little

Tom Little was an optometrist from Kinderhook, New York,[1] United States, most widely known as the leader of an International Assistance Mission Nuristan Eye Camp team killed in the 2010 Badakhshan massacre.[2][3] The team was attacked in the Kuran wa Munjan District of Badakhshan Province, while returning from Nuristan to Kabul.

Little had worked in Afghanistan for over three decades and spoke Dari fluently.[4] He moved to Afghanistan in the late seventies and raised his three daughters there.

Little was posthumously recognized as the 2010 International Optometrist of the Year by the World Council of Optometrists[1] and was one of fifteen people awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for 2010.[5][6]

Personal life[edit]

Little, the son of an ophthalmologist, attended Ichabod Crane High School in Valatie, New York, where he dated Libby, the woman who later became his wife. In 1978 they traveled to Afghanistan. Although only intending to stay there for several months, he ultimately spent the next 30 years building up the country’s eye care services during successive regime changes. Dr. and Mrs. Little’s three daughters were educated at Woodstock School in India. While most well known for his work in Afghanistan, Dr. Little was also an avid outdoorsman, equestrian, and environmentalist – most content in a canoe in the wilderness, usually someplace in the Adirondacks or Algonquin Provincial Park.[7]