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Tony Turin and his family plan to open Mt. Hood Eyecare by the end of April

It’s often hard for veterans returning from service to find their way back into the civilian world, but with the help of the CitiBank Boots to Business competition and the support of his family, one Sandy High School graduate will come home ready to start a new local business.

Tony Turin, 29, an Army optometrist who grew up in Welches, recently received $15,000 in a competition for start-up capital. When he returns from North Carolina in April, he and his wife, Kim, will open Mt. Hood Eyecare in Sandy.

After graduating from Sandy High School in 2002, Turin decided he wanted to pursue a career in optometry. Upon learning that the Army offered a health profession scholarship program, he enlisted while still pursuing his doctorate. He graduated from Pacific University in 2010.

“I always knew I wanted to serve in the military,” Turin said. He was commissioned as a captain in the Army.

Last summer, Turin created a business plan for an optometry clinic in Sandy and submitted it to CitiBank’s Boots to Business competition.

“I knew all along that I wanted to come back to Sandy,” Turin said. “And I saw a need for a family friendly eye care practice in Sandy.”

Out of 150 applicants, seven individuals were selected to fly to Long Beach, Calif., for a conference. During the conference, Turin presented a 15-minute business pitch to CitiBank investors.

Turin took second place in the competition and received $15,000.

While Turin is finishing up his time stationed at the Womack Army Medical Center in Fort Bragg, N.C., his family is working to make the business ready.

Mt. Hood Eyecare will be located next to Chinook Falls Dental Clinic on Industrial Way. Turin’s wife has been getting help from family to prepare the new business.

The space has undergone construction in preparation for the future opening. Kim said the building is nowhere near ready yet, but she can visualize its potential. The Turins hope to be open and accepting patients by May.by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Tony Turin, his wife Kim, their son Micaiah, 4, and daughter Jamela, 2.

Kim, who has experience working for a local private practice, is eager to get started.

“She’ll be the assistant and make the money, and I’ll just see the patients,” Tony said.

Kim and Tony have two children, Micaiah, 4, and Jamela, 2. When asked how they are doing being away from their dad, Turin replied they are simply enjoying being back in Sandy, close to their grandparents.

“We definitely consider Oregon our home,” he said.

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