Soldier to Soldier: Dentist Gives the Gift of a Smile to Military Veterans
TUPELO, Miss., Nov. 10, 2018
TUPELO, Miss., Nov. 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Larry Killough is looking forward to smiling again. The 65-year-old Army Veteran from Tupelo, Miss., says, "It hurts me to smile because I'm so embarrassed, and to be able to smile again and to be in public with my children and not be embarrassed is something I can't wait to have."
Killough will soon have his smile again, thanks to fellow Army Veteran Dr. Abby Raymond, whose Affordable Dentures & Implants practice in Tupelo has dedicated Monday, Nov. 12, the official U.S. observance of Veterans Day, to provide free dental care to 20 military veterans (the veterans have been pre-screened and have scheduled appointments for the day).
Dr. Raymond, who served in Afghanistan with the 4th Combat Brigade Team of the 101st Airborne Division and 7th Special Forces Group, remains a member of the Army National Guard, and has a deep and personal mission to give back to fellow veterans, many of whom do not have health benefits that cover dental care.
"I don't have the means right now to have dental work done," explains Killough. "Very few people would do this and Dr. Raymond, from the first time I met him, is someone very truly special. I can't explain how much this means to me to have my front tooth fixed so I can smile. He always said to me that he just wanted to 'do the right thing' and I am so appreciative."
"My family has a tradition of service in the military and I'm continuing that tradition now as a dentist to help make a positive impact in the lives of the veterans who sacrificed so much for our country," explains Dr. Raymond, who trained as a dentist through the U.S. Army Health Professions Scholarship Program. "Helping my fellow veterans is the least I can do, and I am honored to be in their presence and to serve them."
In addition to Killough, 19 other veterans, including a Korean War vet, will benefit from free dental care planned for Dr. Raymond's Nov. 12 "Operation Make Veterans Smile". The care provided will include teeth extractions, dentures, implant surgery, with implants donated by Sterngold LLC, a manufacturer of dental implants and mini-implants, and bone grafting – all specialized treatments performed daily by Dr. Raymond at his practice.
"I haven't been to the dentist in 30 years," explains Thomas Ginn, whose service in the U.S. Air Force from 1965 to 1986 included the Vietnam War. Ginn, who is retired and serves as Commander of VFW Post 4057 in Tupelo, adds, "Dr. Raymond is a super individual, dedicated to our community and dedicated to serving veterans. A lot of our veterans don't have a dental plan, and Dr. Raymond helps them in any way possible. Knowing he is available is a great comfort to our veterans. Dr. Raymond is a true veteran."
Roger Peloquin, a 20-year Navy vet, who served from 1960 to 1980, including the Vietnam War, where his service ranged from Vietnamese language school to training recruits as a military advisor, will also benefit from Dr. Raymond's dental care on Veterans Day.
"I had throat cancer and lost my bottom teeth," he explains. "My benefits don't cover dental care and Dr. Raymond said he wanted to make sure he took care of me. He is not only a fantastic dentist, but he is a fantastic person who puts his heart into what he does. It's not just a job for him."
About Affordable Dentures & Implants®
Founded in 1975, Affordable Dentures & Implants® today is the largest network of providers concentrating on denture and implant services in the U.S., with more than 260 affiliated practices in the U.S. Each affiliated practice is individually owned and operated by a licensed, general dentist to provide dentures and implants crafted to each patient's treatment needs, delivered with the highest levels of professionalism and care. More than seven million patients have received services from an Affordable Dentures & Implants®-affiliated practice. For more information about Affordable Dentures & Implants®, visit www.affordabledentures.com. To learn more about dental practice ownership and career opportunities, visit careers.affordabledentures.com.
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SOURCE Affordable Dentures & Implants