For veterans in need of dental care, the VA in most cases is not an option but thanks to Aspen Dental and the organization Got Your 6, help is at hand for those who need it with the third annual Healthy Mouth Movement.
Over the past two years, the effort has provided care to individuals in 30 states offering nearly $4 million in dental care and education. Without this program many veterans would simply suffer though and not be able to receive the care they need.
In order for a military veteran to receive dental care, they must be considered to have been 100 percent disabled while in the service, received injuries that created their dental issues while on active duty or have been a prisoner of war.
Clearly there needed to be something done to help these brave men and women who have devoted a portion of their lives to protecting the nation and Aspen Dental and Got Your 6 have stepped up to do just that.
In a recent interview, Dr. Jere Gillan of Aspen Dental, a veteran of the United States Air Force and Bill Rausch, Executive Director at Got Your 6, former Army Major with over ten years of service including 17 months in Iraq, spoke of the services that they are trying to offer to veterans.
“As part of the national Got Your 6 campaign we have hundreds of thousands of veterans on board and as you know the phrase Got Your 6 in the military means I’ve got your back. That is why we are fired up to partner with Aspen Dental and the doc here because they’ve got the back of every veteran who needs dental care,” Rausch said.
When it comes to providing the dental care needed, Aspen Dental is taking the unique approach of literally bringing the care to the vets by use of what they are calling the Mouth Mobile.
“We are going to spend the next few months traveling the country and we are going to hit 30 states for sure and what we have is a dental office on wheels called the Mouth Mobile,” Dr. Gillan said. “We are bringing it to your neighborhood, we are setting up shop and we are out to get veterans fixed if they have some sort of problem in their mouth, we’re there to take care of them.”
Along with the Mouth Mobile, there will be a Day of Service providing free dental care for those in need at Aspen Dental offices across the country.
Information on specific locations and schedule where the Mouth Mobile will be and on the Day of Service can be found at the Healthy Mouth Movement website.
The care being offered is intended to assist the veterans with dental problems, but according to Bill Rausch, by helping a single individual the impact can be much more wide ranging.
“Veterans like William Bell who didnt feel confident to leave his home, he is a fellow Iraq war veteran … after the amazing care from Aspen Dental and the team he not only could leave his home but he is empowered to lead and stand up in his own community,” Rausch said. “It starts with dental care but this is really about empowering veterans and strengthening communities across the country.”
In the past two years, the Healthy Mouth Movement has provided care to over 7,000 veterans and the program only continues to grow with each year it takes place
As part of the program, there is also a fund raising portion that intended to help the Got Your 6 organization in providing assistance to veterans with the “Smile For Vets” initiative.
All that it takes is a picture of you smiling and a few minutes posting it to Instagram or tweeting it out on Twitter and using the hash tags #Smile4Vets #Sweepstakes. Or for those who do not use Instagram or Twitter, they can still post a photo by going to the website www.smile4vets.com.
Not only will the photo be posted, but for each tweet on Twitter, post on Instagram or entry at the Smile 4 Vets website, $1 will be donated to Got Your 6 by Aspen Dental. An added bonus is that everyone posting the picture and entering the contest could win a meet and greet with NASCAR driver Danica Patrick for themselves and a guest at an upcoming race. Patrick is one of the many public figures joining in to help advance the program to help vets and to promote the Got Your 6 organization.
For more information about the Healthy Mouth Movement, on how to get help and to see the schedule of the Day of Service and where the Mouth Mobile will be, go to Aspen Dental and to Got Your 6 to see just how they are helping veterans every day.