Deryck Pham D.D.S., was a Lieutenant in the US Navy, serving a tour as a combat dentist during Operation Iraqi Freedom on the ground in the deserts of Iraq. After leaving the military and joining private practice, he has a new mission – to help his fellow veterans.
Veteran’s Smile Day was founded in 2012 as a 501 (C)3 nonprofit, to offer veterans free dental care. As a nonprofit, their mission is to not only provide oral care for veterans, but also to recruit dental professionals and corporate sponsorships to help fill in that void by “Serving Those Who’ve Served”. Last year’s annual event, usually held around Veterans Day, provided over $60,000 in free dental services to 120 veterans.
Pham’s additional thoughts:
- I started Veteran’s Smile Day because in the US, there are almost 19 million veterans and over 90% of them do not qualify for any kind of dental care through the Veterans Administration. Our veterans deserve better oral health care. My goal is to have all dentists across the country volunteer to at least once a year to really make a difference in the lives of our veterans.
- During our annual Veterans Smile Weekend, hundreds of dental offices across the country open their doors to treat veterans at no cost. Everything from exams, fillings, root canals, cleanings and extractions are all provided free of charge.