Lake Oconee Dentistry will be hosting Stars, Stripes and Smiles, a free day of dentistry for active and retired military, as well as law enforcement, firefighters, DNR and EMS personnel on Saturday, Nov. 9.

Drs. David and Patti Bradley, Dr. Shelly Pound, Dr. Andrea Feldman and Dr. Jamie Austin, as well as Lake Oconee Dentistry hygienists, dental assistants and other team members, will provide event attendees with their choice of a free extraction, filling or cleaning that day.  Dr. David Miller, an oral surgeon and owner of Lake Oconee Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center, will also be donating his time in order to help as many people as possible. 

Of the 21 million veterans in the United States, fewer than 10 million are enrolled for US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health benefits, and more than 1.2 million lack health insurance altogether. This gap is even more pronounced when it comes to dental care because the VA only provides dental benefits to veterans classified as disabled or as a prisoner of war — or as veterans who have a service-connected dental condition.

Lake Oconee Dentistry has hosted a free day of dentistry for veterans and active military for the last two years. This year, the practice is expanding the event to also include the hometown heroes — law enforcement, firefighters, DNR and EMS personnel — who work daily to keep our local communities safe.

Stars, Stripes & Smiles also seeks to connect veterans and law enforcement personnel with helpful community resources. This year, the Rotary Club of Greene and Putnam County will be on hand with information on its Pets Love Vets program. The program seeks to heal the emotional wounds of military veterans by pairing them with a rescue dog from the Oconee Regional Humane Society specifically selected to match the veteran’s personality. The Pets Love Vets program covers the cost of the dog’s adoption, initial veterinarian visit and training. Any veteran in the area who could benefit from having a companion animal and is able to care for an animal is eligible.

Additionally, Lake Oconee Dentistry will have signed copies of “Surviving the Shadows: A Journey of Hope into Post Traumatic Stress” available that day. The book is written by lake area resident Bob Delaney, owner of Delaney Consultants, a former state trooper and undercover operative who experienced PTSD himself. The book seeks to help people understand and identify the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the impact it has on the individual and the ripple effect to family and friends.

“This event is really a great example of a business going above and beyond to support our nation’s heroes,” says Delaney. “We live in the land of the free because of the brave. Hats off to Lake Oconee Dentistry for reaching out to these brave men and women, while also seeking to connect them with other helpful community resources.”

"Oftentimes those who serve our country and communities are, unfortunately, among the most under-served when it comes to healthcare,” said Dr. David Bradley. “Stars, Stripes and Smiles is our way of honoring those who have given — and continue to give — so much to ensure our safety and make this country what it is today.”

If you are a veteran or hometown hero and are interested in receiving free dental treatment on Nov. 9, call the office at 706-453-1333 for an appointment time. Lake Oconee Dentistry is located off Highway 44 in Greensboro, between the Publix parking lot and the movie theater.

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