Honoring Our Military

Author: Dr. David Dickerhoff, DDS, MAGD, FOCOI

I was watching the evening news the other night and noticed that our Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense were sitting down with President Zelensky of Ukraine in order to shore up relations between our two countries. They cut to a side story where these dignitaries were visiting with troops from the 82d Airborne Division while they were deployed in support of Ukraine in their war against the Russian invasion. As we get ready to enter into the month of May and the observation of Memorial Day, I marveled at the fact that soldiers from my hometown were serving so far away from their home and loved ones. I was sitting down to dinner once again in the safety of my home and eating dinner with my loved ones while these soldiers were in the field and facing constant danger.

The commitment that Spring Lake Dental Group makes to accept military insurance as well as military retiree insurance has never wavered in the 25 years of our existence. We feel it is a huge privilege to take care of military members, their families and retirees and their families. We also work with the Veteran’s Administration to treat veterans with their oral health needs.

I can tell you that I have whole departments staffed with multiple team members that are tasked to understand and work with military and veteran insurance programs.  This is a huge undertaking that is not without its frustrations and difficulties. But we remain committed to our core philosophy of supporting those who serve us.  I have had retired military Colonels who have left my practice because they felt that working for the compensation that military insurance gives them does not measure up to what they could make in a fee for service practice. While I agree with their premise, I wonder how they view their position based upon the fact that military service gave them their education and training as well as a nice retirement paycheck for the rest of their life. I served my country for 14 years before leaving the service. But I was able to achieve two residencies as well as work under the mentorship of some amazing dentists during my tours. It is a great country that we live in and I hope that during this year’s Memorial Day celebrations, you will think about the sacrifices made by service members, past and present.