The A Soldier’s Smile events are designed to assist active soldiers and veterans in getting the dental care they require but might otherwise be ineligible for. Select cosmetic dentists of the Academy of Comprehensive Esthetics (ACE) will be donating their time, expertise and resources to provide our troops with restorative and cosmetic dentistry treatments that help them smile with confidence.
The A Soldier’s Smile events are funded entirely by private corporations, sponsors, and the ACE dentists that are involved. Any donations received will go directly to the Fisher House.
The Fisher House program is a unique private-public partnership that supports America’s military in their time of need.
ACE is a community of dedicated dental professionals who strive to provide excellent patient care and who, through education, camaraderie, sharing of information and mentoring both in person and online, help each other succeed in the business of dentistry and life.
The A Soldier’s Smile events are intended to supplement the efforts provided by the Veteran’s Administration (VA), the most comprehensive system of assistance for veterans of any nation in the world.
VA health care facilities provide a broad spectrum of medical, surgical, and rehabilitative care.
The Veteran’s Administration does a great deal to help our troops but there are still laws in place that have restrictions on providing health care for veterans based on their condition in or out of service and their income level.
The VA provides a multitude of services to our troops however private organizations such as ACE can work to supplement the VA’s efforts to provide assistance to our vets.
It is the goal of the A Soldier’s Smile events to help these servicemen and women that are ineligible and to bring awareness to the fact that many troops require additional care.
Why Our Troops Need Our Help
The projected veteran population in the United States is over 22 million. Many of these vets served our country in WWII, the Korean Conflict, the Gulf War, Vietnam, and as recently as the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Although these vets have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and disciplinary skills, many have troops have trouble assimilating back into civilian life. This unfortunate fact is highlighted by the large number of veterans who are unemployed, making up over 8% of this population.
Vets & Homelessness
United States veterans do not always come back to their homes with an easy transition back to civilian life. This may be part of the reason that approximately 1/3 of homeless adults in this country are veterans. Some estimates suggest that there are 500,000 to 840,000 veterans that are homeless at some point during the year. Many of these vets were stationed in war zones, have served in the Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and most have served our country for at least three years.
Vets & Suicide
Suicide Statistics 2011 (approximate rates):
- 1% of Americans have served in the military—yet, 20% of suicides in the U.S. are former service members.
- For the second year in a row, the U.S. military has lost more troops to suicide than it has to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- New 2011 Pentagon study found that the rate of hospitalizations among soldiers for suicidal thoughts skyrocketed 7,000 percent in the last five years.
The ACE cause
The ACE dental association is not merely providing free and discounted dental care to our vets and active troops to promote our own cause.
We are actively making a difference in the lives of our troops and hoping that the national awareness we are bringing to this cause will compel other businesses, organizations, and individuals to do the same.
It is our sincere belief that if we do our part to help the lives of our active troops and vets we can make their return better and perhaps work together to reduce and eventually eliminate healthcare limitations, homelessness and suicide rates amongst people who have given so much to our country and the freedoms we enjoy.
100 percent of the donations the website receives will go directly to the Fisher House and their efforts to support American soldiers. The other proceeds are funded entirely by private contributions by corporate sponsors and the individual dentists that are involved in the charity.