Joan Laura knew she wanted to do something to really show military members how much she appreciates their service for their country.
So the Syracuse dentist — Dr. Laura, as her patients lovingly and pleasingly call her — decided to set aside one day of her practice at the Eastwood Dental Office in Syracuse where any veteran can receive care for free. This year’s day for them to visit is Tuesday, Nov. 11, starting bright and early, at 7 a.m., the better to fit in as many patients as possible. This will be the third year for this campaign.
Yes, that’s Veterans Day.
“Awhile back, a lot of dentists treated people for free on Valentine’s Day,’ Dr. Laura said in an email interview, adding that many people in her profession like to help people who may not otherwise receive dental care.
But she got the idea to concentrate on military veterans because her late father, dentist Dr. John Laura, served in the Korean War, and her grandfather, Anthony Ross, served in World War I.
The veterans can receive a cleaning, a filling, or an extraction. They need only bring with them proof that they served, and then fill out a short medical history form. Dr. Laura says she’d like to treat more than the 32 patients that visited her office last year. Interesting military veterans can call her office at 315-438-3333 for information.
“Dad instilled a great love for this country and a great sense of patriotism in all of his four children,” Dr. Laura says. “I support the military in any way I am able. … It is a small token of appreciation compared to what they have done for me and my country.
“My only regret is that I thought of this after Dad passed away,” she said. “He never saw me doing this. If he were here today, I know he would be in the office all day long, talking to the vets and sharing stories.”
Dr. Laura says she hears the appreciation and the thank you’s.
Her advice to anybody else contemplating a big move to give back or pay it forward?
“Just do it,” Dr. Laura says.
Here’s the link for Dr. Laura’s site, which includes her photo above.
What are some of the best ways you’ve heard of giving back to military personnel? Does this inspire you to think about a give-back plan, and what might that be? What will you be doing on Nov. 11?