Darrel’s income and lack of dental coverage made him a candidate for the Community Smile Project. Although he is a veteran, having served in the Air Force for over 20 years, and has access to dentists through the Veterans Administration (VA), he readily admits they make him nervous.

“The VA is improving its quality of medical care, but I have a phobia of their dentists,” says Darrel. “A few years after being discharged from the Marine Corps, a friend of mine went to a VA dentist. His situation was like mine – he needed considerable work done – but instead they extracted all his teeth and gave him dentures,” explains Darrel. “The dentures never fit right so when we’d go out to eat, he would take them out. Of course that limited what he could eat, which added to my aversion of VA dentists.”

When he was selected to receive free treatment, SFE Foundation Executive Director Crystal Strait referred Darrel to Dr. Viet Dinh at the Newport Dental office in Westminster, Calif. During seven visits over two months, Dr. Dinh and his team provided Darrel with a cleaning, extractions, fillings, crowns and partials.

“These folks were so generous to donate their time to give me treatment,” says Darrel.

The team at Newport Dental all agreed, it was very rewarding to be able to help someone who is so gracious and served our country so well.