Free dental services a hit with Billings veterans

Posted at 3:40 PM, Nov 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-12 17:40:03-05

BILLINGS- An enthusiastic rendition of God Bless America rang through the waiting room at Winterholler Dentistry Friday as elementary school students sang for veterans who crowded the clinic for free dental work.

Winterholler donated an entire day’s worth of dental work for veterans in the Billings area. The event was called Make a Smile Great Again.

The children’s artwork plastered the walls in patriotic messages and their voices contributed to the spirit of camaraderie and giving that filled the clinic’s halls.

IGA, Fuddruckers and Coca-Cola also combined to donate refreshments for the day.

In the back of the office, a makeshift barber shop was set up in the denture lab and stylists from Ballistic Barbershop gave free haircuts to those in need as they waited.

Jason Patch, Winterholler dentistry administrator, said that people had been calling, asking to volunteer and in some cases walking in off the street to offer time to the cause.

Timothy Brown, a Vietnam War veteran, showed up early Friday morning and still found himself number 26 in line. He said this type of service was great for veterans.

“It means a lot really, and I have noticed over the last few years there are more and more things being recognized on Veterans Day. You know, like free restaurant (meals) and different types of things, but something like this is just unreal special that somebody would do this much for the veteran group. It really is,” said Brown.

By mid-morning more than 60 people had either been served or were awaiting treatment with more walking through the door every few minutes.

If anyone missed out on Make a Smile Great Again, Winterholler is hoping to do the event twice a year with services being available to veterans and active service members on Memorial Day and around Veterans Day.

Reporting by Connor Pregizer for MTN News