TAMPA, Fla. - A former Air Force veteran is on a mission to help her band of brothers by helping to brighten up their smiles.
Altierus Career College dental instructor Eurika Peebles gives hands-on training in the Bayshore Dental Center Mobile Dental Van in Tampa. She's been a dental hygienist for 15 years.
While sitting home during the pandemic, the Air Force veteran came up with an idea to help her comrades. Now she offers free dental care to vets who don't qualify through the V.A.
"Because what we've done for the country, we've served our country, and I feel like now we need to serve them. And this is a way that I want to try to contribute to serve them is by actually trying to connect them with some dentist is willing to do some volunteer dental care," she explained.
Peebles calls her non-profit Operation Combat Smiles. She started it last year.
"The dentist will do the full exam and diagnose what type of cleaning they need. And I'm willing to do the cleaning part. And then the dentist, at their own discretion can decide what type of restorative or how much restorative they want to donate to them," she said.
Peebles feels strongly about giving back to vets because of her family's rich history of military service.
"I was in the military. My grandmother, my mom said she was Army. She did 20 plus years. My father, who is deceased, he was Air Force. I have a couple of his brothers who were also Army. And my youngest sister, she was Army Reserve," Peebles said.
She hopes others will see the benefits of helping military veterans.
"Veterans have, you know, put their lives on the line. They've put their life on hold and just to serve our country. And I think we need to give back to them."
She's giving back smiles to the faces of those who have made the sacrifice to serve their country. For information on how to help, email firstname.lastname@example.org.