Adopt A Veteran
Let me introduce myself, my name is William Ghent. I was born in Oakland California in 1951, I lived in San Lorenzo for 16 years and then we moved to Pleasanton in 1966 where I finished my high school years. In 1971 my lottery number was seven so I volunteered for 3yrs in the Army and was honorably discharged in 1974. After that sheet metal work (HVAC) was my trade for 25 years.
Moving forward, in 2010 we got caught up in the housing crunch and foreclosure forced the loss of a 3 bedroom house in Fremont Ca. Losing everything including my relationship with my best friend and soulmate. This downhill spiral eventually lead me to living in my car and then to Abode, a shelter that was veteran preferred. It was here that I found out about the VTC (Veterans Transition Center) in Marina Ca. it was a 2-year program. They also offered dental care which I desperately needed.
In 2013 oral surgery was required to remove an extra bone in my jaw so dentures would fit. This eventually ended with a set of dentures that did not fit properly. I have been without teeth for 7 years now. Eating food is a problem, I feel embarrassed in public where first impressions make a big difference, and going out for dinner just doesn’t work anymore. Then there’s the mental stress that exacerbates all the previous problems. About 8 months ago I found out about Dentistry for vets a group of wonderful doctors and dentists who want to help get veterans teeth that work.
At this time my upper and lower teeth are complete and the next thing is the implants. We are a little short on funding for this next procedure and that is why we are reaching out to you for your donations.
Thank you W. Ghent
Carrie Ann Huddleston
Born May 7, 1972 in Southern California, I spent much of my childhood in Arizona and Northern California until I entered the US Navy at the age of 18. I served during Desert Storm and aboard the USS Lexington out of Pensicola, Florida, as an Aviation Ground Support Specialist, and proudly participated in the decommission of the historical aircraft carrier. I continued my service at a Helicopter Squadron as a Plane Captain until honorable discharge. I have been awarded 70% service-connected disability due to military sexual traumas during my enlistment. I became focused in social work, specifically focused in mental health issues, and diligently spent the last 20 years providing care and support to other veterans, sexual trauma and domestic violence survivors, and persistently mentally ill clients. I’ve obtained 2 Associate degrees in human services and medical assisting, and was ultimately awarded my Bachelor’s Degree from Portland State University in Behavioral Sciences the same week my oldest child graduated high school. I currently work at the Veterans Transition Center in Marina, CA, proudly serving as the Re-Entry Case Manager, serving homeless veterans coming straight out of long-term incarcerations. I am a very proud mother of 3 adult children and am excitedly anticipating becoming a first-time grandparent this summer. I enjoy the beach immensely, and spend my self-care hours snorkeling, swimming, biking or hiking with my beloved Boston Terrier, Buda, who survived cancer this summer.
The Dentistry4vets not-for-profit organization is a true god-send, and often the only option for necessary dental care for struggling veterans. This organization is the light at the end of a very, very dark tunnel for me. A tunnel that I never thought never had an end. Every day for the last 26 years, I have looked in the mirror and been reminded of a very traumatic and violent first marriage. Unfortunately, as an often struggling single-mother, dental care was not a necessity for me, even as I wept and tried to hide my missing and broken teeth. I’ve lost jobs, friends, intimate partnerships and many, many opportunities because of my missing teeth. It wasn’t until I became affiliated with VTC and ultimately Dentistry4Vets, that I learned there was a passionate, non-judgmental driving force of dental professionals who were willing to help desperate veterans with their dental needs. I have been accepted by kind professionals who are sincerely dedicated to helping others “look pretty again.” They empathetically understand that people’s severe dental needs don’t dictate an anti-social personality, lack of professional career, or past addictions. With the skills, support, and respect of Dentistry4Vets, I am once again able to sit in a dental chair without having an anxiety attack. I can finally and happily look forward to people seeing how pretty my smile used to be. I can’t thank this group of dedicated gentlemen enough.