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Dentists stand up for veterans at Stand Down in San Diego

July 16, 2012 |  8:18 am

173180.ME.0713.VETS.03.RRC (1)

Twenty-five years ago, the first Stand Down was held in San Diego to help homeless Vietnam veterans. The movement has now swept the country, with dozens of similar Stand Downs in big cities and smaller communities to help all veterans.

In San Diego, this year's three-day event, which ended Sunday night, brought 1,050 veterans seeking assistance for a variety of issues.

In recent years, dental care has become increasingly important. Some 379 teeth were pulled by Navy and civilian dentists this year. Many of the veterans had gone years without dental care, living with the pain of rotten teeth, often unable to eat.


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Photo: Vietnam veteran John Gardinier, who had seven teeth extracted at Stand Down. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times