JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Donald Dishner, a Navy vetteran from Erwin, Tennessee was selected from a pool of more than 20 applicants to receive free oral surgery.
Dr. Matthew Sherban said the program is a way to serve local veterans in the community.
“I served in the Navy for eight years. I’ve always had a heart for veterans and wanting to serve local veterans in our communities,” Sherban said.
Dishner said the procedure – with an estimated $50,000 value – will be life-changing.
“This is definitely life-changing,” Dishner said. “It’s something that’s not taken for granted. I’ll definitely say that it’s going to mean a lot. I never thought any of this [would] be possible.”
Dishner told Nexstar’s News Channel 11 that he found the program while searching for teeth surgery options.
“Never in a million years. Never. I mean, it was just a hope and a prayer. I fell upon it. Like I told them, I accidentally came upon and I was looking for ways to get the teeth fixed, and I saw it and I figured why not? Let’s give it a shot.”
Dr. Sherban said he hopes to hold the Smiles For Veterans program yearly.
“We interviewed dozens and dozens of applicants, and it was really hard to pick just one,” Dr. Sherban said. “We wanted to help out a lot more, but in our Smiles for Veterans program, we’re looking forward to doing this hopefully on a yearly basis to keep helping more people as time goes on.”