Having served in the U.S. Army, Dr. John Shillingburg always has had a soft spot for fellow veterans. So, it’s no surprise when the board certified oral and maxillofacial specialist and owner of Flower Mound’s DFW Oral Surgeons agreed to assist a fellow soldier. On May 4, Shillingburg will be part of a team rehabilitating the entire mouth of fellow DFW resident Christopher Coker. The approximately eight-hour surgery will be Shillingburg’s first under a program called “Operation Restore Oral Health”. The ministry was started a couple of years ago by fellow oral and maxillofacial surgeon Ray Lee, with whom Shillingburg worked while on a joint 2005-2009 assignment at hospitals at Virginia’s Fort Eustis and Langley Air Force Base. Lee connected Shillingburg with Wayne Kyle, father of “American Sniper” Chris Kyle and Shillingburg was asked to lead the North Texas efforts to help people like Coker, a Marine who served two tours of duty in Vietnam. Christopher is now the proud grandfather of Cameron!
Cpl. Sam Washington suffered a traumatic brain injury while on active duty in Afghanistan. He lost his two upper front teeth during the incident. Operation Restore Oral Health restored his smile and hope with dental implants.
Col. Stanford Polonsky is the only living veteran from Charlie Company, 82nd Airborne. He is the first donor in support of Operation Restore Oral Health.