Recently, we had the honor of working with Kris Kane; Retired Marine and father of two lovely daughters. He was chosen to participate in our Smiles for FREEdom event where we donate our time and expertise to help our veterans who may not be able to afford dental care. We sat down with him to ask him a few questions about his recent experience and see how he was enjoying his new smile!
Q. So Kris, how are you enjoying and adjusting to your new smile?
A. My new teeth are working out great and I love walking around smiling at people now!
Q. When and how long did you serve in the Marine Corps?
A. I served from 2001-2009.
Q. What was your rank/official title?
A. I was a Sergeant E-5 when I discharged
Q. What was the most significant part of being a member of the Marine Corps?
A. The most significant part is the brotherhood and relationships forged while serving and afterward. You don't get that anywhere else. I know that a Marine has my back and I'm sure most will be there to take action in any situation. Even men and women I don't know, I know if they're a Marine they're going to help… especially living in a Military town. It's like have an extra handful of first responders at the ready at all times.
Q. Was being a part of the military one of the reasons why you ended up losing teeth over the years?
A. Yes and no, I grew up extremely poor and sometimes homeless. I didn't get much dental care or habits in my youth. By the time I got to the Corps at 21 some of them were in rough shape. So they pulled and never replaced. Throughout my 8 year career that's what they did. I didn't know any better otherwise. I just endured and worried about my Marine Corps duties. There was not a single time I was giving a dental education, treatment plan, or heard one person give a damn. In fact it was quite stressful, especially on a young Marine to get dental treatment. I did get a bridge done but that was because a Navy Commanders wife got her hair done by my girlfriend at the time and I had some strings pulled (instead of teeth lol).
Q. Why did you finally seek out dental care?
A. My teeth and situation had deteriorated so bad I was in rough shape and started feeling like time was running out. A friend I knew suggested I ask for help and the very same day I did the Semper Fi fund told me of your Veterans Day event. Well they didn't tell me anything exactly; they just said they want to take a look. So not knowing what to expect I drove up and was obviously blown away by what has happened since.
Q. What does your new smile mean to you?
A. My smile means I get to keep going. It changes the future to all new possibilities. My kids are my whole life so now I feel like they don't have to be ashamed of me and I can be fully confident in smiling at them when they do something amazing.
Q. How does having a great smile affect your life currently?
A. I love it because now I can apply for any job and crush it knowing I got a Great Smile!
Smiles for FREEdom is a nationwide 501c3 organization that was started in Reno, Nevada to aid, assist, and encourage local dental offices to provide free dental services to the veterans and service men and women in our Armed Forces. If you know of local Veterans like Kris who are in need of dental care, we would love the opportunity to help! Please have them contact our office for more details. (949) 498-4110.