August 26, 2019
by 1st Lt. Andrew Layton, 110th Wing
Individuals clad in blue and gray scrubs are moving among two rows of dental chairs; sounds of dental drills pierce the air with their distinctive whine. It’s a typical enough scene for any dental clinic except, in this case, there’s nothing ordinary about it.
This is Appalachian Care 2019, a unique U.S. military training mission sponsored by the Innovative Readiness Training program, which falls under the Department of Defense’s Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Reserve Integration. Started in 1994, the IRT unites service members from multiple service branches to test deployment readiness in a hands-on setting with the serendipitous byproduct of no-cost health care for U.S. publics in need. From Aug. 18-26, approximately 130 medical specialists with Appalachian Care are operating at the fairgrounds of Wise County, Virginia, providing dental, optometry, veterinary and general medical care for anyone.
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