Adopt a Vet News
September 15, 2021
From AAVD Patient to Volunteer — Tiffany Swisher Receives Max E. Lambert Outstanding Volunteer Award
Reno, Nev. — Adopt a Vet Dental Program presented the Max E. Lambert Outstanding Volunteer Award to former patient Tiffany Swisher for her selfless service to veterans in Nevada.
Swisher has been a volunteer with Adopt a Vet for four years. Her journey with AAVD started as a patient. Swisher was diagnosed with adult-onset epilepsy, and the medication prescribed to manage her illness caused severe damage to her teeth. Her parents took out a $10,000 loan so she could get crowns on her most broken teeth. Swisher was desperate for a solution.
“When you’re a woman, you can do everything to make yourself as pretty and cute as possible, but if your smile is broken, none of that matters,” Swisher said. She was exhausted using all her energy to try not to smile. It took a toll on her emotional health.
“I eventually lost hope. When I found Adopt a Vet, I thought it was too good to be true,” Swisher said. Swisher went through the AAVD program in 2017. She has volunteered ever since.
“The transformation I went through I now get to see others go through,” Swisher said. “I am so incredibly thankful for what AAVD did for me, but then I think about the other thousands of veterans waiting for care. They’re forgotten. They need this program. We have to reach them.”
AAVD’s vision is to get veterans out of pain, restore their smiles, and get them back into the community working or volunteering their time. This vision is realized in Swisher.
The award Swisher received is named after AAVD President and Founder Linda Haigh’s father, WWII veteran Sgt. Max E. Lambert. Sgt. Lambert was a crewman on the first Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) Squadron — the 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron. This squadron saved hundreds of lives during WWII. Sgt. Lambert received the Asian Pacific Campaign medal, Army of Occupation medal, Victory medal, American Campaign medal, and the Good Conduct medal.
“The unit Sgt. Lambert served in was a volunteer search and rescue unit — the first of its kind. This unit in WWII is what all other search and rescue units in every other branch of the armed forces are currently based on,” said Executive Director Deme Gonzalez. “The men didn’t know what they were signing up for, and many gave their lives to recover their brothers. It is this spirit of volunteerism we are acknowledging in Tiffany today.”
Gonzalez said that going forward, this award will be given each year to a member of the community who selflessly serves veterans.
September 8, 2021
Community Honors Korean War Veteran
Carson City, Nev. — Adopt a Vet Dental Program is calling on members of the community to thank Korean War veteran Robert Rumbaugh for his service by participating in a vehicle parade. Attendees are encouraged to decorate their vehicles to show their gratitude and meet Sept. 8 at 9:30 a.m. at Bully’s Sports Bar and Grill: 3530 N. Carson St. Carson City, NV 89706.
Rumbaugh’s daughter, Kelly, reports that as he is approaching his final days, he keeps repeating, “No one ever said thank you.” AAVD is organizing an event to change that.
“This is why Adopt a Vet exists — to thank veterans,” Deme Gonzalez, Executive Director of AAVD said. “We thank veterans by providing free dental care for those who qualify and now we have the honor of thanking Mr. Rumbaugh with a parade.”
July 11, 2021
Adopt a Vet Dental Program Celebrates Becoming a Statewide Program
Las Vegas, Nev. — Adopt a Vet Dental Program is excited to announce they will be opening a second program location in Las Vegas, Nevada, becoming a statewide resource for low-income veterans in need of dental care. This achievement will be marked with a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 12 at 8:30 a.m. in partnership with the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce at 2955 East Sunset Road, Suite 101, Las Vegas, NV 89120-2725.
“We are so excited to now be serving veterans in the whole state of Nevada,” Deme Gonzalez, Executive Director of AAVD said. “As a retired Navy Corpsman, I know how critical access to dental care is for the overall health of a person and due to the gaps in our system, it’s something many veterans — especially those on fixed incomes — can’t afford.”
Join AAVD as they commemorate the growth of their program with this ribbon cutting.
“I set out to start AAVD after discovering 60 veterans living in subsidized housing in Reno in need of emergency dental care. Now, we have served more than 1,450 veterans in 14 counties. This number will only grow. It’s been an honor to serve them,” Linda Haigh, President and Founder of AAVD said.
AAVD’s mission is to give free critical and life-saving dental care to impoverished veterans in Nevada. For the last eleven years, AAVD’s 130 providers have donated more than $7 million in care. Equipped with new smiles, veterans are able to continue their legacy of service by actively participating in their communities.