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Guardsman opens private dental practice to Airmen

Lt. Col. (Dr.) Simon Nguyen, the Chief of Dental Services with the178th Medical Group, teaches Airmen about how to achieve complete oral health at Springfield-Beckley Air Guard Station in Ohio, April 7, 2018. Ngyuen volunteered some of his personal time to complete dental exams on Airmen from the 123rd Air Control Squadron, Blue Ash, Ohio.

Lt. Col. (Dr.) Simon Nguyen, the Chief of Dental Services with the178th Medical Group, teaches Airmen about how to achieve complete oral health at Springfield-Beckley Air Guard Station in Ohio, April 7, 2018. Ngyuen volunteered some of his personal time to complete dental exams on Airmen from the 123rd Air Control Squadron, Blue Ash, Ohio. He opened up his private dental practice to accommodate these Airmen to achieve readiness standards. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Elisabeth Gelhar)

SPRINGFIELD-BECKLEY AIR GUARD STATION, Ohio --

Over the past several months, Lt. Col. (Dr.) Simon Nguyen, the Chief of Dental Services with the178th Medical Group, has volunteered some of his personal time to complete dental exams on Airmen from the 123rd Air Control Squadron, Blue Ash, Ohio.

Nguyen opened up his private dental office in Fairfield, Ohio to serve Airmen from the 123rd to ensure they met the readiness standards of the U.S. Air Force.

Logistic issues created more of a challenge for 123rd members trying to fulfill readiness requirements. Nguyen helped solve this problem by opening his doors to more than 19 members, both helping serve and meet the needs of the Wing as well as taking care of the members’ oral health.

 
The 178th Wing base dental surgeon is located only 15 miles from the 123rd Air Control Squadron, saving members the three hour trip to and from Springfield.

 
“I know it is tough for them to get up here” said Nguyen, “and I am fortunately down that way.”

Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Nguyen recalls being one of the lucky ones to be evacuated by the U.S. Marine Corps in 1975, and shipped to Guam by the U.S. Navy. He and his family were later flown to Camp Pendleton, San Diego and ultimate settled in San Antonio, Texas.

 
“I have always had an affinity to serve in the United States Armed Forces” said Nguyen, which he credits to his experience as a child.

Several years later upon completion of dental school, Nguyen commissioned on November 4th, 2000 with the Air National Guard.

Nguyen not only goes above and beyond the call to help his brothers and sisters in arms but also volunteers with the Ohio Dental Options Assistance Program. This program provides residents with low cost or even free dental care to those in need.

Through his generosity, Nguyen exemplifies the 178th Wing priorities of mission, people, and service. His sacrifice of time ensures that members receive convenient care to meet the requirements of a ready Airman.