NY Sports Dog: Memorial Day Remembrance: A Baseball Connection

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Remembrance: A Baseball Connection


As some of you may know, I served in the Air Force for 21 years, retiring in August 2007 from the Pentagon.

As part of the military retirement checklist, there are numerous medical and dental appointments--this is your last chance to get stuff fixed on active duty before you enter the retiree or VA medical system, so they are very thorough.

During my dental exam in the Pentagon Dental Clinic, the technician asked if I had any teeth issues--I admitted that one tooth had bothered me for years, but I didn't say anything because it could take me off deployment status, and we were at war.

A quick deep probe (painful!) and x-ray revealed the tooth was actually cracked in half at the root...ugh.

The problem was that I had only 2 weeks until my official retirement date of August 11th, and once that date passed, they weren't supposed to see me anymore.

"Go see Dr Maxwell," they told me.

I went to see Doc Maxwell...tall, handsome guy with an imposing presence. I am 6'2" and a career military man, and he scared the crap out of me.

His office was adorned with pictures of him standing with several Presidents and dignitaries, and they were all personally inscribed. He told me he was a retired Navy Captain and formerly the official military dentist to President Bush the Elder and President Clinton.

I explained my circumstances--the cracked tooth, the two weeks left before retirement, etc, and he told me not to worry. Said he would remove the tooth that day, put in a holder for an implant, and build a crown while it all healed, which would take a few weeks.

The tooth was pulled that day, I went back 3 days later for the holder, and they sent off the mold to make my crown. Told me to come back on Sep 11th.

Now no one wants to be in the Pentagon on Sep 11th...I had spent six Sep 11th's in the Pentagon..1999-2001, and 2004-2006...I didn't want a seventh.

A week before my appointment, Doc Maxwell called me and said to come in on Sep 12th...the crown wouldn't quite be ready in time, so he pushed me back a day (much to my relief).

On Sep 12th, 2007 I went in for my crown...at this point I was no longer in the military, but a civilian retiree...we were breaking the rules. I had been instructed to check in under my active duty rank.

As I waited in Doc Maxwell's dental chair, already numb, people kept coming by to congratulate the good doctor and pat him on the back.

I looked up and slurred, "what's the big occassion?"

He looked down at me, dental tools in hand, assistant at the ready, my mouth already numb from the shots, and said:

"My son hit a Grand Slam for the Nats last night."

In my best Sylvester Stallone droopy mouth from the shots voice I blurted, "your son is Justin Maxwell!?!?"

"Yes, he is, now open wide so we can get this crown in before I get in trouble."

Thanks Doctor Maxwell...you broke the Pentagon rules to help me--you worked on two President's teeth-- your son is a major league ballplayer--and you still work at the Pentagon helping the troops when you could be in private practice making a million a year.

I hope the Doc had a great Memorial Day, I know I did.

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3 comments:

Berger said...

Very cool!

kranepool society said...

outstanding story Dave

Mack said...

4th Tach Wing

33rd Fighter Squadron

1964-1968

Dee Dee Mow....

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