|The Toothboss and his combat buddy Scott Sallaway|
As part of our Smiling Neighbor
Award program, The Toothboss recognizes local residents doing good deeds in the
community. For this quarter’s Smiling Neighbor, staff at The Toothboss decided
yours truly, Dr. Wolfert, was a worthy recipient of the honors. This was based
on my recent retirement after 30 years of military service in the U.S. Navy and
Army National Guard.
Now, when we first set up the
Smiling Neighbor Award program, it was not to honor Toothboss staff. But the gesture
is appreciated. And I suppose 30 years in the military does meet our criteria
for the Smiling Neighbor.
To give you a little background
on my military career, here’s a snippet from an article in the Weymouth Patch:
Dr. Wolfert joined the U.S.
Navy while enrolled at Tufts School of Dental Medicine in 1978. It was during
his tenure in the Navy that he earned the nickname that would become the name
of his practice.
“I served on the U.S. Midway
and the commander on the carrier called his department heads ‘boss’. For
example, the guy who ran the flight deck was the ‘air boss’. As the dentist, I
was the tooth boss,” said Wolfert. “By the time I left the Navy, joined the
Guard and started my private practice, I’d grown used to the name and kept it
for my business.”
Wolfert’s military career
included a tour of duty in Iraq in 2004. Stationed a few miles from the front
at a makeshift hospital, he compared the experience to being like the
television show M*A*S*H, only in real life.
“There was that kind of
camaraderie in our outfit, but I don’t think any of us ever forgot why we were
there and how close we were to some really nasty stuff,” said Wolfert.
After his tour of Iraq, Wolfert
chose to remain in the National Guard, where he has served as a mentor to young
dentists and supervised care for the 7,000 soldiers in the Army National Guard
Reserve in Massachusetts. At the end of February, Dr. Wolfert retired with the
rank of Colonel.
“Many people have asked me over
the years why did I join and why did I stay. The best explanation I have is
that I come from a military family. My two older brothers served in Vietnam. I
guess I felt it was my duty to serve. Once I got in, I found it agreed with me.
It’s really as simple as that,” said Wolfert.
For being selected as the
Smiling Neighbor, Dr. Wolfert opted to give his $50 gift card to Stockholders to
a fellow veteran, battle buddy and Toothboss patient, Scott Sallaway. Scott
served three tours of Iraq, including one with Wolfert in 2004.
“It may sound cliché, but the
men and women who did not make it back from their tours of duty are the real
heroes,” said Wolfert. “Me, I’m proud to have served in the company of such
brave men and women.”
Thanks again to my kind staff
for nominating me for this quarter’s Smiling Neighbor. I hope Scott enjoys his
dinner at Stockholders.
The Smiling Neighbor award
is given out on a quarterly basis to citizens of Weymouth going above and
beyond the call of duty for their fellow citizens. People
can nominate a Smiling Neighbor by sending an e-mail of 200 words or less to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please remember to
include your name and telephone number as well as the name and telephone number
or e-mail of the person they are nominating. Nominations can also be sent to
The Toothboss, 1121 Main Street, South Weymouth, MA 02190.