After more than thirty years of practice, I feel it's time to leave a profession that has provided so much for me and my family over the years. It seems only yesterday I was a recently commissioned wide-eyed second lieutenant about to embark on an endeavor that would present remarkable challenges and change the direction of my life forever. I reflect on how many times God has blessed me over the years, including being a part of an incredible class of dental students. As UT's dental school had lost full accreditation from the American Dental Association due to poor leadership and funding by the state government for decades, my class was the first to reap the benefits of Governor Winfield Dunn's efforts to restore full accreditation. The first Republican governor in fifty years, Winfield Dunn provided the leadership required to accomplish this monumental task. As a matter of history, UT's dental school was the only one in the nation that was still on the three year program. During WWII, most dental schools went to the abbreviated program in order to help the war effort. After the war, all but UT returned to the four year program. Further, the school lacked modern equipment and the curriculum was in need of an upgrade. Governor Dunn, a dentist himself, provided millions of dollars in order to gain full accreditation from the ADA. Further, comprehensive changes to the core structure of dental education included improvements to the doctor/patient/staff functions. This paradigm shift in dental education in Tennessee required years to implement. The nationwide notice given to these changes attracted the attention of undergraduate advisors who started suggesting dental school candidates look at UT for their doctoral aspirations. These advisors recognized that the important prerequisites for admission, e.g., DAT scores, GPA, even the university from where they were graduating, assumed even greater importance. In fact, Dr. Jolly, who had recruited me at UTC, advised me that only 1 in 32 applicants were being accepted. Again, as a young second lieutenant who was trained to be an infantry officer, I was hoping I had made the right choice to become a dental officer. The very first day, as part of a student body of over 160 dental students beginning this adventure, I knew I had made the right decision. That class was replete with some truly remarkable individuals. I learned many things from my peers; I will always be thankful for that experience. As the years passed and we went our separate ways, I still reflect on the joys and blessings shared by them, with marriage, children and burgeoning families. I am saddened when I think of some who are no longer with us. As Division Dental Surgeon for the Second Infantry Division on the DMZ in Korea, I will never forget the phone call I received from my wife regarding a tragedy involving one of the nicest guys I have ever known, Dr. Alan Crisman. Even today, I shudder when I recall the news of the tragic death of Alan's remarkable wife, Bard. As she was a talented artist, I can still visualize the beautiful artwork adorning their apartment in Memphis. Alan was suddenly the sole parent of two young children. His efforts have made Bard proud, I am sure. Another incredible individual, a fellow cadet, and who became a clinical psychologist, Dr. Tom Pendergrass, frequently comes to mind. Many years have passed since Tom and I were parachuting and rappelling together; his afternoons were spent training with the one of the best drill teams in all of the Senior ROTC programs in the country. I commanded the Color Guard and put in a significant amount of time and effort with FM 22-5, Drill and Ceremonies. This drill practice paled in comparison to the time Tom spent with the Drill Team. The trophies earned during our years at UTC speak volumes of the talents of these young men. I still remember the occasion Tom showed me the Queen Anne Salute; after a dozen attempts, I still could not do it as well as Tom. The UTC ROTC Drill Team was a nationally recognized program, earning invitations to national drill competitions, as well as Mardi Gras and Armed Forces Day parades, among others. In fact, because of their successes over the decade, UTC was beneficiary of the Presidential Drill Team's performance at their homecoming football game. A packed Chamberlain Field crowd was visibly impressed with the precision of the personal drill team for the President of the United States. I was glad of being a part of that homecoming celebration; the colors flew proudly that night. Tom and the ROTC Drill Team likewise pleased the crowd, spinning their Springfield '03's with mounted bayonets; one doesn't forget the rifle high toss... Some thirty years later, I had the pleasure of renewing our friendship when Tom was referred to me by another psychologist. I can still recall that big grin from the guy that was still built like a middle linebacker. I recall meeting his daughter that was attending college on a fencing scholarship; Tom was justifiably proud of this young lady. Even today, I watch Ball State (where Tom received his doctorate) sports, reflecting on Tom who sadly passed away only a couple of years later. God bless you, my friend. At any rate, the trials and tribulations of my family of patients are important, as are the joyous events in their lives. The China virus has claimed a number of these patients and friends. My family of patients are just that - family. I had originally planned to sell my practice and transition my patients to someone I knew would serve them well. For a number of reasons, I have decided now is the time to depart. So, I contacted another incredible friend, Dr. Denny Standifer, for advice. We attended UTC and dental school together; he declined a professional major league baseball career (he was a stud pitcher at UTC) in order to become a dentist. His father was a Certified Dental Technician and an absolute legend in Chattanooga; he provided me with many removable prosthetics a number of years ago. Denny was known in dental school as the guy with the Midas touch; his experience working in his father's lab as a ten year old paid off, as he not only had a successful general practice, but also became a highly regarded orthodontist. I approached Denny to get some advice on a few doctors this side of the river that my patients might seek out. He has seen all the work of local dentists and recognizes those practitioners who excel. I firmly believe that any UT trained practitioner is capable of providing excellent care. I recall my commander at the Army's Aviation Center, Fort Rucker, AL, Colonel Belman Maddox indicating his respect for UT dental officers he had encountered over the years. Again, there are excellent practitioners in Chattanooga that reflect those high UT standards. Dr. Standifer did indicate several practitioners whose work he admired. Here are three of them: Dr. William Hensley 423-875-0240, Dr. Elysia Belva 423-803-4470 and Dr. Elizabeth Bassett 423-842-1402. Dr. Bassett is about to be blessed with her second son's first birthday. A parent always remembers their children's first birthday as a celebration of God's gift and a truly special occasion. Congratulations! Again, our community is fortunate to have talented clinicians, general practitioners and specialists as well. As an example, Dr. Brian Schenck, like his father, is an outstanding oral surgeon with a remarkable staff. The blessings and joy I have received from our family of patients are innumerable; I will always be thankful for their love and support over the years. The incredible individuals I encountered and had the privilege of serving with in the Army, including Colonel Belman Maddox, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Blainey, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Concetta Hassan (see movie "A Time To Triumph"), Major Gunter P. Siebert (the Assistant Professor of Military Science, second in command of the ROTC Department and an Airborne Ranger who could run like a deer), and General William Livesay, CINC of Eighth Army and US Forces, Korea, will always be remembered as reflecting those traits and character that my father, CSM (ret) Ted Daw, instilled in me as a young man. Hopefully, my father is proud to know his values and love of country guided me in every aspect of my military career.