CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — A heroic private first class from the Second Marine Division was awarded the Silver Star this week after spending his entire enlistment at dental, sources say.
Sullivan was credited with “conspicuous endontistry in action against daunting dental readiness reports,” according to his award citation. After nearly three years in the unit, Pfc. Damon Sullivan managed to miss every single training event and deployment to have his teeth cleaned, capped, and crowned.
“Medical readiness comes first,” said his platoon sergeant Staff Sgt. Benny Gibson. “Pfc. Sullivan’s actions represent the pinnacle of the Marine Corps values of honor, courage, and commitment. There isn’t a Marine out here who has the dental health that he does.”
The citation states his battalion was facing a relentless assault of dental and annual training hit lists. On his own initiative, Sullivan bore the brunt of the attack, charging headlong into no less than 200 teeth cleanings and routine check-ups, often having multiple appointments in a single day.
“The ongoing wars throughout the Middle East and challenges from resurgent peer competitors can cause us to overlook the everyday heroics of men like Pfc. Sullivan,” said Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller. “Marines like him are out there grinding, day in and day out, to ensure our nation’s teeth don’t rot.”
“The only thing cleaner than his teeth is his honor,” Neller added.
At press time, Sullivan was forced to reschedule his award ceremony due to an appointment to have a filling replaced.