Bowling Green dentist gives back to veterans

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (WTVG) -The dental office of Alexis Klassen and Associates in Bowling Green is filled with heroes this Veterans Day.

a person sitting on a table: A local dentist is giving vets a whole lot to smile about this Veterans Day.

© Provided by Toledo WTVG
A local dentist is giving vets a whole lot to smile about this Veterans Day.

Heroes like Bob Whitman, an Army Vietnam veteran and Keborah Snyder, a former Air Force Airman both sharing their wartime photos and experiences in the waiting room.

a group of people in uniform standing in front of a building: Bob Whitman reflects on his time serving in the US Army in Vietnam.

© Provided by Toledo WTVG
Bob Whitman reflects on his time serving in the US Army in Vietnam.

a person posing for the camera: Keborah Snyder reflects on her time serving in the US Air Force as an airman.

© Provided by Toledo WTVG
Keborah Snyder reflects on her time serving in the US Air Force as an airman.

“We’re called the one percent because only one percent serves,” said Keborah Snyder. “We serve because freedom is not free.”

Many veterans from across Northwest Ohio made their way to Dr. Klassen’s office today thanks to staff providing free dental care to anyone who served our nation.

“When I hear their stories and I hear what they’ve given for the country, it makes you want to give back,” said Dr. Alexis Klassen. “The reason I’m doing this is because they have inspired me to want to do something extraordinary for them.”

Dr. Klassen is a veteran herself, currently serving in the Navy Reserves as a Commander. This is the first year Klassen and her team have given back in Bowling Green, and they say after the reactions they’ve seen today, it won’t be the last.

“It was over a grand worth of work that I got done for free and I didn’t feel a thing, and I was in and out,” said veteran Ryan Young.

“When they offered this to me I cried because it’s just the kindest gesture I have ever been apart of,” said Keborah Snyder.

Dr. Klassen and her AKA dental staff plan to continue to serve veterans at no cost on a larger scale next year on Veterans Day.

Copyright 2020 WTVG. All rights reserved.

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Bowling Green dentist with military background gives back for Veterans Day

At Dr. Alexis Klassen’s dental office, military roots run deep.

“I have many family members who have served, who are currently serving,” Dental Assistant Jessica Bowley said.

“All the men mostly in my family have served in the U.S. Army,” Dental Assistant Olivia Markley said.

That’s why Klassen spent Veterans Day giving active and retired military members a reason to smile with free checkups.

“Today means a lot when somebody is giving back to the veterans, especially in this time,” Navy Reservist Jackson Russell said.

It’s part of a new tradition at her practice called the 1% Salute, a nod to the fact that only 1% of Americans ever serve in the U.S. military.

Dr. Alexis Klassen, Owner, Alexis Klassen & Associates : That means a lot. I mean that inspired me to look at the men and women in our service totally differently,” Klassen said.

And she’s also part of that 1%. After spending five years of active duty in the Navy, Doctor Klassen moved to the reserves where she’s currently a commander.

On a day where the community should be thanking her for her service, she’s thanking her community for theirs.

“For me to be able to say thank you in a really unique way to some of the people I served with, to people of the community, the neighbors and people I see in church or that go to school with my kids, it’s awesome.

Klassen’s dental assistants also stepped in to give back in their own way. After announcing the 1% Salute, many of her employees offered to work their shifts at no cost.

“One by one, my staff came up and said, ‘If you’re going to do that, I want to donate my hours and buy the vets electronic toothbrushes,’ or,  ‘I want to donate my hours and give an extra room so we can clean eight more people’s teeth.’

Although this was the first time Doctor Klassen offered the 1% Salute, she said she plans on doing it again next Veterans Day on a much larger scale.

Veterans also received free gift bags and handmade cards from students at St. Aloysius, thanking them for their service. 

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Are Gyms Open on Veterans Day? Opening Hours For Planet Fitness, LA Fitness and Others

Federal holiday Veterans Day (11 November), honoring military veterans, falls on a Wednesday in 2020.

Many gyms will remain open in the U.S. on Veterans Day.

© Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images
Many gyms will remain open in the U.S. on Veterans Day.

The public holiday usually sees non-essential federal government offices closed. Banks, post offices and some schools could also close their doors on Veterans Day, some restaurants might also be closed, but others may remain open to offer deals to those off work.

Some will be looking to see if they can get a workout or attend an exercise class before going back to the office. Read on for our list of gyms that are open on Veterans Day. Note: Gyms in cities and towns with coronavirus restrictions may not be open, despite similar gyms being otherwise open nationwide.

Planet Fitness: Planet Fitness will be open on Veterans Day in many locations but hours may be reduced. A representative from the Brooklyn gym told Newsweek it would be open between 7-1 p.m. The Shreveport, Louisiana Planet Fitness gym will remain open 24-hours, according to a representative, and the Seattle Aurora Ave gym will be open regular hours. Phone your local gym to check Veterans Day hours. Local coronavirus restrictions may apply.

The History Of Memorial Day



LA Fitness: This national gym has 690+ fitness clubs in the U.S. and Canada. Normal hours will apply to most LA Fitness gyms on Veterans Day, but some may have reduced hours—call ahead to check your location before you visit, local coronavirus restrictions may apply.

24 Hour Fitness: This all-day and night gym will be open, and will be fully operational on Veterans Day, opening hours may change in towns and cities with COVID-restrictions.

Equinox Fitness: Most gyms will have regular hours across the nation, but some may have shorter hours. An Equinox representative told Newsweek the best way to get the updated hours is to download the Equinox app, which has all the current hours and holiday hour changes for each location. Locations with COVID rules in place may differ depending on local government regulations. Los Angeles gyms, for example, are currently closed, but Orange County and New York gyms are open.

Gold’s Gym: A representative from East Northport, NY told Newsweek that it would be open during regular hours on Veterans Day, but as Gold’s Gym is franchised this may change from location to location. It’s best to call your local location before you visit.

Orangetheory Fitness: A representative from Orangetheory Fitness in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, told Newsweek the gym would be open on Veterans Day as normal, however, opening hours may change throughout the country as each gym is individually owned.

Snap Fitness: All the Snap Fitness facilities are open 24-hours a day and seven days a week, aside from Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. A representative from Glenwood Park, Atlanta, confirmed their branch would be open on Veterans Day.

Anytime Fitness: This member access 24-hours gym will be open at usual. Staff at the Congress St, Portland,

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24 Hour Fitness Welcomes All Military to Its Clubs on Veteran’s Day

SAN RAMON, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As the U.S. prepares to celebrate Veteran’s Day this year, 24 Hour Fitness, a leading health club industry pioneer, welcomes all retired and active duty members of the military into its clubs, Wednesday, November 11, 2020. (Present photo ID at check in.)

And, for those looking for a dose of military fitness inspiration, the free 24 Hour Fitness app—24GO®—offers workout options you can experience whether you’re inside or outside of the club.

Enjoy this military-inspired workout courtesy of 24 Fitness and 24GO or access it directly through your free 24GO app:

Enjoy this military-inspired workout courtesy of the 24 Hour Fitness free 24GO app:

“On Veteran’s Day we pause and give thanks to the men and women in the military—for the sacrifices they make, and their devotion to service,” said Tony Ueber, CEO, 24 Hour Fitness. “I am proud of our company’s long-term commitment to the military. During this pandemic, we know how important fitness is to mind and body health and we’re grateful for each occasion that draws attention to the benefits of fitness and these exceptional citizens.”

24 Hour Fitness is dedicated to supporting the military—providing free workouts for active and retired military on Veteran’s Day each year. Additionally, 24 Hour Fitness has often recruited members of the military into the company workforce.

Over the years, 24 Hour Fitness has been acknowledged for its work with the military; named to the Top 100 Military-Friendly Employers List, Top 20 Military Spouse-Friendly Employers List, and was a 2012 Finalist for the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the DOD’s highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of their employees serving in the Guard and Reserve.

About 24 Hour Fitness

Celebrating over 35 years as an industry leader, 24 Hour Fitness helps transform lives every day through fitness. Conveniently located clubs, furnished with a wide variety of strength, cardio, and functional training equipment, are the perfect environment for fitness professionals to deliver dynamic personal and group training programs. Group exercise and cycle rooms feature a popular array of live classes. A multitude of additional offerings engage and inspire every member to lead a full and healthy life both inside and outside of the club. 24 Hour Fitness is headquartered in San Ramon, CA and serves over 3 million members in more than 300 clubs nationwide.

To learn more about us and to find the club nearest you, visit Please note that all team members, club members and guests are asked to comply with local guidelines for COVID-19 business reopenings of indoor operations, including wearing a mask at all times and practicing social distancing in all 24 Hour Fitness clubs.

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Supporters Celebrate Veterans Day with Functional Fitness Workout

Participants will complete 11 rounds of five exercises representing the branches of service and the rich history of Veterans Day virtually or in their local communities. More than 100 gyms have registered to host a WOD for Warriors, following local health guidance.

“WOD for Warriors is a great opportunity to support veterans through functional fitness,” said Mike Erwin, Executive Director of Team RWB. “We’re thrilled that The Vitamin Shoppe, our partners, and hundreds of participants across the nation are joining us this year.”

All proceeds support Team RWB’s mission while enabling community members to do more than say “Thank You” this Veterans Day.

“The Vitamin Shoppe and all of our Health Enthusiasts associates are honored to join this year’s WOD for Warriors in support of Team RWB, and help power its health and wellness mission that so closely aligns to our own. I know our incredible partners at BPI Sports, MuscleTech, Outright, ProSupps, and RedCon1 join me in a heartfelt salute to all the veterans who have served our nation and communities. There has never been a more meaningful time to recognize their spirit of honor, commitment and drive, and for us all to learn from that example,” said Sharon Leite, CEO of The Vitamin Shoppe.

To prepare for the workout, veterans and supporters have been participating in a Team RWB training plan by Army officer and 2x CrossFit Games athlete Chandler Smith, which began on October 16. Partner exercises, modifications, and an adaptive WOD (workout of the day) developed by the Wounded Warrior Project are available to offer athletes of all abilities the opportunity to sweat their support.

Participants are invited to join a live stream WOD for Warriors event at 5:30 p.m. (Eastern) hosted in Tampa, FL, by Yuengling Beer at Cigar City CrossFit. The live stream will be made available through the Team RWB App on November 11.

Learn more or register for WOD for Warriors at 

About Team Red, White & Blue
Team Red, White & Blue (Team RWB), a nonprofit organization founded in 2010, is forging America’s leading health and wellness community for military veterans, families, and their supporters. With Team RWB, all veterans have the opportunity to reclaim what was most precious about their military service: an unwavering sense of belonging born of challenges that show us what we are capable of. For more information, visit

Contact: Bana Miller
[email protected]

SOURCE Team Red, White & Blue

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Higher fitness levels linked to lower AFib risk in male, African American veterans

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

Higher fitness levels reduced the risk of developing an irregular heart rhythm, known as atrial fibrillation, by 30% to 50% in a study of male, African American veterans, according to preliminary research to be presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2020.

Atrial fibrillation (also called AFib or AF) is an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications. According to the American Heart Association, at least 2.7 million Americans are living with AFib.

“Engaging in physical activity to increase fitness is an inexpensive and practical intervention that health care professionals can prescribe to patients to prevent and manage cardiovascular disease,” said lead researcher Apostolos Tsimploulis, M.D., a cardiology fellow at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. “All of our evidence suggests the health benefits associated with increased cardiorespiratory fitness and reduced risk of atrial fibrillation are the same for all adults regardless of race.”

To study the effects of exercise on the development of atrial fibrillation, researchers examined the medical records of more than 11,000 middle-aged, male African American veterans (average age 58) from 1985 to 2013. None exhibited evidence of heart disease during or prior to completing a symptom-limited treadmill stress test at two VA Medical Centers—in Washington, D.C., and Palo Alto, California.

Participants were categorized into four fitness groups based on their age-specific cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF). CRF was measured in metabolic equivalents, or METs, resting metabolic rate (1 MET=3.5 ml of O2/kg of body weight per minute). The groups were categorized as: least fit, moderately fit, fit and highly fit.

A search of medical records was conducted by two independent investigators to directly assess the association between CRF and atrial fibrillation. Models were adjusted for risk factors, including heart or blood pressure medications, age and body mass index.

During an average follow-up of 10.7 years, 1,423 veterans developed atrial fibrillation:

  • 421 (16.6%) in the least fit group;
  • 366(10.9%) in the moderately fit group;
  • 323 (11.9%) in the fit group; and
  • 313 (12%) in the high-fit group.

When compared to the least-fit group, the atrial fibrillation risk was:

  • 29% lower in the moderately fit group;
  • 37% lower in the fit group; and
  • 51% lower in the high fit group.

Researchers noted the study results are strong based on the number of participants, and atrial fibrillation incidence was established during a follow-up period spanning roughly 17 years (median 10.7 years). Access to adjusted, longitudinal data, including medications and heart risk factors, along with equal access to care (care from the VA regardless of a patient’s ability to pay) are significant factors. This permitted continuous follow-up and minimized the potential for disparities in medical care.

Tsimploulis noted the precise cause of atrial fibrillation was not determined. In addition, CRF was measured only once; the level or frequency of physical activity was not assessed; and follow-up data on changes in cardiorespiratory fitness or physical activity of the participants over time were not available.

“We cannot

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Kentwood dentist office to offer free dental services to veterans

For the 4th consecutive year, Partners in Dental Care is offering free dental care to Veterans who served and are currently serving our country.

KENTWOOD, Mich. — With Veterans Day approaching, a Grand Rapids dentist office is once again offering free service to veterans.

Partners in Dental Care in Kentwood is hosting it’s “Serving Those Who Served” event on Friday, Nov. 6.

“It’s been a popular event and that’s why we bring it back every year,” said Dianne Groendyk, Treatment Coordinator at Partners in Dental Care. “Just like past years, it’ll be first come, first serve.”

This year’s event will take place from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The dental services that will be offered free of charge include cleanings, fillings and extractions.

There will also be a registered nurse available on site for medical screenings and to answer any health-related questions veterans may have.

“We ask that veterans come to the office and pre-register on the 6th,” added Groendyk. “They can let us know at registration whether they want to see a doctor or a hygienist for a cleaning. We will take them in cue as far as order of which they came.”

Everybody will be required to wear a mask and to socially distance while waiting.

“If we are at full capacity, we will ask people to wait in their car and then we’ll call them on their phone to let them know when we’re ready to see them,” said Groendyk.

This is the fourth consecutive year Partners in Dental care has honored area veterans with this event.

“Our Veterans have sacrificed a lot,” said Groendyk. “Dental hygiene is important to healthy living, so this is our way to give something back to them.”

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National Nonprofit SoldierStrong Announces Donation of 10 iBots to Veterans During VHA Innovation Experience Conference

STAMFORD, Conn., Oct. 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — SoldierStrong, a national nonprofit dedicated to helping military veterans take their next steps forward through the use of revolutionary medical technology, is teaming up with renowned inventor Dean Kamen and DEKA Research and Development Corp. to donate 10 iBOT wheelchairs to individual wounded veterans, co-founder and chairman Chris Meek said Tuesday.

“The goal of this donation is to create lasting, life-changing impacts on the physical and mental health of those who have served our country,” said Meek, who made the announcement remotely during the Veterans Health Administration’s Innovation Experience (iEX) conference in Washington, D.C.

The iBOT wheelchair, which is the brainchild of Kamen in partnership with his company, DEKA, and Johnson & Johnson’s Independent Technology division, is a one-of-a-kind powered wheelchair that climbs stairs, allows users to rise from sitting level to six feet tall, maintains superior balance compared to other products on the market and can withstand travel through sand and standing water. 

“Dean Kamen is one of the most recognized and sought-after innovators of our time. He’s made it his life’s work to invent technology, like the iBOT, that improves the lives of others,” Meek said. “With such an iconic status in the science and technology communities, it was a tremendous honor to introduce Dean today at the VHA Innovation Experience. It is also with sincerest gratitude that I thank him for his support of SoldierStrong and his commitment to share DEKA’s life-changing iBOT with veterans who desperately deserve access to this type of disruptive technology.” 

The VHA Innovation Experience (iEX) is an annual conference that brings innovators and inventors, medical health experts, veterans, and the public together to showcase and celebrate emerging innovations, partnerships and technologies that improve and save veterans’ lives. 

Donations of the iBOTs are the latest effort by SoldierStrong to provide revolutionary medical technologies to help injured veterans lead full lives. SoldierStrong has donated $3.8 million in state-of-the-art medical devices to individual veterans and Veterans Affairs medical centers across the country. These devices include hyper-advanced prosthetics, specialized rehabilitation, and the organization’s signature device, the SoldierSuit exoskeleton used in the rehabilitation of spinal injuries and strokes and to help paralyzed individuals become more mobile. To date, SoldierStrong has donated 22 SoldierSuits, or exoskeletons, that allow some paralyzed veterans to stand and walk again. 

A four-year mental health study by the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System that included use of a SoldierSuit found that paralyzed veterans able to maintain an eye-level view of the world experienced better mental and physical health and a decline in suicidal thoughts or attempts.

“This donation of iBOTs allows SoldierStrong to provide technologies that simultaneously address the needs of physical and mental health,” Meek said. “The iBOT’s unique capabilities will allow veterans who receive a donation to feel secure, independent and enjoy a sense of confidence unmatched by other devices.”


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