H. Charles Jelinek Jr., DDS - November 2018

November 2018

JEL INEK JOURNAL FROM WEST POINT TO DENTAL SCHOOL HowMy Family’s Military Background InspiredMy Passion for Helping Others 703.584-5996 www.Nor thernVirginiaDental .com

S erving others is ingrained in my family heritage. My father, brother, brother-in-law, and I all graduated from the United States Military Academy. I have a nephew who went to the Air Force Academy, and another nephew went to the Coast Guard Academy. My other brother got the brains of the family, became a doctor, and served at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He now heads the radiology department at several of the largest hospitals in Washington D.C. Growing up, I lived in more than half a dozen states by the time I graduated high school, including Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Texas, Kentucky, and Virginia. From grades nine to 11, I attended school in Pennsylvania, but I graduated from a Kansas high school. This is the life of an Army brat, and anywhere I went, I met kids in the same boat.

sitting in Baylor College of Dentistry. After graduating from Baylor around 1987, I made my way to Tennessee. I pitched my dental practice to at least 10 different banks, but the loan rejections kept coming in. They were impressed with my background and well-thought- out plan, but the economy was too turbulent for that kind of gamble.

That’s when my brother invited me to join him in Northern Virginia, where he moved after having lived near there when our father served at the Pentagon. So, I camped out in his basement for three weeks before I finally bought my first practice. And then I bought another and then another. I ended up buying four practices, and that’s where I am today.

I’mintriguedand passionate about helping my patients lead fuller, pain-free lives ...”

That’s part of the reason I valued my time at the United States Military Academy at West Point so much; it’s where I gained 975 brothers. The bonds we built and have sustained since graduation make for some of the best relationships I have today. We support one another and encourage each other, having formed connections very few people will ever understand. We survived years of very intense training together as the U.S. was going through the hard-fought Vietnam War. Upon graduating, I’d just missed being deployed to Vietnam, so I honored my five-year Army commitment by serving as a battery commander in the field artillery. I continued to serve as best I could, but I knew I wanted to work for myself. I told my family I wanted to go to dental school, and while they all understood, they were surprised and confused. I don’t think my dad was too thrilled, either.

I’m intrigued and passionate about helping my patients lead fuller, pain- free lives, and that’s why I want to devote more of my time to helping patients with chronic headaches, snoring issues, and pain. I still enjoy general dentistry, and I want to take the service and discipline I learned in the Army and apply it to helping others lead better lives. I recently had a 63-year-old patient who was dragged into my office by his wife. He’d had a headache every day of his life since he was in middle school, and about three times per week, he had a migraine. After treating him, this man only experiences headaches once a month. That’s life- changing, and that’s what I want to keep doing for my patients.

— Dr. H. Charles Jelinek, Jr., DDS

I come from a long family history of military service, and while I enjoyed the time I spent in the Army, after five years of service I found myself


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