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NEW WINDSOR — Dental and vision care are not among the benefits returning veterans receive once they separate from the service.

But a new program aimed at filling that void was announced Thursday at the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.

It's not a government program but a private business venture called Smiling On America's Heroes, in which local lawyer and Orange County Republican Party Chairman Bill DeProspo is a principal.

The firm will team up with Careington Inc., based in Frisco, Texas, which bills itself as one of the nation's largest providers of discount health-care plans.

Valerie Bostrom, Careington's manager of client relations, stressed this is not health insurance but a discount plan that offers its members savings averaging 40 percent for dental work and 15 to 35 percent for vision care when they go to one of their 94,000 participating providers nationwide.

Members pay $8.95 a month or $85.99 for a year, which covers all household members.

Orange County Executive Ed Diana and a host of state and county officials from the mid-Hudson region and beyond praised the program.

"It would be great if we could do the right thing in government and put out programs like this," said state Sen. Greg Ball, R-C-Patterson. But when it doesn't, he added, "the private sector has to step up." (READ MORE)

Publication date: 
Friday, July 22, 2011 - 00:00