Dear Service Member / Veteran

The purpose of this letter is to introduce you to the Faces of Honor program. First and foremost, as President of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery; along with the Co-Chair of the Faces of Honor Program and the Academy's members, we would like to personally thank you for your service in the war against terrorism and essentially your service to humanity. We all feel very indebted to you and your fellow service members for answering the call of our great nation as we stand up against this new and elusive enemy that will eventually be defeated.

The purpose of Faces of Honor is to offer pro bono medical and surgical expertise to veterans and active duty members who were injured while deployed in support of the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. We simply want to provide a "thank you" to the brave men and women who have served our country. Some may have already received treatment in a military hospital while on active duty and may have been discharged. Others may have relocated to their home base and remain on active duty, being cared for by a DOD or VA medical facility. Some veterans may be from the National Guard or reserve, some may be geographically separated from a VA facility, and some may just want an additional caregiver consultation. Our volunteer surgeons are offering to help compliment the care that these facilities and medical staff provide, but we are not trying to compete with it. We want to help eligible veterans find a qualified surgeon with the best matched skills, and hopefully in a fairly convenient location.

If you are a military service member or veteran who was injured while deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan and have facial or neck injuries sustained either in combat or non-combat/support activities, you may be eligible for these services. You should however be able to demonstrate medical documentation of care rendered by the military for your war related injury. This can include paper work from Landstuhl Regional Medical Center or any other Military or VA facility.

In summary, the eligibility requirements are as follows:

  1. Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) or Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) including the middle east with honorable discharge.
  2. Sustained a war related face, head or neck injury ( Either in combat or through combat related/support activity.
  3. Member of the United States Armed Forces (or DOD eligible NATO/coalition forces) either Active Duty, or Active Reserve (activated and deployed in support of OIF or OEF).

Please refer to the "Guidelines for applying" link for details of this process.

As Co-Chair of this program and being the former Chief of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, and a veteran with 15 years of active Naval service, I personally treated several brave Sailors, Marines, Soldiers and Airmen. The common thread amongst all members treated was their undeniable valor and commitment to duty. With this program, my colleagues and mentors relish the opportunity to say "thank you" the way we know best. Again, we would like to reiterate our sincere gratitude to you and your families for your sacrifice for our nation.


Donn R. Chatham, MD
Ifepo O. Sofola, MD, FACS
CDR/MC/USN Reserves
Co-Chair, Faces of Honor Initiative

The Faces of Honor Program is coordinated by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and its affiliated Foundation (together "the Academy"). The Academy's role is to serve as a resource to help find surgeons willing to provide surgery to qualified veterans without a surgical fee to the patient. The Academy does not provide medical or surgical care. Consequently, the Academy does not enter into a physician/patient relationship with anyone. Not all Academy members perform all procedures included in the field of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. The Academy makes no warranties or representations about the skills of individual physicians or surgeons or their abilities. Inclusion of a surgeon on the list of volunteers for this program does not indicate that the surgeon is qualified to perform the surgery needed. The Academy does not provide medical advice, and no one should rely on the Academy's statements in this document as providing such advice. Patients should rely exclusively on their physicians and surgeons for such advice.

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