Salute Our Heroes: A Topeka man served as a Marine dentist in Vietnam
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -Ed Webber was in school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying to be a dentist.
Moments later he was called to service in Vietnam and found himself in the sky on a C-130.
“The problem is, there is an artillery going on so we are going to drop down and we aren’t going to turn off the engines. You are going to have to jump off the C-130, you are just going to throw your duffle bag out and then you are going to jump,” Webber said.
“I said “What do you mean jump?”, I’m a dentist I’m not going to be jumping,” he explained.
He jumped off the plane and landed into into an opportunity to become a marine dentist, where he played a key role.
“Body identification. When I come up and a body has been left out to get recovered, they didn’t have any jewelry, no boots, that was a big thing and by the time they got back, I knew who they were based on their dental records.”
Webber helped identify more than 50 service members bodies during his time, even though it almost cost him his life.
“A round came in, an artillery exploded right there, killed my patient, killed my dental assistant and I should’ve been there,” Webber remembered.
Looking back on that time, he says he’s proud he could help return servicemen to their families.
“They got their son back and to have a funeral, and to have closure, they actually have the person and that made me feel real good.”
Webber came back to Topeka after his duty at Vietnam and opened up his own dental practice, where he served thousands of patients.
Webber will be headed to Washington D.C. on May 17th to be recognized for an honor flight.
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