Sunday, June 7, 2009

News of Barefoot Descendant Sloan McLaughlin

52 Weeks of Success
Dentist sinks teeth into service with Army
By Ted Lutz, Republican Staff
Like father, like son. Sloan McLaughlin always planned a career that would follow the footsteps of his father—Kane dentist Dale McLaughlin.

Capt. Sloan McLaughlin (right), a Kane native who is a dentist in the U.S. Army is shown with his family, including his mother, Audrey; his father, Dr. Dale McLaughlin (left); and his brother, Nels, (center)

But his dental practice is not located in a small town in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania. He’s a dentist in the U.S. Army and could treat soldier’s dental problems anywhere in the world.
McLaughlin, who holds the rank of captain, now is stationed at Fort Gordon in Augusta, GA. He formerly was based at Fort Campbell, KY. He spent one year as an Army dentist at a multi-national military base in Egypt. Despite his nomadic experience, McLaughlin has no regrets about his decision to join the army. “I love the military,” McLaughlin said. He said treating soldiers for their dental ailments is “definitely a good feeling.”
“It gives me satisfaction knowing I’m helping these guys,” he said. He has seen some patients who have recently returned from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has nothing but respect for these soldiers.
“What they have done is pretty admirable,” he said. He said that he volunteered to serve in Iraq, but he was not deployed. McLaughlin, the son of Dr. McLaughlin and his wife Audrey, is a 1998 graduate of Kane Area High School. He has one brother, Nels. A member of the National Honor Society, McLaughlin was one of the most outstanding athletes in the 1990’s. As a member of the soccer team, he was Kane’s first ever all-star selection. McLaughlin won the district championship in the javelin and finished fifth in the state meet. He set the javelin record in the Kane Invitational track meet. McLaughlin, who is 6 foot 2, led the Kane basketball team in rebounding when the Wolves won the district championship in 1998.
After graduating from high school, McLaughlin enrolled in Grove City College where he majored in biochemistry. He continued his athletic career in college and won the President’s Athletic Conference (PAC) championship in javelin. He also played rugby on the college’s club team. “That was a bad idea,” McLaughlin said in describing his rugby career. He separated his right shoulder and the injury impeded his ability to throw the javelin.
After graduating in 2002, McLaughlin was accepted at the University of Pittsburgh dental school. At the same time, he joined the U.S. Army to take advantage of its “health profession scholarship” program. “I was looking for some way to pay for dental school,” McLaughlin said in discussing his entry into the military. He said the Army scholarship paid all his tuition as well as books and supplies. “It was a good deal,” McLaughlin said in reference to the Army scholarship. “It kept me out of a lot of debt.”
By accepting the scholarship for dental school, McLaughlin was obligated to make a commitment to serve in the Army after graduation. He is more than pleased with his choice. “It was one of the better decisions I’ve made,” McLaughlin said. “I’d do it again.” He’ll soon be receiving advanced dentistry courses—again courtesy of Uncle Sam. He begins three years of training in June in prosthodontics, which involve tooth crowns and bridge implants.
McLaughin, a 28 year old bachelor, owns his own house near the Army base in Georgia.
An avid hunter and fisherman, he tries to run between 25 and 30 miles for a week to train for long-distance running events. While stationed in Egypt, he ran a half marathon (13.1miles) at the Dead Sea. He competed in the Music City Marathon in Nashville.McLaughlin said, “I pretty much always have known that I wanted to be a dentist.” He said he and his father are so similar that” we’re the exact same thing.” “I’m my father’s don, for sure,” McLaughlin said. He returns to Kane when he can to hunt and fish with his dad. McLaughlin still remembers harsh Kane winters when he “shoveled snow three times a day” for an elderly family friend.
“Kane’s always been a good town and I love the area,” McLaughin said. “If I could live somewhere, I’d live in Kane.”

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Old Photo of Barefoot Home

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