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At Health 1st Chiropractic and Advanced Chiropractic, all current Afghanistan and Iraq veterans receive free treatments. When I tell someone about this, I always get asked if I served in the military. My answer is no. Then they would ask me if someone in my family served in the military. My answer again is no. You ask then why? In 2001, I was working as a stockbroker but decided to change my career to become a chiropractor. After seeing an unforgiving market during the tech crash of 2000 and 2001, I had to get myself out. I decided to go back to school to become a chiropractor after injuring my back and connecting with our family friend who is a chiropractor. I was accepted and decided to continue my education in upstate New York at New York Chiropractic College. Week before starting school, I decided to go visit my friends out in New York City then decided to drive up to school for orientation.

On September 10th 2001, I left New York City for upstate for my orientation. The next day, September 11th 2001, was my first day at chiropractic school. During my first class, our secretary ran into our lecture hall telling everyone to go home because a plane just flew into the World Trade Center. We thought, what a cruel joke on the first day of school for first year students. But she wasn’t joking… Due to our location, we had many students from New York City and everyone rushed back home frantically trying to reach people inside New York City. I was only 24 years old at the time.

There have been several wars and conflict in my life time but none really affected me since I was too young to understand. But this one, it hit me hard. Since I was just there the day before and many of my friends lived in the city, it hit me very hard. I wanted to do something to help but I was just a first-year chiropractic student. As I was going through school, wars raged on and I decided that I will do my best to do my part once I graduate from school. I decided that once I have my own practice, I am going to take care of our men and women who fought the fights for me once they come back home. Since first opening my doors 17 years ago, I have treated dozens of Afghanistan and Iraq veterans at no cost. Some of the stories you hear are heartbreaking at times, and I can’t thank enough for these brave individuals. Just imagine carrying 100lbs of gear and trying to dodge bullets flying by your head. So many of our heroes are injured and hurting when they get back sometime without any means of receiving effective care. I have had some veterans come back to find out that the company that they used work for no longer existed. I have had so many of them tell me that this is the nicest thing that anyone has done for them since returning from the battlefield. These tough brave men and women that wouldn’t get fazed by rockets exploding often have shown tears when they find out what we are going to do for them. I want to thank all our service men and women for their selfless bravery and thank them for allowing my family to sleep comfortably at night. I will continue to do my part by providing free care for our brave men and women because that is the right thing to do.

Dr. Ahn