Ask Dr. David Nguyen how he met retired Staff Sergeant David Harmon and he'll tell you they met at the gym, but it seems like fate played a big part too.
After getting to know each other during their workouts, the dentist from Houston, Texas invited Harmon to come to his clinic for a cleaning. But when the veteran opened his mouth, the dentist was stunned.
"I came in for a cleaning and he's like, 'My goodness!'" Harmon remembers. "And then I start telling him about all the pain I'm in."
While serving as a language instructor in the Air Force, Harmon suffered a number of accidents that left him with serious head trauma. That caused stress, insomnia, and memory loss so serious he would forget his wife's name.
But the most painful symptom was teeth grinding, which left Harmon with cracked teeth and infected gums.
Nguyen explained that repairing the damage would cost at least $15,000, but told his new friend he would give him a generous 70% discount. But when Harmon left the office, he told the receptionist he still couldn't afford his bill.
That's when Nguyen stepped in, and changed Harmon's life forever.
Harmon was visibly emotional as he shared his story with a local news team.
“When he heard me say that I couldn’t pay the bill, he came in and he was like, ‘Don’t charge him anything.’”
Harmon tried to explain that the VA would cover the cost of his dental surgery (hopefully) but it would take months for his claim to be processed and approved.
Nguyen couldn't let his friend suffer in pain for that long, and said he would cover the entire cost himself. Despite the price, Nguyen insists this sacrifice is just his way of paying Harmon back.
“All veterans are heroes, they give up so much for this country,” he said. “Whatever I can do just to help him a little bit, it’s all worth it to me.”
Nguyen's brother, a pain specialist, has even volunteered to treat Harmon as well.
"I love this guy," the grateful vet said. "I would take a hundred bullets for this guy, for this doctor, in a second."
Realizing how important a healthy smile can be for our veterans, Nguyen is setting up a program at his clinic to provide as many veterans as possible with free dental care.
"With everything going on in the world, every little thing that I can do would help these heroes out,” he said.
What an inspiring story!