Nobody enjoys going to the dentist, even though we know we have to. Like so many of us, Retired Staff Sgt. David Tyler Harmon avoided going—until he knew he couldn’t put it off any longer.
Luckily, fate brought the perfect person into his life, at just the right time.
When Harmon first met David Nguyen, he didn’t know what he did for a living. The two had met each other at the gym, and they were friendly with one another but practically strangers.
Later, when Harmon found out Nguyen was a dentist, he decided to give him his business and make an appointment.
But what was meant to be a routine check-up turned into something much more—once Nguyen got a look at Harmon’s mouth.
“I came in for a cleaning, and he’s like, ‘My goodness!'” Harmon recalled to FOX 26.
These weren’t minor issues. Harmon was suffering from cracked teeth, a gum infection, overcrowding, and significant pain. Repairs wouldn’t be easy—or cheap.
Harmon’s extensive teeth problems weren’t just due to neglect—they were an unfortunate side effect of his military service.
In the 2000s, Harmon served active duty as a Spanish language linguist for the U.S. Air Force. Several accidents during his service left him with head trauma that now caused him to grind his teeth.
Dr. Nguyen knew he had to help the veteran with his dental issues. But there was no denying that it would be a complex, costly procedure. Repairs would cost $15,000 and take a year.
Complicating things was Harmon’s reliance on the Veterans Affairs office for medical benefits, which could delay the treatment he urgently needed.
“I overheard him saying something about sending the paperwork to the VA,” Dr. Nguyen recalled to FOX 26. “I was like, wait, if he were to wait for the VA, it would take months.”
“I saw infection. I said, ‘Listen, you need to get this handled right away.'”
Dr. Nguyen soon realized that the vet would be unable to afford the surgery.
When he heard Harmon discussing the bill, he came in and made an announcement that stunned everyone:
“Don’t charge him anything.”
The dentist offered to do $15,000 worth of dentist work—completely free, all for a near-stranger.
Nguyen knew it was something he had to do. It was his way of giving back to the troops.
“All veterans are heroes,” Dr. Nguyen told FOX 26. “They give up so much for this country, and whatever I can do just to help him out a little bit, it’s all worth it to me.”
Not only would he fix Harmon’s teeth over the next year, he also offered to work on his daughter’s teeth, also at no cost.
The gesture meant the world to Harmon, who broke down in tears with gratitude.
“I love this guy,” Harmon said of Dr. Nguyen.