Veteran nicknamed ‘Smiley’ hasn’t cracked a smile in decades. Then one day, gets jaw-dropping news

"Nobody's ever done that for me"
January 30, 2018 4:43 pm Last Updated: January 30, 2018 4:43 pm

Larry Kleiman earned himself the nickname “Smiley,” but for years he hadn’t been able to live up to the name. Over the course of time he’s lost all of his natural teeth, partly due to a calcium deficiency.

After serving two tours in Vietnam, Kleiman returned home and got a job in corrections. He told Inside Edition it was at that job where he acquired the nickname Smiley.

However, he eventually lost all of his teeth due to a calcium deficiency and he stopped smiling.

This past year he wanted to do something about it.

Kleiman is a Vietnam veteran who later became involved in corrections.

Recently he took the first step to get his smile back and after an initial consultation he got the surprise of a lifetime.

“I’d like to get my smile back,” he said.

The Vietnam veteran visited a dentist in hopes they could give him back his smile.

“I wasn’t really going to do it because it was a lot of money and on a fixed income, a retirement, there was no way feasible of me doing it,” he said.

But a few days after his visit he received a call from Dr. Michael Tischler, founder of Teeth Tomorrow and the dentist who worked on Kleiman.

Dr. Tischler assured Kleiman he would get his smile back and he’d get it back for free!

After meeting with Kleiman, Tischler was moved by the man’s story.

“They’re giving up their lives for our freedom,” Tischler told Inside Edition. “And to have a gentleman like this that had two tours in Vietnam, which was a horrible war… We felt good helping him.”

Tischler informed Kleiman that he wanted to pay him back for his service, so his dental procedure would be free. He wouldn’t have to pay a single penny.

After his procedure Smiley was all smiley!

Once Kleiman had been outfitted with his new set of teeth he was nothing but smiles. After decades of not smiling, he was finally about to show off his pearly whites.

“Nobody’s ever done that for me. Nobody’s every done that for me. I’ve always given to people,” he said. “I’m a firefighter, I was an EMT’er… I still fight fires. And I help people.”

And what a wonderful gift to receive, as gratitude for his life of service.