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San Angelo Vietnam War Veteran receives new teeth from local dentist, free of charge

Vietnam War Veteran Bruce Allred has been in need of new teeth for more than 10 years, but has not been able to afford them.

SAN ANGELO, Texas — Veteran's Day is a great day to put a smile on a veteran's face, and San Angelo dentist Dr. Alan Rodriguez has taken that to the next level by providing a free set of dentures for local Vietnam War Veteran Bruce Allred.

Eleven years ago, Bruce Allred got into a motorcycle accident that almost took his life, and left him with multiple injuries

"I'm a 1%: only 1% of the people that have my neck injury can walk, or talk, or do anything," Allred said.

Bruce survived the accident, but his front teeth did not. And for more than 10 years, he's been living without those teeth because he didn't have the funds to pay for dentures.

"I'm not rich...I live on a fixed income so, every penny counts," he said.

Eventually, Bruce did save up the money he needed for dentures, but when he came to Dr. Rodriguez's office in San Angelo, Bruce was told he would get them free of charge, as a thank you for his service to the United States.

"They selflessly served this country, and sometimes, as Bruce expressed, finance can be a limitation towards his treatment, and this is just one way we can give back to our community," Dr. Rodriguez said.

On Veterans Day, Allred walked into Dr. Rodriguez's office receiving a surprise and walked out with a new set of teeth.

"I was shocked! I was like...who does that, you know? I mean, it's just great," he said.