Smiles for Soldiers awards veteran with free dental work

Updated: Nov. 10, 2017 at 10:51 AM CST
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Charles Martin is the first recipient of the Smiles for Soldiers (Source: KCBD)
Charles Martin is the first recipient of the Smiles for Soldiers (Source: KCBD)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A local business is putting a smile on the face of a deserving veteran.

Charles Martin, an Air Force veteran, is now the first recipient of Hill and Ioppolo Oral and Facial Surgeons of Lubbock's Smiles for Soldiers program. They will perform a procedure that can cost upwards of $50,000 for free for Charles.

Charles says this will be life-changing, because he has several cavities and constant pain in his mouth, and disability only covers ten-percent of the cost.

The company picked Charles from a pool of 25 applicants, because they were touched by his story of wanting to smile for his grandchildren.

"My daughter said her daughter came up to her and said 'Why doesn't papa smile more? Because he's got a pretty smile.' So, it's kind of touching. I'll feel more relaxed around them," said Charles.

Doctor Robert Ioppolo says he loves to help people, but as a veteran himself, this case is special because it hits close to home.

"In this particular instance, it's been a while since I've been able to take care of somebody who was in the military. I enjoyed doing that for 13 years while I was in, and it's just, there's something different about taking care of a fellow brother who wore the uniform," said Doctor Ioppolo.

Doctor Ioppolo says it's important for them to do this because these men and women put their lives on the line for us, and this is a way they can give back.

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