Local dentist gives free dental care to veterans in need

Larry Volk is settling into a dentist’s chair in Hopkins, Minn. to have nine teeth pulled, and he couldn’t be happier.

"The goal is false teeth,” he said. “I can eat steak again, popcorn, all kinds of food like that."

Larry is a Vietnam veteran and he's here because Dr. Scott Shamblott wanted to take one day to give free dental care to veterans in need.

"It's one day, but we made a difference,” Dr. Shamblott said. “We made the lives of 15 people better. And the 15 people whose lives we made better, they make my life better. They preserved my freedom. It's the least I can do to say thank you."

Dr. Shamblott worked with a group called Yellow Ribbon to find veterans whose medical coverage didn't extend to dental care. The pro bono services are very much appreciated by veterans who haven’t always been met with open arms.

"When I went under the Golden Gate on a ship, they were throwing stuff on me,” Volk said. “Feces, eggs, you name it. They would throw it off the bridge and on the ship."

Nowadays, he says most people are just like Dr. Shamblott -- going out of their way to say thanks.

"I thought I could make the biggest difference by using the skill I have and my skills to fix teeth,” Dr. Shamblott said.