Skip to Content

El Paso veteran brings smiles wherever the mission sends him

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- "It's something that I adore, its something that really gives back to the veterans in the country that deserve the type of care we give."

Deme Gonzalez is an El Pasoan and Navy veteran with 24 years of military service.

He is the Executive Director of the Adopt-A-Vet Dental program in Reno, Nevada.

Created in 2010, the program provides free dental care to veterans who don't qualify for dental care elsewhere.

Born and raised in El Paso, Gonzalez was instilled with a love for people... and it is this love he wants to spread to other communities.

"You know its everywhere," Gonzalez said. "You see it in the north, in the south, in the west, eastside... you know its all about family... it's all about taking care of each other. It's what I bring with me everywhere I go."

The program was founded by its president, Linda Haigh, who was inspired by her father, a World War II veteran.

Haigh says her father would be proud to know she was giving back to those who served.

"All of a sudden I get a new set of teeth and I feel 20 years younger," Marin veteran and Adopt-A-Vet Dental beneficiary Joe Tancredi said. "I can talk properly and not embarrassed and it's just a great feeling."

Adopt-A-Vet Dental is funded by donations and Gonzalez has plans of expanding to Texas.

"I can say is that it's a Texas-born American that's running this program and I would love to bring this to Texas and if El Paso is a place we can start this process, then so be it."

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Crista V. Mack

Crista V. Mack is a U.S. Air Force veteran who transitioned to news as a multi-media journalist.


KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content