Ash Wednesday, this week, started the Lenten season. My pastor, Father Dan Schlegel says, “Lent is an excuse to be better.” Veteran, Anthony Bravo EsparzaI lives this philosophy every day. He helps veterans feel better about themselves by giving haircuts for little or no cost all year long. The NPR article said that Anthony gives 200 hair cuts a month. He does this ,”To help U.S. troops ease back into civilian life, and (provide) a safe and friendly place to hang out. Esparza — known to his friends as “Dreamer” — sees it as a way to help former soldiers find their way.”
Crowley, an assistant doesn’t cut hair but says, “When I’m there at the trailer — I’ve watched a guy that just came right off the streets, not doing too well, and the only thing he has to pay you with is an orange.” Anthony makes deals with whatever they’ve got– rubber band balls; pebbles, rocks, washers. Cowley has never seen Anthony turn anybody away. Cowley was one of those veterans that walked in off the street. He says of Anthony, “You impressed me from the very start, and I respect what you have imparted to me. It’s what has made me into a better person, because of my interaction with you.”
Father Dan says,”Embracing Lent means that we believe in Easter-the promise of new life. Anthony Bravo Esparzal gives veterans hope and a haircut and a way to change their lives for the better. Anthony is a wonderful example for us. What can you give back to our veterans?