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Help out your local vets by getting a haircut


Sandy barber will give free haircuts for donations

by: POST PHOTO: JIM HART - Holding a photo of his son, Manuel J. 'Manny' Padilla (in the Air Force), is Sandy barber Paul 'Manny' Padilla, who is organizing a day of free haircuts to encourage donations to the local, VFW Post No. 4273 for the benefit of service men and women returning from active duty. POST PHOTO: JIM HARTVeteran supporter Paul “Manny” Padilla, who operates the Pioneer Barber Shop in Sandy, raised funds in February to support veterans returning from foreign wars.

Padilla is back, doing it again.

In less than two weeks, another Veterans Day will be celebrated across the country, and Padilla again will support veterans by cutting hair.

Padilla offers free haircuts to men of any age as well as boys and veterans. All he asks is a voluntary donation to the VFW Post 4273 in Sandy, just like he did last February.

“Everybody who came in (last winter) donated,” he said. “And all of my tips also go in the (collection bucket) for the vets.”

Padilla and another barber, Nicole Green, will cut hair all day from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10 — all the while collecting donations for returning veterans and their families. Everything left for both barbers, Padilla said, will assist local veterans returning home from war.

Most veterans return home, and when their military pay ends they most often don’t have a job to go to or an income — until they find a job.

“It’s bad enough that so many people are out of work,” Padilla said, “but when the vets come home they’re also out of work.”

The VFW is one of several stopgap places where vets can get a hand up until they become more self-sustaining.

Veterans Day will be recognized Monday, Nov. 12, but Padilla wants to celebrate a couple of days early — on the 237th anniversary of the Marine Corps.

This is Padilla’s way of celebrating Veterans Day, when he remembers all the members of his family who served in several wars — from his forebears to his children. He remembers them by helping the local VFW post assist vets and their families adjust to life after war.

VFW Commander Merle Stewart said he is happy that (Padilla) will give haircuts again as a fundraiser.

“The vets really appreciate the support,” he said.

Padilla says he’s motivated because he knows a lot of vets. His son was in the Air Force, and his uncle is a veteran who lost his eyesight at Iwo Jima in World War II.

Padilla has a lot of respect and thankfulness for people in the service of their country, and this haircutting day is one of the ways he shows his admiration.

“When I hear other people complain about how bad life is,” he said, “I think, ‘if it wasn’t for these guys (vets), your life would be a whole lot worse.’ I’d just like some of these cars going by (on Pioneer Boulevard) to stop and help out the vets.”

For anyone who doesn’t want or need a haircut between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, Padilla says stop in before then and leave a donation for the VFW Post 4273.

Padilla’s Pioneer Barber Shop is located at 38776 Pioneer Blvd. For information, call 503-381-6989.