"I was definitely due for a haircut." The timing couldn't be more perfect for Jason Homer.
"This is the first time she's cutting my hair," he said. "So she better not mess it up." Homer says his longtime friend, Amanda, who is a stylist at SportClips in Rib Mountain, called to tell him to come on down for a free day of pampering. It's to say thank you this Veterans Day to people like Homer who served and continue to serve to keep our country safe.
The former soldier was deployed twice over 11 years--once to Kuwait and again to Iraq, returned home two-and-half-years ago. "This last one was a personal security mission," Homer said.
Now, Homer is taking at least a year off to rejuvenate himself. And what better place to start than at a barbershop.
"Haircuts aren't cheap anymore," he said. "So to get a free haircut, and from someone you know, I like it. It's a small thing, but if you're appreciative, you appreciate it more than other people think."
It's a service that may only save these guys a couple bucks, but the kind gesture can have a priceless impact on what they take away from their service.
"It's amazing, they've spent so much time giving back to our nation, fighting for us and everything else, it's just awesome to be able to give back to them," said SportClips manager Lisa Marcell.
The offer doesn't just include a haircut. Everyone gets the MVP treatment: a shampoo, a hot steam towel and a massage. All SportClips around the country participate each year on Nov. 11.
"We chose to do it an extra day," Marcell said. "We have a lot of military in the area and we really want to get the word out that we're really appreciative of what they've done for us."
The Rib Mountain location will do it all again Monday from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. Both active and veteran military are welcome to come by. The public can also make a donation to SportClips' charity, Be a Hero, Help a Hero--a program that raises money to buy phone cards so service members can call home for free. They will accept donations through Nov. 23.