Meet Dreamer: The barber helping LA veterans heal through haircuts

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Saturday, July 30, 2022
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He's been cutting hair on the streets of West Los Angeles for years, but the veteran - who says he's been homeless his entire life - is using the art of hair styling as a way to help other veterans heal.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- He's a veteran turned barber, but above anything else - he's a dreamer.

Antonio Bravo Esparza, also known as Tony Bravo, likes to be called The Dreamer.

He's been cutting hair on the streets of West Los Angeles for years, but the veteran - who says he's been homeless his entire life - is using the art of hair styling as a way to help other veterans heal.

"I went to school for hair in the early 60s and got the idea that I could bring it here in the VA," he told Eyewitness News.

Many of his clients are military veterans and the cost of a haircut? Well, that's up to you. He accepts any form of payment - such as food or fruit - so no one is left behind.

"My wealth is of a different value system, not necessarily dollars and cents," he said.

Dreamer is loved by many of his clients and has even been recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for his work.

"Having my haircut from a veteran, and being a veteran, is a big deal," said Mel Weaver, one of Dreamer's long-time customers. "Just to be able to be with somebody who understands what I've been through, and that's huge. I could be having a bad day, but when I get a haircut from Dreamer, it really changes the outlook of the day."

Hit play in the video above to learn more about Dreamer's story.