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An Early Mother’s Day

Burke hair salon provides a complimentary day of services to the mothers, wives and daughters of deployed American soldiers.

In the suburbs that many military families call home, there is no shortage of women who are missing soldiers serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.

That’s why Millie Singh, co-owner of the Tangles Salon and Spa in Burke Centre, decided to use her business as a way to say "thank you." She wanted to tell the local mothers, sisters, wives and daughters of American soldiers that they are appreciated too.

"We want to tell those soldiers that we care about them and we care about their families," said Singh. "We want to do something nice for their families while they’re away."

The salon is normally closed on Sundays, but Singh said every employee came in May 6, the day Tangles provided free haircuts and styles for military wives, mothers and daughters. She was overjoyed with the response from other businesses, too. Great Harvest Bread Co., a bakery next door to the salon, donated loaves of bread, one for each client to take home. The bakery also brought over scones and other treats for the women to snack on throughout the day. The restaurant on the other side of the salon, the Fortune House, provided lunch for the women and employees. Several hair-product suppliers provided products for the event too, and the Dollar Store donated balloons.

"It’s amazing how much the community is involved," Singh said.

FOR THE WOMEN getting pampered, the day was bittersweet. While they missed their loved ones fighting in the Middle East, they also enjoyed the nice gesture from the community.

"I think it’s incredible," said Amy Strong, a Burke daughter of a deployed serviceman. "I don’t think anybody has ever thought to do this. They didn’t just do it for the mothers either; they did it for the daughters and the wives too."

The salon booked more than 30 appointments for the day for about 20 women. Manicures, haircuts, makeup applications and styling were all complimentary. It’s the first year Singh decided to provide the services, and the positive response has encouraged her to do it again next year.

"I had mothers with tears in their eyes, they were so happy," she said.

Karisa Eure, a hair stylist at the salon, said most people send and show their support for the troops. "It’s so easy to forget about the families," she said. One of Eure’s clients for the day was Teresa Schier of Annandale. Schier’s husband, Ronald, is serving overseas. Schier is a teacher, and said she found out about the complimentary pampering through one of her student’s parents.

"She thought it would be a nice treat for me," said Schier.

Singh relied on the salon’s clients and employees to spread the word about the event. One client donated $100, said Singh, to pay for flowers that the salon gave out to the women. Another client, she said, put a notice about the event in her community’s newsletter.

"It’s very touching," said Schier. "I thought it was a great way to say 'thank you' to the families … because right now I’m running on empty."