DENVER (KDVR) — It’s not often you hear about a veteran who’s the recipient of two Purple Hearts, but that’s the case for Kenyon Conley.
He’s a barber at Sauce Money Barbershop on Colfax Avenue in Denver, but before he was cutting and fading, he was fighting and defending our country.
His stint in the military spanned 15 years, from 2004-2019. During this time, he was deployed to Iraq once and Afghanistan several times.
While in Afghanistan in 2013, he was injured not once, but twice, in both a suicide bombing and by a roadside bomb.
“We were out on a patrol and, we [started] taking small arms fire,” Conley explained to FOX31’s Joshua Short about the wounds that earned him his first Purple Heart. “It was an old man, like walking towards us and everyone. We were telling everybody to, you know, run, everyone was running and the old man was walking towards us and he had a bomb [strapped] to his body and he blew himself up.”
He said this was actually the second time he was injured in action. But this instance was not his last.
Once he was fit for duty again, he went on his first patrol and hit another roadside bomb. He ended up hurt but did not want to leave his fellow fighters.
“If you ask any soldier, they say they do it for their battle buddies. So that’s what I did. It was my battle buddies and my soldiers at the time. I didn’t want to leave them,” Conley said.
Now, he and his barber buddies are serving their communities with confidence through cuts.
But the staff sergeant, now medically retired, is still sore about what recently happened to his buddies abroad during our country’s exit from Afghanistan.
“To be honest, I didn’t like it,” Conley said, referencing the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan a few months ago. “I know a lot of people that passed away out there and, when I saw it, I just felt like everything we [dealt] with there was for nothing.”
But on Veterans Day, we recognize the selfless sacrifice was indeed for something: it was for us, our country, our community, our freedom.
“That’s why I’m a barber. Because as a barber, I’m really a part of something bigger,” Conley said. “I stopped serving in the military and found a way to serve my community as a barber.”
Conley will be providing discounts all weekend for his customers who are military veterans.
Sauce Money Barbershop is located at 909 E. Colfax Ave. in Denver.