“I’ve enjoyed every bit of it, because it is a pure network in which we are in a community of people who are just like us. They’re veterans from all the services, and they all have stories, and I like, listen to them as much as I like to tell mine,” shares Navy Veteran Charles Stevenson.
Stevenson has consistently attended the Thursday morning breakfast tradition for roughly five years.
“It was started by a group of volunteers. They call themselves the ‘Kitchen Angels,’ and now the program has expanded to the community. We’ve got so many different organizations and groups that come in and cook and help serve, and talk with the veterans,” says Veterans One Stop Program Supervisor Meagan Noranbrock.
Volunteers and sponsors assist in serving over a hundred veterans a week – preparing food as early as 6 a.m. and feeding veterans all the way until 9 a.m.
There are also programs, recreational activities and Bible study that follows after.
“For some veterans, this is the morning where they come in and they get to sit and chat with their friends and make new friends. For some, it could be the only hot meal that they’re having. And for others, it’s just tradition. It’s a ritual,” shares Noranbrock.
Army Veteran Dale Cobb says this breakfast tradition unites all walks of life.
“They family, you know? We all family. No matter what part of the service they served, we are still family. We come together and have fun. We just talk about fun and how we made it, how we got to make it back. A lot of comrades didn’t make it back,” says Cobb.
If you are a veteran or family member of one, Noranbrock says their doors are open to you.
As for veterans like Stevenson, “They managed it for the last five years, and I hope they keep going for another five or ten. I’m going to be here that long.”