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Veterans Breakfast Club
Thursday, November 10, 2022 by Brave Knight Writers

“The mission of the Veterans Breakfast Club is to create communities of listening around veterans and their stories to ensure that this living history will never be forgotten. We believe that through our work, people will be connected, educated, healed, and inspired.”

We zoomed in on a Veterans Breakfast Club meeting last week. The meeting lasted an hour and a half, but it seemed like ten minutes. The club creates a forum for veterans to gather, and to share photos and stories. Guest speakers are invited to share their experiences and insights. They invite authors to speak and listen, to put to paper the experiences of veterans, so we never forget their sacrifices and courage.

There were several speakers at the event, one was a woman who interviews veterans and writes of their service. A woman from the Veteran’s Administration spoke of benefit changes. A silver star recipient with three purple hearts spoke, and our own Dale Ann. The sharing ranged from World War Two through the Gulf wars, with arial photos of mid-east missile bases to shots from the jungles of Vietnam.  Dale Ann shared a little about her nine years of Air Force service working on the flight line and cross training to Avionics, she maintained F-16’s and directed maintenance crews from a control room. In addition to speaking of her military experiences, she mentioned the military service of her two sons, and our writing endeavors. One of our upcoming works is historical fiction based on my father’s World War II flight logs which include thirty-six missions landing behind enemy lines in Yugoslavia.

Several reasons make it difficult to talk about experiences which involve tragedy, brutality, and outrage. Those who experience such things may not want to relive them, they may not want to drag others into the dark places in their hearts, or it may be such experiences go beyond words and make it impossible to explain. Someone with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has trouble relating to routine life situations. The sufferer may tell themselves no one wants to hear stories from an alternate life experience. Instead of healing, the wounds fester and become medicated by alcohol or drugs. Gathering with others who share a background allows for a release of suppressed feelings and anxieties without having the feel of therapy. The breakfast Club experience is low key, no pressure, tune in and listen, or contribute.

Along with zoom meetings the VBC schedules in-person events and gatherings. Every veteran has a story, telling it promotes healing. Our veterans need our support for a lifetime, not just on a couple of special days each year. Brave Knight Writers recommends visiting the VBC website, read their offerings, and give your support. The following is an excerpt from the VBC’s history post.

The Veterans Breakfast Club was born from a remarkable gathering of thirty World War II veterans brought together in the suburbs of Pittsburgh in the fall of 2008 simply to share their stories. Emotion ran high, and the stories were so enthralling that the organizers, local businessman Dan Cavanaugh and historian Todd DePastino, scheduled more sessions, this time open to the public. One veteran’s daughter said upon leaving, “I’ve never heard my dad tell these stories before. There’s a real need for this kind of thing.”

Remember, war doesn’t just impact those who go to war, it’s a family situation requiring everyone to heal. Please visit the site. https://veteransbreakfastclub.org/ https://veteransbreakfastclub.org/history/

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