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Morning Coffee at the Legion

Veterans Edition Story - By: Katherine Trowbridge

Don Krien makes his way downtown to open up the American Legion hall bright and early. He shared, “I joined five years ago, seems I had waited too long to do so. But I enjoy it.” Krien opens up the Legion Post and makes a fresh pot of coffee for the boys that will be coming in to join him between 7:30 and 9 am Monday through Friday. They sit around a table warming their hands on the cups while talking over history, city business, the price of gas, food, and a myriad of topics. War is one subject they tend to avoid along with the things they endured during their service to our country.

Krien is a Marine, Jerry Lueck served in the Navy during Vietnam, and Carl Noble served in the Army in Vietnam. John White and Joe Escalera joined them on this particular Monday, of Veterans Day week. White shared, he had really wanted to serve his country but a heart murmur kept him out. He tried hard to join but never got the chance. He shared, "I really wanted to be a merchant Marine."

The boys munched on some cookies that were left in the refrigerator and had a box of donuts, leftover from the week before that also sat on the table.

The handful of veterans in attendance for morning coffee shows how many of our greats are dying off. The guys spoke of those they knew in our community who have passed away and the numbers who are gone. In my estimation, it is a reminder, to see the importance of the time we have with these great men and women who served our country. A reminder to honor them, not just on Veterans Day, but everyday. If you have a day off of school, or a free morning, why not stop in, bring a little treat to share and sit down and converse with these local veterans over coffee. While you're at it, bring your kids with you.

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