COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – The sound of old war stories filled the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 665, as older veterans shared their stories with each other over a hot plate of breakfast.
The VFW holds breakfast for veterans every Saturday from 7-10 a.m. – Post 665 wants veterans to feel like they have a support system and a place to go. The veterans that come to this post share old war stories, talk about everyday life and enjoy a nice breakfast. Froylan Rivas, Commander of Post 665 said these veterans enjoy being around people who have the same experience.
“It’s just somewhere they can come out and be with somebody who shares their same life experiences,” Rivas said.
Tables are always full of veterans eating breakfast and sharing stories, but Rivas says there’s always room for more veterans.
“It does get pretty packed, wish it was more. I always wish it was more but it does get pretty packed, especially on Sundays we have karaoke,” Rivas said.
Rivas told News 3 he enjoys being in this atmosphere.
“It makes me feel wonderful, a lot of the time you don’t miss the mundane things about being in the military. But you miss the comradery, the shared experiences, the guy to the left and to the right of you and when I see veterans of all eras. Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, all those guys just sharing a meal, just talking. It really just warms my heart up,” Rivas said.
Rivas isn’t the only one who gets a warm heart from being around veterans. Nancy Bell enjoys being around veterans and helping them as well. Her father, Colonel Bell, served in World War II, Vietnam and the Korean War. She made a vow to her veteran father before he died that she would be the support system for other veterans in need. Bell volunteers at the VFW while wearing her father’s dog tags so she can fulfill her vow.
“Last Saturday I came to volunteer and these are the most beautiful older vets that just want to come in and have breakfast and socialize with other soldiers,” Bell said.
While Bell enjoys spending time with older veterans, she would like for younger veterans to spend time with them as well.
“What I didn’t see was the young soldiers, so we need to put the word out to get the young soldiers. They have an amazing breakfast, so these young soldiers need to come in and sit down with these guys and share stories. These gentlemen are just a wealth of information and a lot of them are by themselves,” Bell said.
Bell told News 3 VFW Post 665 is a great place for veterans of all ages to come because they have such a strong mission statement.
“This place in particular, their mission statement is so on point. They have walkers and wheelchairs here that people have donated. They do so many more things than just serve breakfast, they serve a community of vets,” Bell said.