Veterans’ coffee club keeping bonds strong through the years
FORT THOMAS, Ky. (WXIX) - A Northern Kentucky coffee shop is bridging the gap for veterans while keeping a mission in mind.
Each week, veterans use the space inside Fort Thomas Coffee to gather and share their stories in a unique way.
Some stories are light, but others are hard to share.
“You never forget the time a lot of people are shooting at you,” says Marine veteran Jim Kent. “That’s the thing you think about the most.”
Still, every Friday, active duty and retired military members gather at the coffee shop to show their gratitude for one another over a cup of joe.
“The gentlemen who started it, Lonie, saw me out in town and said, ‘Hey, you gotta come up and join us,’” remembers David Thiel, a Navy veteran.
The group calls itself the Veterans and Friends Coffee Club.
It started about five years ago with just a few service members and now includes dozens of people each week.
“There is a camaraderie amongst veterans that were people in the military,” says Fort Thomas Coffee owner, Christine Smalley. “I’ve gotten to see firsthand the value of community and the brotherhood and sisterhood when they’re in the military. They keep connecting and keep showing up for one another. So, that’s really important to me.”
A majority of the group is from the engineer battalion in Fort Thomas, but there are also veterans from all branches of the military who show up each week to keep the bond alive and the coffee flowing.
The shop owner says on the Friday before Veterans Day, they will be holding a celebration for the 248th birthday of the Marine Corps.
There are three marines that come to the shop often, so you can stop in and thank them for their service.
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