The Veterans breakfast club

The Veterans breakfast club

The Veterans breakfast club

awordfromourdirector It’s been ten years since we gathered a small group of WWII veterans at a ho- tel banquet room in the South Hills for what we would later call “The Veterans Breakfast Club.” As those veterans shared their stories that morning in 2008, we couldn’t have dreamed that our friendly little club would grow into a region-wide non-profit serv- ing thousands of veterans, families, neighbors, and friends throughout Western Pennsylvania. Since 2008, we’ve held almost 400 veter- an storytelling events—all open to the public- -with almost 30,000 people attending. Our mission is to connect veterans to the commu- nity through their stories—to educate, to in- spire, and to heal.

We also record the stories told and share our interviews and conversa- tions with veterans through podcasts, videos, and radio shorts.

This year, we plan on expanding our pro- graming to include panel discussions so we can go deeper into veterans’ stories and allow vet- erans to share their perspectives on contempo- rary issues. Given our evening events, digital media, and panel discussions, perhaps “Veterans Breakfast Club” is no longer the right name for what we do. We’re working on that. In the mean time, please join us at any event. All are welcome, and you don’t need to be a veteran to attend. I look for- ward to seeing you all this spring! event locations at a glance Christ United Method- ist Church • Seven Oaks Country Club • Comfort Inn Penn Hills • Salva- tore’s Banquets • Uncom- mon Grounds Coffee House• Christ Church at Grove Farm • Spring Valley Community event details inside find our updated schedule, photos, stories and more at RSVP to 412-623-9029 or • 200 Magnolia Place Pittsburgh, PA 15228 The Veterans Breakfast Club is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.


Breakfasts begin at 8:30 A.M. $12 for breakfast at all locations unless other- wise noted. Just to attend is free. SPRING 2018 NEWSLETTER • VOLUME 9, ISSUE 1 TheVeterans breakfastclub Todd DePastino Executive Director

The Veterans breakfast club

TUESDAY, MARCH 27 8:30-10:30am Christ United Methodist Church (44 Highland Rd, Bethel Park, 15102) WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4 8:30-10:30am Seven Oaks Country Club (132 Lisbon Rd, Beaver 15009) WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11 8:30-10:30am NEWLOCATION!ChristChurch at Grove Farm (249 Duff Rd, Se- wickley, 15143). DIRECTIONS: I-79 to Exit 68, east on Mt. Nebo Rd 1/2 mile, right on Duff Rd.

FRIDAY, APRIL 13 8:30-10:30am Comfort Inn Conference Center (699 Rodi Rd, Penn Hills 15235) THURSDAY, APRIL 19 11:30-1:00pm Thursday, April 19, 11:30am- 1:00pm: “Coming Home: A Pan- el of Vietnam Veterans Discuss their Thoughts on Returning to Vietnam.” Everyone is welcome! A panel of four Vietnam veterans who traveled to Vietnam with the VBC will reflect on the journey and share their thoughts in a public fo- rum hosted at Point Park Universi- ty. Todd DePastino will moderate. This event is open to the public, and all are encouraged to attend. Point Park University: The event will be held in the JVH Auditori- um, Thayer Hall, 2nd floor.

But visitors can enter through Aca- demic Hall (205 Wood St Pitts- burgh, PA 15222 between Third Ave and Blvd of the Allies) TUESDAY, APRIL 24 8:30-10:30am Salvatore’s Banquets (5001 Curry Rd, Baldwin 15236) SATURDAY, MAY 5 9-11 am Uncommon Grounds Cof- fee House (380 Franklin Ave, Aliquippa 15001). Buffet break- fast and storytelling. Suggest- ed donation: $10. Uncommon Grounds is a faith-based coffee house run by the Church Army USA.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 9 8:30-10:30am Memorial Park Presbyterian Church (8800 Peebles Rd, Alli- son Park 15101) SATURDAY, MAY 19 9-11 am FREE BREAKFAST IN HER- MITAGE ON ARMED FORCES DAY! Buhl Park Activities Build- ing. 730 Forker Blvd, Hermit- age, Pennsylvania 16148 (turn off Forker at the Gatehouse). Breakfast, veteran storytelling. You don’t have to be a veteran to attend! RSVP to Lauren at 412-623-9029 or lauren@veter- upcoming Morning events We expect to return to Robert Morris University in July. In the mean time, please consid- er attending our events at Un- common Grounds in Aliquip- pa, Seven Oaks Country Club in Beaver, or Christ Church at Grove Farm in Sewickley.

2 vbc | SPRING 2018 SATURDAY, MAY 26 9 am BREAKFAST AT THE MEADOWS! $15 per person for breakfast. Every guest re- ceives $5 in Slot Free Play. 210 Racetrack Road, Washington, PA 15301(in the Triple Crown Banquet and Conference Cen- ter located on the Racetrack Level. Free parking in the lot or garage). RSVP BY MAY 21 to Lauren 412-623-9029 or lauren@veteransbreakfastclub. com.

Last year, Navy veteran Lauren Del Ricci joined the VBC on a Fel- lowship awarded by The Mission Continues. This year, Lauren re- joins us as a staff member. Lauren will serve as Executive Assistant and will be the main point of con- tact for the organization. She will take RSVPs for events and help to run the organization. She’ll also emcee events from time to time. Lauren can be reached at lauren@ and 412-623-9029. lauren del ricci RSVP FOR ALL EVENTS TO lauren@veteransbreakfast or 412-623-9029

The Veterans breakfast club

FRIDAY, JUNE 1 8:30-10:30am Comfort Inn Conference Center (699 Rodi Rd, Penn Hills 15235) WEDNESDAY, JUNE 6 8:30-10:30am Seven Oaks Country Club (132 Lisbon Rd, Beaver 15009) SATURDAY, JUNE 9 8:30am FREE BREAKFAST at the Spring Valley Community, Fayette County.

Saturday, June 9, 8:30am 100 Spring Valley Road, Farming- ton, PA 15437. Just off Farming- ton-Ohiopyle Road/Rt.-381. Fol- low signs to the dining hall. RSVP to Lauren at 412-623-9029 or lauren@veteransbreakfastclub. com. WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13 8:30-10:30am Christ Church at Grove Farm (249 Duff Rd, Sewickley 15143) TUESDAY JUNE 19 8:30-10:30am Christ United Methodist Church (44 Highland Rd, Bethel Park, 15102) WEDNESDAY JULY 4 9-110am FREE BREAKFAST IN JOHN- STOWN! Conemaugh Township Fire Department, 1942 Kring St, Tire Hill, PA 15959 (Richland American Legion Post #849 pro- viding breakfast) 3 upcoming vbcatnightevents MONDAY, APRIL 2 6:30PM Spoonwood Brewing (5981 Baptist Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15236) MONDAY, APRIL 9 7:00PM Special VBC Panel Discussion of Ken Burns PBS series “The Vietnam War.” Peters Township Public Library (616 E McMur- ray Rd, McMurray, PA 15317).

To commemorate the 50th an- niversary of the Tet Offensive and to delve more deeply into our veterans’ experiences and perspectives, we’re partnering with Peters Township Public Library to hold a panel discus- sion of Ken Burns’ landmark series “The Vietnam War.” The panel will feature four Vietnam veterans and will be moderated by Todd DePastino. The event is open to the public and all are welcome to attend. Register on- line at or call 724- 941-9430.

SATURDAY, APRIL 21 7:00PM “A Panel Discussion: The Af- rican American Experience in the Military, Then and Now.” Comfort Inn & Conference Cen- ter 699 Rodi Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15235. Please join us for this FREE special evening Veterans Breakfast Club event in Penn Hills. We’ll have free food and cash bar and will feature a pan- el discussion focusing on the unique experiences and sacrific- es of African American veterans of all eras. THURSDAY, MAY 24 6:30PM Patrick’s Pub (1207 Spring Run Road Extension, Coraopolis, PA, 15108) MONDAY, JUNE 4 6:30PM Spoonwood Brewing (5981 Baptist Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15236) congratulations! Congratulations to Jim Jamieson for being named a Three Rivers Champion by Pittsburgh Magazine for his volun- teer work with the VBC! Thank you for your service, Jim!

free food, cash bar RSVP FOR ALL EVENTS TO lauren@veteransbreak- or 412- 623-9029

The Veterans breakfast club

Departure for Paris - Depart US for overnight travel to Paris Paris - Arrive at CDG airport, Paris. Meet your guide for a half-day city tour of the City of Lights. Travel along the Champs-Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe, view the Eiffel Tower from the Montparnasse Tower. Join your fellow travelers at the end of the day for a Welcome Dinner and turn in early for a good night’s sleep. Paris Awaits - After breakfast, head to the Musee de L’Armee, have lunch on your own at an iconic street- side café and then explore Paris…perhaps an art museum, a walk to the Eiffel Tower.

Versailles and Off to Normandy - Versailles was the site of the German surrender after WWI. Our visit is twofold: admiring the palatial grounds, gardens, art collection and residences and learning about the demands of demilitarization, concessions of territories, and “War Guilt Clause” imposed on Germany and her allies with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on May 9, 1919 at the end of WWI. Afternoon, travel to Normandy and visit Arromanches and the D-Day Museum. Last stop en route to the hotel, the gun battery at Longues sur Mer. Overnight Normandy.

Normandy: Operation Overlord - Your day begins at Utah Beach. You’ll have ample time to visit the Museum, bookstore, and walk onto the beach. During the afternoon, visit Brecourt Manor. Final touring stop: the square of Ste. Mere-Eglise. Off the square, enter the Airborne Museum which honors the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions. Explore the “drop zone” of the 82nd Airborne at La Fiere and the Mederet River. Overnight Normandy. Begin the day at the Overlord Museum. Then travel to Pointe du Hoc. Step into abandoned German bun- kers still partially buried amidst the bomb craters. Your visit to Normandy concludes at the Normandy American Cemetery.

If you are able, take the long staircase down to the dunes, to Omaha Beach. Overnight Normandy.

Normandy through Belgium to The Netherlands Depart Normandy and wind your way toward Holland. Enjoy late afternoon in Eindhoven, which named Major Dick Winters as a “Citizen of Honor.” Enjoy dinner at the hotel. Day 1 Sept 11 Day 2 Sept 12 Day 3 Sept 13 Day 4 Sept 14 Day 5 Sept 15 Day 6 Sept 16 Day 7 Sept 17 Dog Tag Tours, LLC has designed this trip specifically for the Veterans Breakfast Club. Laura Passuello 717-417-USA1 / 717-417-8721 Paris - Versailles - Normandy Invasion - Remember September - Battle of the Bulge - Liberation of Luxembourg - Dachau - Munich - The Eagle’s Nest Todd DePastino will serve as one of the Historians on the trip, who will provide the broader history and background of the places we’ll see.

We’ll also learn from the veterans traveling with us! WWII BATTLEFIELD EXPEDITION THEWESTERNFRONT ● September 11-25, 2018 VBC in europe: ® EUROPE TRIP INFO SESSION: Hear more about the trip and have your questions answered! Monday February 12, 7:00pm.

Christ United Methodist Church (44 Highland Rd, Bethel Park, PA 15102 - Otterbein Room) RSVP to or 412-623-9029 4 vbc | SPRING 2018

The Veterans breakfast club

The Netherlands, Operation Market-Garden, “Liberation Day” - A short morning drive brings you to The Wings of Liberation Museum. The September 17, 1944 “drop zone” of Easy Company is only a few miles away. Stop at the Memorial to LTC Robert Cole, 101st Medal of Honor Recipient. After returning to the Muse- um, you’ll enjoy a late lunch at the Café adjoining the Museum. Return to the hotel stopping in Odenrode or Neunin at memorials and history.

Dinner at hotel. Enjoy festive “Remember September” activities and Parade of Lights with displays that will be familiar. Overnight Eindhoven.

On to Belgium: Battle of the Bulge - Your first stop is Belgian Fort Eben Emael. The afternoon begins with lunch at Five Points Café, and a tour of the Baugnez Crossroads Museum, including a documentary about the Malmedy Massacre, the savage attack on unarmed US POWs, that occurred in the field just beyond the mu- seum grounds. By early evening, you’ll arrive in Bastogne, the town defended by the 101st Airborne Division during the harsh winter of 1944-45. Enjoy a short exploration of the downtown area, McAuliffe Square, and dinner on your own. Try Le Nuts Café! Overnight Bastogne.

Bastogne - The morning Luxembourg Historian Emeritus Roland Gaul joins you for two full days of Bastogne and beyond Bastogne.

Begin at the 101st Museum near the hotel, then travel to Bastogne Barracks, an active Belgian military base, which served as 101st HQ during the dark days when the division was surrounded. After a visit to the Mardasson Memorial, Roland will join us to direct our driver to memorials to PA’s 28th Infantry Division. Overnight Bastogne. Beyond Bastogne - Historian Roland Gaul or one of his knowledgeable colleagues will board the coach and assist in directing this day. Born and raised in Luxembourg, he is passionate about preserving the history of the liberation of LUX, and the area of greatest conflict in Europe during WWII: The Battle of the Bulge.

Over- night Luxembourg.

We say farewell to the battlefields of the Bulge by paying our respects at The American Cemetery at Hamme, Luxembourg. En route to Stuttgart, stop in Heidelberg, home to Germany’s oldest university. Shops and cafes line the streets. Cathedrals are open to visit. The castle guards the city. The River Neckar invites relaxation. Group dinner at Hotel. Overnight Stuttgart. “The Final Solution” - The day begins with a somber reminder of the terror and inhumanity of the Third Re- ich. While first serving as a “prison for political dissidents” in 1933, after the crafting of the Final Solution, the camp was expanded in 1939 to a capacity of over 11,000 German and Austrian Jews.

Liberated by American troops in 1945, in its 12 years in existence, Dachau held more than 200,000 prisoners, Homosexuals, gypsies, and Jews, with estimates that 42,000 died inside its walls. Late afternoon, enjoy free time in Munich and the Oktoberfest spirit of the city…consider the Hofbrau Haus for an authentic “Bierhall” dining experience. Dinner on your own. Overnight Munich.

Bavarian Alps - You’ll climb to 6,000 ft to reach Obersalzberg. First, visit the Dokumentation Center, which chronicles the rise of Nazi Germany. Descend to the lowest level where you’ll walk through the excavated com- plex of bunkers built to shield Hitler and his guests in the event of attack. Then, “take the Eagle’s Nest” aboard the tram which winds its way up the mountain, around hairpin turns, to Hitler’s mountain retreat “Eagle’s Nest” (weather permitting). Departing the Alps, enjoy the panoramic views of the German countryside. After packing and readying your belongings for the morning flight, join the group for a final dinner – reflecting on the trip, exchanging email addresses, and toasting the American forces who liberated Europe in 1944-45.

Fare- well Dinner.Overnight Munich.

Trip of a Lifetime - A final breakfast, home to the “States.” Day 11 Sept 21 Day 12 Sept 22 Day 13 Sept 23 Day 14 Sept 24 Day 15 Sept 25 Day 10 Sept 20 Day 9 Sept 19 Day 8 Sept 18 LAND RATE: $5,495 per person Double Occupancy, Single Supplement $999 Optional Roundtrip Group Air from Pittsburgh to Paris: $1,150 (American Airlines via Philadelphia) Tour Capacity: Minimum of 15 people must be registered 120 days prior to departure or tour may be cancelled. All deposits are refunded or you may transfer to another tour. Your individual travel should not be booked until this deadline has passed and the tour departure is guaranteed.

Meals: Breakfast Daily, Four lunches, Nine Dinners. Lunch stops in public markets, sidewalk cafes and en route at “Service Plazas” which offer homemade sandwiches, crusty European breads and cheeses. Travel Protection: Highly encouraged. Details provided at time of deposit or check our website. Gratuities Included: Hotel porters and restaurant staff for meals and services.

The Veterans breakfast club

THank you to the following for your Ryan Ahl Ray Amelio Anonymous Bill & Pam Armitage Doug Austin Joe Babik John Bacha Joe Backers Pete Balestreire Karen & Marshall Balk, In memory of Allan De- Pastino Karen & Marshall Balk Sam Balk John Barber Kelly Barber Bill & Nancy Barnard, In Memory of John Opeka and Bob Williams Bill & Nancy Barnard Herb & Joan Baugh Beaver County Foundation Al Bellini Bernie Berklich Patricia Bicanich Daniel Birchok Bob & Jane Blair Ed Blank Clem & Pat Blazewick Robert Boff Dan Bonarski Joe Boscia Harvey Bowser Joan Boyd John & Clare Bozek, In memory of Allan DePas- tino John & Clare Bozek Don Brainerd Bill Braslawsce Jim & Ginnie Braun Ray Brendel Chuck Brewick Steve & Kathy Brittian Les & Denise Brody George Brown Ed Brown Jim & Lorraine Bruni Rebecca Brunotte Greg Bucci Nancy Bucey Bob Buckler Jan Byers, In memory of Ed Wenger Jim Capone Lou Caracciolo Greg Carlisle Bob Cassidy Frank Cava Geri Chichilla Dave Chrzan Joe & Judy Cirelli Clearview Federal Credit Union, In honor of Jim Jamieson’s volunteer service Susan Coe Kathy Colbert Ila Cole Lee Corfield Jonathan Crawford, In memory of “Big Al” Craw- ford 24 JUN 1924 - 11 OCT 2014 Gwyn Cready Chris Crompton, In memory of William Geisler, Proud WWII Navy Veteran Bill Crookshank Don Cue Jim Cullison Josh Curtaccio Paul D’Andries Al DeFazio Harry & Margaret Deitzer Dennis & Nancy Del Bianco, In memory of Allan DePastino Dana Del Bianco Diane Demcak Vic & Delia DiCarlo Pete DiNardo Patricia Doherty Ray Dombrosky Joe Dornbrock Gerard Driscoll Edward & Jackie Dugan Don & Doris Dumrauf Dutch Ridge Elementary 6th graders Dutch Ridge Elementary School 6th grad- ers Virginia Eberharter David Edelstein Denise Edwards, In honor of my father, Robert M.

Thomas Pete Edwards Paul Eibeck Jim Enos Rick & Donna Erisman Pat Evey Patricia Evey Joe Fabrizio Harold Faust Paul Faville Reid Feather Beth Feather Catherine Ferrick Stephen Fineman Virginia Fischer Jerry & Lydian Fisher Debbie Fitzgerald Warren Fitzpatrick Glenn & Betty Fletcher Stan Foster Jane Frankel Jane Frankel, In honor of Joe Zimbicki Tom & Lillian Franus Bob & Selma Furst Rosemary Futrovsky George & Ann Gaadt Ron Gardner Mike & Charlene Gasparetto GCU Lodge 994 Diane George Sharon George, In memory of Allan DePastino Michael Gervasi, In memory of MSgt Frank M. Gervasi Dan Gimiliano Andy Glaid Ed Glenz Russell Glenz Gold Star Wives of America Marshall Gordon Joe & Peg Goritz Warren & Mary Goss Don Goughler Julian & Laura Gray Greek Catholic Union of the USA Marianne Greene Rosemary Gregg Jack Greiner Mary Ann Gross, In memory of Maury Deul Jerry Gzesh Pierre Haan Clarecne Hall, In memory of Betty Hall, Army Air Corps Aviation Cadet’s wife, 1943-45 Thomas “Ace” Hanzes Bob Harbula Scott Harbula Brent & Ann Harder, In memory of Allan DePas- tino Brent & Ann Harder Patricia Harris, In loving memory of Mike Harris, WWII veteran, and Edward Urbanowicz, Korean War veteran.

George Haught Dick Hayes Steve Heckmann Mike Helms Tammy Hepps George Herwig Tom Hoffman Bill Holt Donna & Darrell Holupko Wayne & Kim Honath, In honor of Renny Clark Mike Hornick Bill Hosking Tom & Amy Hucker, In memory of Allan DePas- tino Geoffrey Hurd Bill Hutchinson Paul Hutton Francis Hynds Anthony Iorio Vaughn Irwin Jim Jamieson Harriet Jedeiken Jefferson Middle School 6th grade Chuck Jenkins, In memory of the 22 Marines of Delta Co. 1st Bn 5th Marines KIA Sept 4-6, 1967 during Operation Swift Chuck Jenkins Lynne Johnson Donald A. Johnson Daniel Jones Sandy Jones Elizabeth Jordan Jane Jubb Kamin Realty Company, In memory of Charlotte Lang Henry Karbowski Betty Karleski 6 vbc | SPRING 2018

The Veterans breakfast club

r recent donations! Ruth Kassalen Crey Keitzer Joseph Kenney Russ & Shelbie Kerr Kathy & Tony King Richard Klaber, In honor of Lt. Edward K. Schade, US Navy, commanded LCI landings in Italy, S. France, and Normandy Greg & Lauretta Kobasa Howard & Nancy Kocher Bogdan Kovacic Chet Kozlowski Doug Krall Patricia Kranack Frank Krandel Judy Kueshner Tom Kulikowski Carol Kunzler Ken Kushner Steve Kuzma Frank & Gail Kwolek Gordon Lam Charlotte Lang Larry Burke Tony Laspada Jack Latshaw Jean Link Jim & Marge Lipan Charles Lisica Steve Lomago Pete Longstreth Frank Losos Mark & Kelly Lotter, In memory of Allan DePas- tino Brett Luther Lou Mafrice Casey Mahaven Mars VFW Post 7505 Bernie Marx Laura Mason, In memory of Charlotte Lang Bob & Sharon Matey Dan Mathews Elmer Matto Frank Mayer Art McAuley Jack McCann Joe McCarthy Mac & Deb McClintock Carol McCoy Mark McCullough Fran “Mac” McDonald T.J.

McGarvey Mose & Wilma McNeese Gus Melis Charley Metcalf Betty Meyer Bill Miller Roberta Miller Doyal & Dianne Miller George Milne James Mitchell John Montgomery Charlene Moore Bill & Eileen Moran Muriel Moreland Julie Senchak & Ceri Morgan Ed Morrison Richard & Marlene Mort Barb Moses Scotti & Jeanne Mulert Marjorie Mulvey Harry Muncert Richard & Gerrie Muto Andy & Mary Kay Nigut Anita Notte Lou Nudi Jim Ohleger Connie & Dave Orient Johanna Ostrawski, In honor of George A. Mont- gomery, WWII Air Corps August Pace Bernie Paiano Henry & Ethel Parham Diane Pawlowski, In memory of Richard E. Lloyd Dorothy Peterson John J.

Petrus Howard Pfeifer Bob Pinkerton Pittsburgh Banjo Club Paul Platek Hal Plusa Bob Pokora Fran Popyack Bill Presutti Dave Pudup Jim & Linda Puhala Robert Rank Vincent Rattay Carl Rechtenwald Claudia Reljac Reynolds VFW Post #7599 Dick & Thelma Richardson Richland American Legion 849 Mike & Caroline Riley Chad & Carol Rittle Jim Roberts Julie Rodakowski, In memory of Charlotte Lang Donald Rogers Joan Rogers Jim Ross Keith Rothfus Nancy Sadowski Joe & Nancy Santilli Frank & Mollie Santucci, In memory of Allan De- Pastino Frank & Mollie Santucci, In memory of Harold A. Mauro, Sr., Chief Petty Officer, Navy, WWII, from Verona Ralph Santucci Richard Savinda Paul & Cathy Schaughency Nick & Sadie Sciulli Ken Scott Mike Scuro Joe Seidel Pat & Terri Semon Andy Senecal Kathleen Short Marty Silverman Steve Silverman John Sinclair Emily Skopov Charles Sullivan Les & Pat Szell Kristin Taylor Dan Telep Dennis & Carol Terry Howdy & Dee Thielman Warren Timmons, In memory of the Timmons brothers who served in WWII Charles Tkach Chuck & Donna Torisky Anthony Traficante Tucker Arensberg Andrea Tufarolo Bruce & Patty Unks Denise Urick John Urso Valerie Vacula Harry Van Riper Angelo Vento VFW Post 214, Lawrenceville Don Vitous Jack Wagner Phil Ward Mike Warhold Jack Watson Chuck Wazenegger Ed & Cheryl Werle Ray Werner John White Wayne Wicks Norm Wien Norm Wien, In memory of Charlotte Lang Marian Wild Tom Wiley Dick Williams Gerald Williams Mary Jane Williams, In memory of Ernie Wil- liams Sam Wilson Joe Wilson Bill & Jacqueline Winowich Joe Wisniewski Alma Wisniewski Jim & Peg Wojcik, In memory of Allan DePastino Jim & Peg Wojcik Ron Worstell Benjamin R Wright Joe Zagorski Andy & Georgia Zeedick Tom & Betty Zelinsky Harold & Mimi Zellhart Lud Zerjav ® | 7 vbc

The Veterans breakfast club

to vbc veterans and friends who recently passed, we salute you. Luella Broe, Cold War Air Force • Ed Dugan, WWII Navy • Charles Frank, WWII Army • Eleanora Freas • Bill Helterbran, WWII Navy • Charlotte Lang, WWII Navy (civilian) • Santo Magliocca, WWII Army Air Corps • John McLaughlin, Korea Army • Leonard Murgi, Korea Army • Robert Rose, WWII Army • John Schweich, Vietnam Army • George See, WWII Army • Leo Sicard, WWII Navy • Byron Smith WWII Army • John Troan, WWII Navy • Merle Vogus, WWII Army John Schweich, Vietnam, Army Charlotte Lang, WWII, Navy (civilian) Santo Magliocca, WWII Army Air Corps Robert Rose, WWII, Army Charles Frank, WWII, Army 8 vbc | SPRING 2018 is to give senior residents of Mt.

Lebanon the resources, means, con- fidence, and peace-of-mind to enjoy life while staying in the comfort of their own homes while growing older in the community they love. Helping seniors get out, get rides, and get social!

The Veterans breakfast club

VBC Board of Directors Ray Amelio, President Ben Stahl, Vice President Amber Spells, Treasurer Michelle Zmijanac, Secretary Clem Blazewick Dana Del Bianco Brian Finley Sharon George George Haught Jake Voelker Ben Wright Staff Todd DePastino, Executive Director Nick Grimes, Director of Programs and Operations Lauren Del Ricci, Executive Assistant Kevin Farkas, Media Producer Betty Karleski, Administrator Josiah Gilliam, Webmaster Leonard Hammonds, Outreach Volunteers Ed Blank Michelle Cheberenchick Jerry Fisher Marshall Gordon George Haught Jim Jamieson Charles Succop Ben Wright | 9 vbc

The Veterans breakfast club

These stories are excerpts from some of the published works of our vets. If you have written an account of your service or have a published story of your own that you would like to share, contact Lauren Del Ricci at stories from our vets It was April 13, 1966 when we prepared to go ashore at Chu Lai (in the northern part of South Vietnam). The air had a rotten-egg stench to it. The Marines were unusually quiet. “OK, get your gear ready!” someone shouted. With that, they handed us live ammunition and grenades. As I got ready to climb into the landing craft I had an M14 rifle, two canteens of water, seven magazines of ammo, two grenades, a helmet, a flak jacket, and a K-bar (knife).

In addition, in my pack I had two hundred rounds of ammo, a pair of dry socks, some c-rations, and a pack of cigarettes. The sailors were serious as they watched us get ready. They knew some of us wouldn’t come back. They wished us good luck, and we were on our way.

We lined up company by company and squad by squad at the side of the ship ready to disembark. My company, Hotel Company, was first to go over the side of the ship into the landing craft. The netting was hard to climb down with all our gear wrapped around us. It had been easy in training, but now it was real. We were nervous. We scurried onto the beach expecting to hear shots ringing out around us but all was quiet. The heat was more intense than I had ever experienced. My shirt was drenched with sweat, and I couldn’t tell if the sweat was from the heat or nerves or both.

We dug in that night and were on “50% watch” (two men in a foxhole, and one sleeps for four hours while the other one stands guard, then they switch).

Not many Marines slept that first night. We heard continu- ous explosions, and the sky is lit up with flairs about a mile away. Then, it started raining. The big, hard pellets soaked our shiny new jungle fatigues. By the morning, our boots and uniforms were wet and muddy. We gathered all our gear and began to move in- land. We were headed for a village about four or five miles away. We started walking early in the morning and already the sun was beating down on us. The area appeared pristine, almost like a picture postcard. We walked along small trails and roads. The rice paddies were lush and green and there were large mountains in the background.

There were little kids on the backs of water buffalos riding through the rice paddies and old men and women up to their knees in brown, muddy wa- ter planning rice. It was beautiful but it was also deadly and we had to keep telling ourselves that. The irony was that rice paddies just like these would soon be places of combat and death.

As we walked the trails we only saw old men, old women and young kids. The young men were conspic- uous by their absence. Little kids ran up to us and tried to sell us, of all things, Coke a Cola! How about that a good old American bottle of Coke! Some guys bought a bottle and drank it straight down. They sort of made a face after they drank it and said it tasted flat and had no kick. Usually in the States if you drank a bottle that fast it would make your eyes water. But most of the Marines agreed that when it was105 degrees anything tasted good.

We finally arrived at our destination which was a bridge just outside a small village.

Our job was to take charge of the bridge and do five things: patrol the area, keep our weapons clean, fill sand bags to make our po- sition more secure, eat c-rations and keep the rats from eating them, and listen on the radio for other patrols in Vietnam Requiem By John Barber John Barber joined the Marines in 1965 and did two tours in Vietnam in 1966 and 1967. Below, he re- calls landing in Chu Lai with H Company, 2nd Battal- ion, 5th Marines, eager to put months of Marine Corps training to work. He was in for a shock. 10 vbc | SPRING 2018

the area that needed help. As we stood guard we would hear the 105 mm and 155 mm cannons shelling the mountains not far away and we’d wonder who was out there. The bridge was on a dusty, red road that was trav- eled by a lot small busses packed with Vietnamese. The mini-buses would be filled with as many as twenty people with some of them on the roof. We would stop everyone who crossed the bridge and check their ID’s. Just like in the States everyone who was old enough had an ID and if they didn’t we would consider them Viet Cong (VC).

We would send four or five Marines into the village to buy food and look around.

It was safe during the day. They had a nice cool well where our canteens could be filled. Water was essential in that kind of heat and we had to make sure we had enough. Hotel Company was on the bridge while Fox, Echo, and Gulf companies were in different areas around us. We all did patrols in the area. It was quiet the first few days then we started engaging the VC. Our engagements usually started as firefights from a distance. Booby traps were the main cause of our wounds. The enemy was hard to see, let alone find. Even when we did find them, they could vanish as quickly as they appeared.

I was in country two or three weeks before I saw my first Marine get shot and die. You realize quickly that the stakes are high. The first booby trap we encountered was called a “Bouncing Betty.” A Marine in the front of the patrol trips a wire. The Bouncing Betty flies up in the air about six feet or so and then in a couple seconds it explodes and hits a Marines behind. This first time, the Marine it hit was severely wounded and covered with blood. The explosion had blown off his backside. He was originally from Texas and as he lay there he started to sing “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” He died in the helicopter on his way back to base camp.

• • • It’s hard to describe how difficult it was to conduct a war during the monsoon season. The monsoons usually lasted from the end of October through January when it rained all day every day. We were wet all the time, day and night. Wet feet are always a problem in war. I remember taking my sock off at one point and having the skin come right with it. This happened to a lot of Marines. When it happened to me, I was put on radio watch until I could go on patrol again in a couple days. During the monsoons, the rivers would be hard to cross. We’d look for a way to ford them without jump- ing in, but sometimes it wasn’t possible, especially when we were trying to out-flank the enemy.

The worst part were the blood-sucking leeches, which were long and black and hard get off. We’d either burn them with cigarettes or take our K-Bar and cut them out. Everything was a problem on patrol. To relieve your- self, you’d have to step off the trail and have another Marine watch your back. Then, you’d bury it to make sure the enemy didn’t know we’d been there. If our purpose was to keep the enemy from infiltrat- ing from North Vietnam to the South, then I guess we weren’t very successful. We did them a lot of damage, for sure, and not many passed through us, but they found ways to get around us.

In Vietnam, I didn’t see or think about the larger strategy of the war. I was in the thick of the fighting, surviving day-to-day. We all just wanted to carry out our assignments and make it home alive. Within a few weeks, I was a weary, battle-tested, combat Marine. My buddies could count on me, and I was focused on what I needed to do to survive. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of Vietnam and all the Marines who were lost in my com- pany. I know when my time is up on this earth, I will be re-united with my Marine comrades in arms. John Barber attends VBC events in Moon and Bea- ver.

His memoir, Vietnam Requiem, can be read in its entirety on our website: http://veteranvoicesofpitts-

John Barber tells a story at a VBC event at Robert Morris University | 11 vbc

calling for love letters Local performing artist Donna Groom (The Skyliners) is developing a show that features war time letters and music to be performed at Soldiers & Sailors in the fall of 2018 then tour the nation. Every per- formance would include some donation of profits to a local veterans group. We are seeking previously unpublished letters, emails, audio, photos, video between ser- vicemen and women and their loved ones to be used in the show.

If you are the own- er or author of these materials, please call or email Kim Alexander, Manager, Donna Groom and “Love Letters” 412-848-3016

tune in: Longest war Longest War: The Post 9/11 Veterans Podcast is a special pro- gram of VBC’s Post-9/11 Veterans Storytelling Project. Longest War features the stories and experiences of post-9/11 veterans. The podcast is hosted by Army veteran Nick Grimes, who served from 2004-2011, includ- ing a total 27 months in combat in Afghanistan with the 10th Mountain Division. Find the podcast on iTunes, our website, subscribe via email or download the Android app. © Longest War: The Post-9/11 Veterans Podcast. A production of the Veterans Breakfast Club. 12 vbc | SPRING 2018 ASBURY HEIGHTS SALUTES OUR VETERANS.

Thank you for your service and preserving America’s freedoms. Many veterans call Asbury Heights home, and you can, too. From independent living to personal and nursing care, carefree living at Asbury Heights is just a phone call away.

Call today to arrange a tour of our senior community, 412-571-5138, or learn more online at Asbury Heights complies with applicable federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. 700 Bower Hill Road, Mt. Lebanon Independent Living Personal Care Memory Support Nursing and Rehabilitation

The VA has announced that the application process for the national Veterans Identifica- tion Card (VIC) is now available for Veterans. Only those Veterans with honorable service will be able to apply for the ID card, which will provide proof of military service, and may be accepted by retailers in lieu of the standard DD-214 form to obtain promotional discounts and other services where offered to Veterans.

The VIC provides a more portable and secure alternative for those who served the minimum obligated time in ser- vice, but did not meet the retirement or medical discharge threshold. Veterans who served in the armed forces, including the reserve components, and who have a discharge of honorable or general (under honorable conditions) can request a VIC. To request a VIC, Veterans must visit, click on “Sign In” in the top right hand corner and establish an account. Once the Veteran ver- ifies their identity they may request to “Apply for the Veteran ID Card”.

Veterans who apply for a card should receive it within 60 days and can check delivery status of their cards at new veterans id card available through the va WEDNESDAY, JULY 4 9:00-11:00am FREE BREAKFAST IN JOHNSTOWN! Conemaugh Township Fire Department, 1942 Kring St, Tire Hill, PA 15959 (Richland Ameri- can Legion Post #849 providing breakfast) mark your calendars! Serving Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Lawrence, Mercer, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties since 1972 Interim HealthCare and Hospice 1789 S. Braddock Avenue, Ste 220 Pittsburgh, PA 15219 (412) 436-2200 Honoring Our Veterans WE SALUTE OUR VETERANS! Banquets.Luncheons.Catering.Weddings.All-Occasions.

(412) 653-1880 fax: (412) 653-4476 Located in the South Hills! 5001 Curry Rd. Pittsburgh, PA. 15236

Thank you, Veterans Concordia of Cranberry, Concordia of Fox Chapel, Concordia of Franklin Park and Concordia of Wexford are honored to sponsor the Veterans Breakfast Club. For more information about out personal care communities call Tariogh Crawford at 724-487-2638. 2941 Brownsville Road Pittsburgh, PA 15227 | 15 vbc Discover The Juniper Village Difference! Senior Living, Personal Care, and Wellspring Memory Impairment Care adno=5680033 107 Fall Run Road Pittsburgh, PA 15221 5013180 For More Information or to Schedule Your Personal Tour, Contact Juniper Village at (412) 244-9901 Today! Spacious Studios, Suites and One-Bedroom Apartments Available.

On-Site Nursing Staff and 24 Hour Assistance with Daily Care Needs. Structured Activities and Programs Seven Days a Week. Delicious Meals and Snacks Daily. Housekeeping and Laundry Services 489 Castle Shannon Blvd. Pittsburgh, PA 15234 PH: 412-563-6550 500 Providence Point Blvd. Pittsburgh, PA 15243 PH: 412-489-3550 We salute our veterans. For more than a century, Baptist Homes Society has been a leader in providing compassionate care and enriched living to seniors in our region. We are committed to excellence, offering the highest quality of senior living and care.

We thank our residents and all seniors who have served our country proudly.

Charlie Smithers (Navy), Mike Tehan (Marines), and Paul Schaughency (Army) are just a few of the many veterans who have made Baptist Homes or Providence Point their home.

Veterans Breakfast Club 200 Magnolia Pl Pittsburgh, PA 15228 Forwarding Service Requested Every Veteran Has a Story. What’s Yours? ®