Every other Wednesday, laughter and stories fill the Benedict’s Restaurant in Greenwood Village. It’s always a special morning when a group of local veterans stops by the restaurant for breakfast.
“Oh, I love them,” said Jim Blane, a World War II vet.
The veterans come from different branches of the military and served at different times. Despite their differences, they all share a common bond and dedication to our country.
“This thing has been so good to us that we learn what each other did and what we did for our country,” said Bill Brunger, a World War II vet.
The group started with World War II vets meeting over coffee, but it is growing.
“It was strictly WWII guys and now they’re all dying off, we’re losing them, and we had one that definitely wanted to be here today that couldn’t be here, because he’s getting so bad,” said Brunger.
According to the National World War II Museum, 16 million Americans served in the war but less than one million of those vets are still alive today.
“We are so fortunate to have this group of veterans come into our restaurant, as they are some of the most genuine and friendly people we have met,” said Richard Melton, a manager at the restaurant.
The veterans have formed lasting friendships over their bi-weekly meetings. They share old war stories and talk about their families.
Members of the group are filled with pride when asked what freedom means to them.
“Well, freedom is something that we cherish and that we’re willing to fight for,” said Blane.
“Freedom means everything,” said Brunger.