AMESBURY — Local veterans of World War II and the Korean War will be gathering today as Amesbury Veterans Services holds its monthly Veterans Legacy Initiative breakfast.
The breakfast, which will be held at the Hollow Café on Main Street today at 9 a.m., was started in February as a way to bring Amesbury’s World War II veterans together and give them the opportunity to come together, share their experiences and meet people with whom they can relate.
“Many of our World War II vets are isolated, some might only come out of their houses for groceries and other errands,” said Kristen Lucier, director of Veterans Services. “This is a chance to engage them and get them together.”
Lucier said the goal is for the breakfast to be a simple, informal event without too many speeches or talking heads.
Typically the breakfast begins with some brief remarks, and over the course of the morning there will be trivia from the 1940s.
Sometimes veterans take the opportunity to share memories, and occasionally they will bring medals or other war memorabilia with them, she said.
The idea for the event came from Charlene Dolan, who owns Dolan Financial Services and whose father Charles fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Lucier said Dolan asked that Veterans Services try to put together a social activity for the veterans, and after some discussion the idea of a breakfast was determined to be the most feasible.
“It turned out to be a big hit,” Lucier said.
The breakfast usually draws 30 to 40 veterans, the majority of whom served in World War II with some Korean War veterans as well. Lucier said the two groups mix well together because they are roughly the same age and many veterans served in both wars.
“We found that that’s a really nice way for them to connect,” Lucier said. “They don’t feel uncomfortable around each other.”
The breakfasts also serve as a way for Veterans Services to reach out to the local veterans and spread word about the program and its benefits. According to Lucier, many veterans, particularly World War II veterans, are proud and don’t want to ask for assistance, so the breakfasts provide an opportunity to help the veterans in a setting they find comfortable.
Lucier said that Veterans Services would like to establish more events for the veterans in the future and will welcome new program ideas from the public.
“Anything that brings back that sense of nostalgia,” she said.