If a story isn’t told by an older veteran, that story could be lost forever.
“Our mission is to create communities of listening around veterans and their stories,” Todd Depastino said.
Depastino is the executive director of the Veterans Breakfast Club, which holds 50 events each year around western Pennsylvania. They encourage veterans to share their stories and listen, in an effort to preserve our history, “We have veterans tell their stories for the first time ever, some stories they haven’t told their families.”
He told WTAJ only half of one percent of our population served in the military, so it gives our veterans a chance to relate and heal.
On Monday Cambria County held their first event.
“It’s just magical and it’s amazing what you hear,” said Depastino.
He told us it’s also an opportunity to allow folks who have not served to understand what life in the service is like.
“I spent two years with the Marines, best duty ever,” veteran Bill Davis told the crowd at the Richland American Legion. “If you’re in trouble and another Marine is picking on you, there’s five Marines going after him.”
Veteran Community Initiatives helped to put the event together. What they like to see most is the generations of veterans brought together, “It really helps to bring them together, to be with other veterans, and feel like they’re sharing the same experience,” VCI Community Relations Director Tina Pelesky said.