VBC programs connect and heal,
educate and inspire.
Everyone is always welcome.

The Veterans Breakfast Club (VBC) is the nation’s premier non-profit for connecting veterans with their fellow Americans through inspiring stories of service.

Our goal is to build a nation that understands and values the experiences of our military veterans so that every day is Veterans Day.

We do this by bringing together–in-person and online–men and women from all walks of life, all ages and eras, and every branch of service to talk about what they’ve seen and done. We want to hear how people’s military service has shaped them. “Every Veteran Has a Story” is our slogan. We want to hear every one.

We share the stories we hear in our weekly VBC Bulletin email newsletter and our quarterly VBC Magazine. We also record a weekly podcast, The Scuttlebutt, about military culture from the people who lived it.

We do all this because we believe the best way to thank a Veteran is to listen.

Listening is what the VBC has been doing for the past 15 years, when we held our first small event outside of Pittsburgh. Since then, we’ve held over 1,000 programs in-person and online and have welcomed over 20,000 different people at our events, Veterans and non-Veterans coming together to listen.

We value every veteran’s experience, no matter who they are or when or how they served. We’ve seen up close the power of storytelling, as the memories shared at VBC events connect, heal, educate, and inspire an ever-expanding circle of listeners.

At any given event, you might hear from the newest members of Space Force to a 101-year-old World War II veteran.

We’ve welcomed Tin Can Sailors and Montford Point Marines, Vietnam Sky Soldiers and Cold War intelligence officers. We’ve heard stories from the Horn of Africa to Antarctica, the Bering Sea to Diego Garcia, and all points in between.

LORAN Coast Guardsmen and Radar Station Airmen have told us about serving in some of the most remote places on earth.

Korean War veterans have borne witness to their “forgotten war.”

Other “forgotten warriors” shared their memories of Beirut, Grenada, and Mogadishu.

Some of the first women authorized for combat shared stories of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and of the Purple Hearts they received.

Join us at our events and help keep these stories alive.

All you need to do is listen.

Every Veteran Has a Story.
Hear Them Now.



Nam Sense: Surviving Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division on VBC Happy Hour @ 7pm ET

Date: December 11, 2023
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Location: Zoom, Facebook, YouTube
All Events | Online Events | VBC Happy Hour
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Arthur Wiknik Jr. joins us to talk about his Vietnam tour as captured in his masterful book, Nam Sense: Surviving Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division.

Nam Sense provides a gripping and personal account of his experiences during the Vietnam War as a member of the 101st Airborne Division. With vivid detail, Wiknik shares the challenges, horrors, and moments of camaraderie that defined his tour of duty, offering readers an intimate glimpse into the life of a soldier in one of the most tumultuous periods in American history.

The narrative unfolds with Wiknik’s arrival in Vietnam in 1969, a time when the conflict was escalating. As a member of the 101st Airborne Division, known for its mobility and readiness for rapid deployment, Wiknik found himself in the thick of the war. The author takes readers through the day-to-day life of a soldier in the jungle, detailing the physical and mental toll of navigating the harsh terrain, dealing with the ever-present threat of enemy ambushes, and grappling with the intense emotional strain of combat.

As the 101st Airborne Division engaged in fierce battles, the author provides a firsthand perspective on the brutality of war, the loss of comrades, and the overwhelming sense of fear that permeated the jungles of Vietnam.

One of the notable aspects of “Nam Sense” is Wiknik’s honest portrayal of the psychological impact of war on soldiers. He delves into the coping mechanisms developed by soldiers to navigate the constant stress and the coping mechanisms developed by soldiers to navigate the constant stress and uncertainty, shedding light on the complexities of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The author recounts his own struggles with reconciling the wartime experiences with civilian life upon returning home, offering a poignant reflection on the lasting effects of war on the human psyche.

Throughout the narrative, Wiknik highlights the camaraderie among soldiers, emphasizing the bonds forged under the most challenging circumstances. He shares anecdotes of humor and resilience, illustrating how soldiers managed to find moments of levity amid the grim realities of war. These stories serve as a testament to the indomitable spirit of those who served and the unique brotherhood that developed among them.

The book also touches on the controversial aspects of the Vietnam War, including the sentiments of the soldiers toward the anti-war movement back home and the challenges faced by returning veterans in adjusting to a society divided over the conflict. Wiknik provides insights into the complexities of being a soldier in a war that was becoming increasingly unpopular, shedding light on the internal conflicts faced by those who served.

The book is rich in detail, transporting readers to the humid jungles of Vietnam and immersing them in the harrowing experiences of war. The inclusion of personal photographs further enhances the authenticity of the account, allowing readers to connect with the individuals and events described in the book.

Thank you to Tobacco Free Adagio Health for sponsoring this event!

SPECIAL EVENT: Legendary Undersea Explorer and Submarine Veteran Robert Ballard

Date: December 14, 2023
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Location: Zoom, Facebook, YouTube
All Events | Greatest Generation Live | Online Events | VBC Happy Hour

Legendary oceanographer and undersea explorer, Dr. Robert Ballard, founder and president of Ocean Exploration Trust, joins us for a special event hosted by Glenn Flickinger.

Ballard’s groundbreaking work has transformed our understanding of the world beneath the waves. Throughout his illustrious career, Ballard has been a pioneer in deep-sea exploration, making significant contributions to marine science, archaeology, and technology.

Ballard’s journey into the underwater world began during his tenure in the United States Navy. Commissioned as an officer in 1965, he served as a commander in the U.S. Navy’s submarine service. His military background provided the foundation for his later career as an explorer of the ocean depths. Ballard’s passion for exploration, combined with his scientific curiosity, led him to pursue a doctorate in marine geology and geophysics from the University of Rhode Island.

One of Ballard’s most notable achievements is the discovery of the wreckage of the RMS Titanic in 1985. In collaboration with the French oceanographic institute IFREMER, Ballard used advanced deep-sea submersibles to locate the iconic shipwreck nearly 12,500 feet below the surface of the North Atlantic. This discovery captivated the world and marked a turning point in the field of deep-sea exploration. Ballard’s innovative use of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and manned submersibles set a new standard for underwater archaeology. Today, Ocean Exploration Trust undertakes an 8-10 month field season with its ship, E/V Nautilus, (NautilusLive.org) deploying multiple ROVs and AUVs to explore many scientific disciplines in the deep ocean.

Beyond the Titanic, Ballard has been involved in numerous other significant discoveries. In 1977, he participated in the exploration of the Galápagos Rift, where hydrothermal vents and unique ecosystems were found. These vents, teeming with life previously unknown to science, revolutionized our understanding of the potential for life in extreme environments. Ballard’s work in the Galápagos Rift laid the groundwork for subsequent studies on deep-sea biology and ecology.

In the 1980s, Ballard turned his attention to the Mediterranean, where he made another groundbreaking discovery – the well-preserved remains of ancient shipwrecks. Using his deep-sea exploration tools, Ballard and his team uncovered a wealth of archaeological treasures, including vessels dating back to the Roman Empire. These findings provided valuable insights into ancient seafaring practices and maritime trade routes.

In 2002, Ballard discovered in the Pacific Ocean PT-109, the patrol torpedo boat commanded by then-Lieutenant John F. Kennedy during World War II.

On the night of August 2, 1943, during a moonless night in the Blackett Strait in the Solomon Islands, PT-109 was rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer, the Amagiri. Kennedy and his crew faced a harrowing ordeal, with two crew members losing their lives. Kennedy’s leadership and heroic efforts to save his surviving crew earned him acclaim and played a role in shaping his political career.

Armed with advanced sonar technology, ROVs, and historical records and eyewitness accounts of the incident, Ballard and his team scoured the waters of the Blackett Strait.

After days of meticulous searching, they successfully identified and documented the remains of PT-109 on the ocean floor. The discovery marked the culmination of a concerted effort to piece together the puzzle of the boat’s final resting place. The images and data captured by Ballard’s expedition not only confirmed the location of PT-109 but also provided valuable insights into the condition of the sunken vessel.

Join us for this special event with a great American Navy veteran!



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The mission of the Veterans Breakfast Club is to create communities of listening around veterans and their stories to ensure that this living history will never be forgotten.  We believe that through our work, people will be connected, educated, healed, and inspired.


Preserving veterans’ stories so that this living history is never forgotten.

We pair passionate VBC volunteers with military veterans for one-on-one oral history interviews over Zoom. If you are a veteran, or you know a veteran, who would be interested in sharing his or her story with us, let us know. If you are someone interested in conducting these interviews, please reach out!


Your weekly dose of veterans’ stories, military news, and the latest headlines, all in one place

Watch and listen to the Scuttlebutt, the VBC’s podcast dedicated to understanding military culture. Hosted by Shaun Hall, Director of Programming. New episode every Monday at 6AM ET.


Get the latest on military headlines and VBC news sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for the VBCBulletin! 


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