At the Veterans Breakfast Club,

Stories Unite Us.

Check out our online & in-person veterans storytelling programs and see our full event schedule below. All are welcome to join us!

Bestselling Author and Vietnam Marine Jack McLean on VBC Happy Hour – Monday, October 3 @ 7:00pm ET

Date: October 3, 2022
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Location: Zoom, Facebook, YouTube
All Events | Online Events | VBC Happy Hour

JOIN ON ZOOM
  

Bestselling Author and Vietnam Marine Jack McLean on VBC Happy Hour

Kids like Jack McLean didn’t go to Vietnam. A graduate of the elite Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., Jack decided to put off college and enlist in the United States Marine Corps instead. A year later, Jack landed in Vietnam as a grunt to serve in an infantry company in the northernmost reaches of South Vietnam. What happened there is the centerpiece of Jack’s superb memoir, Loon: A Marine Story, named for a horrific three-day Battle for Landing Zone Loon in June, 1968. Jack returned home six weeks later to a country largely ambivalent to his service. Jack subsequently became the first Vietnam veteran admitted to Harvard University, entering during the tempestuous fall of 1968, days after his return from combat.Written with honesty and insight, Loon is a powerful coming-of-age portrait of a boy who bears witness to some of the most tumultuous events in our history, both in Vietnam and back home. Sponsored by D&D Auto Salvage and Tobacco Free Adagio Health.  Simulcast to Facebook and YouTube.

Veterans Breakfast Club – Seven Oaks Country Club | October 5, 2022

Date: October 5, 2022
Time: 8:30 am - 10:30 am
Location: Seven Oaks Country Club (132 Lisbon Rd, Beaver, 15009)
All Events | In-Person Events

VBC BC 2017-03-29

Wednesday, October 5, 2022, 8:30am: Seven Oaks Country Club (132 Lisbon Rd, Beaver, 15009) in-person and livestreamed. $15 per person.

To RSVP, call: 412-623-9029 or email betty@veteransbreakfastclub.org  with the breakfast location you’re attending. Please make sure to RSVP for events at least two days in advance. We understand that your schedule can change quickly, but advance notice of attendance always helps us and our venues prepare the program. Thank you!

Thank you to our Event Sponsor Sharek Law Office, LLC!

100-Year-Old John “Lucky” Luckadoo, plus Researching Veterans Service Records on Greatest Generation Live – Thursday, October 6 @ 7:00pm ET

Date: October 6, 2022
Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Location: Zoom, Facebook, YouTube
All Events | Greatest Generation Live | Online Events

JOIN ON ZOOM
  

100-Year-Old John “Lucky” Luckadoo, plus Researching Veterans Service Records on Greatest Generation Live

We welcome former B-17 pilot John “Lucky” Luckadoo to Greatest Generation Live to share stories from his 25 missions over France and Germany in 1943 with the 100th Bomb Group, Eighth Air Force, stationed in Thorpe Abbotts, England. Also joining us will be Bestselling author Kevin Maurer, who captured Luckadoo’s story in Damn Lucky: One Man’s Courage During the Bloodiest Military Campaign in Aviation History.

With a shrapnel torn Bible in his flight jacket pocket and his girlfriend’s silk stocking around his neck like a scarf as talismans, Luckadoo piloted through Luftwaffe machine-gun fire and antiaircraft flak while enduring subzero temperatures to complete twenty-five missions and his combat service. The average bomber crew rarely survived after eight to twelve missions. Knowing far too many airmen who wouldn’t be returning home, Luckadoo closed off his emotions and focused on his tasks to finish his tour of duty one moment at a time, realizing his success was more about being lucky than being skilled. “We were young citizen-soldiers, terribly naive and gullible about what we would be confronted with in the air war over Europe and the profound effect it would have upon every fiber of our being for the rest of our lives. We were all afraid, but it was beyond our power to quit. We volunteered for the service and, once trained and overseas, felt we had no choice but to fulfill the mission assigned. My hope is that this book honors the men with whom I served by telling the truth about what it took to climb into the cold blue and fight for our lives over and over again.”

Drawn from Luckadoo’s firsthand accounts, acclaimed war correspondent Kevin Maurer shares his extraordinary tale from war to peacetime, uncovering astonishing feats of bravery during the bloodiest military campaign in aviation history, and presenting an incredible portrait of a young man’s coming-of-age during the world’s most devastating war.This is the forgotten story of the American World War II dead. Told from personal family letters, official documents, contemporary magazine and newspaper articles, historical research, and previously unpublished photographs, this is the first book to fully describe the return of the valiant dead to America after World War II, in tribute to those who gave their lives, as well as to those who mercifully brought them home.

For the second part of our program, we welcome renowned researcher of veterans’ service records Bill Beigel. Bill is author of Buried on the Battlefield: The Return of the Dead from World War II. Few people know that the United States was the only nation to bring home our war dead after World War II. The bodies of America’s fallen were removed from foreign graves across the globe, often years after they died. More than 280,000 were recovered, leaving that number of American families with an agonizing choice: return their beloved sons to the homeland, or let them rest in military cemeteries overseas in the countries they died to liberate.

Some of our allies were strongly against the idea, fearing their citizens’ reactions to not being able to bring home their own sons. But it was done because American families demanded it: not as a collective, organized effort, but one family – one father, mother, widow, or sibling – at a time.

Bill is also the nation’s leading service record consultant. In you have a family member who served in World War II and are looking for help researching their service, Bill Beigel is the man you want. Bill is the nation’s foremost researcher specializing in US military service histories of veterans and casualties of World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. His research provides answers about WWII military service and wartime deaths, as next-of-kin received very little information during wartime. Beigel has researched thousands of US veterans and casualties for clients in the US, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Bill will talk about his work and offers some how-to’s for researching family members. Sponsored by D&D Auto Salvage and Tobacco Free Adagio Health.  Simulcast to Facebook and YouTube.

The SS Mayaguez Incident: The Last Battle of the Vietnam War – Monday, October 10, 2022 @ 7:00pm ET

Date: October 10, 2022
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Location: zoom, Facebook, YouTube
All Events | Online Events | VBC Happy Hour

JOIN ON ZOOM
  

The SS Mayaguez Incident of 1975 on VBC Happy Hour

The little-known SS Mayaguez Incident of 1975 was the last act of the Vietnam War. Coming two weeks after the Fall of Saigon, the armed conflict between the US military and Cambodian Khmer Rouge naval forces resulted in the last US casualties of the war.

The names of these 41 casualties appear at the very end of the National Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC–“The Wall”–which lists KIA in chronological order, beginning in 1959.

On May 12, 1975, Cambodian gunboats belong to the Khmer Rouge, which had just seized power in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Phen, captured the Mayaguez, a US container ship, in disputed waters.

The captors took the ship and its 40-man crew to the Cambodian island of Koh Tang. In response, the President Gerald R. Ford administration ordered an all-out search and rescue operation.

P-3 Orions took off from the Philippines and Thailand to scour the region from the skies. The aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea headed toward Cambodia, along with destroyer escort USS Harold E. Holt and the guided missile destroyer USS Henry B. Wilson. And Marines from 1st Battalion 4th Marines at Subic Bay and the 9th Marine Regiment on Okinawa were put on alert and assembled for airlift.

Not he early morning of May 15, Marines from the Harold E. Holt scrambled aboard the Mayaguez, while another group of Marines assaulted Koh Tang on U.S. Air Force CH-53 and HH-53 helicopters. The fighting on Koh Tang was fierce, and several helicopters were shot down.

In a confusing turn of events, the 40 hostages appeared on a nearby fishing boat, abandoned by their captors. As the Henry B. Wilson picked them up, Marines scoured the Mayaguez for signs of life. No one was aboard. Meanwhile, on Koh Tang, the mission turned to extracting the Marines now in harm’s way. By nightfall on the 15th, all Marines were evacuated.

The human toll was high. Forty-one Americans, including 25 Air Force personnel, 2 Navy Corpsmen, and 14 Marines were dead. Eighteen of them would be killed on or near Koh Tang. Five of those remain unaccounted for, the missing of the Vietnam War.

Join us to talk about the Mayaguez Incident with those who lived it, led by Marine veteran Dan Hoffman, a member of what these combat veterans called the “Koh Tang Beach Club.”  Sponsored by D&D Auto Salvage and Tobacco Free Adagio Health.  Simulcast to Facebook and YouTube.

Veterans Breakfast Club – McKeesport Regional History and Heritage Center | October 11, 2022

Date: October 11, 2022
Time: 8:30 am - 10:30 am
Location: McKeesport Regional History and Heritage Center (1832 Arboretum Dr, McKeesport, PA 15132)
All Events | In-Person Events

Tuesday, October 11, 9:00am: McKeesport Regional History and Heritage Center (1832 Arboretum Dr, McKeesport, PA 15132) in-person. $15 per person.

To RSVP, call: 412-623-9029 or email betty@veteransbreakfastclub.org  with the breakfast location you’re attending. Please make sure to RSVP for events at least two days in advance. We understand that your schedule can change quickly, but advance notice of attendance always helps us and our venues prepare the program. Thank you!

Get our upcoming event schedule sent straight to your inbox.

Sign up for the VBCBulletin today!