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!

Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Space Force on VBC Happy Hour – Monday, February 6 @ 7pm ET

Date: February 6, 2023
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Location: Zoom, Facebook, YouTube
All Events | Online Events | VBC Happy Hour

The US Space Force just celebrated its 3rd birthday and remains the least understood of the service branches. Carved out of the Air Force by passage of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, USSF was the first new military service since the creation of the Air Force itself in 1947.

Join us for a conversation about all things Space Force with Colonel Matthew A. Morand, who commands one of the largest ROTC programs in the nation at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. Col Morand swore the oath of allegiance to Space Force in February 2021, after 25 years as an Air Force officer. He’ll tell us what the move means for him, and what the stand-up of Space Force means for the country and the future of warfare.

The birth of Space Force signals an acknowledgement that the incalculable expanse beyond the atmosphere of earth is now a realm of great power competition. Space Force “Guardians,” as service members are called, are trained to police that realm and protect US spacecraft—satellites, especially—from attack.

Take GPS, for example. The technology that guides our driving, locates our cellphones, and allows us to search the globe on our keyboards–Global Positioning System (GPS)–was created by the Pentagon during the late stages of the Vietnam War.

Today, this satellite-based radionavigation system runs much of the world, from banking transactions to agricultural automations to healthcare infrastructures. If GPS went down, our world would become chaotic.

One of Space Force’s major missions is operating the GPS system and protecting it from harm, accidental or intentional.

Space Force Guardians, then, are aptly named. Bring your questions and insights to the conversation with Col Morand so we can all understand better this new addition to the United States Armed Forces.

Sponsored by D&D Auto Salvage and Tobacco Free Adagio Health.  Simulcast to Facebook and YouTube.

Soul Soldiers: Stories of Black Vietnam Veterans on VBC Happy Hour – Monday, February 13 @ 7pm ET

Date: February 13, 2023
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Location: Zoom, YouTube, Facebook
All Events | Online Events | VBC Happy Hour

About 300,000 African Americans served in the Vietnam War, and many more wore the uniforms during the long Civil Rights Era of the 1950s and 1960s. On this VBC Happy Hour, we talk with some of these veterans as well as historian Samuel Black, author of Soul Soldiers: African Americans and the Vietnam Era and Director of the Museum of African American History at the Senator John Heinz History Center. Join us for this conversation about race, history, the military, what has changed since Vietnam.

Sponsored by D&D Auto Salvage and Tobacco Free Adagio Health.  Simulcast to Facebook and YouTube.

Iwo Jima’s Band of Brothers on VBC Happy Hour – Monday, February 20 @ 7pm ET

Date: February 20, 2023
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Location: Zoom, YouTube, Facebook
All Events | Greatest Generation Live | Online Events | VBC Happy Hour

On the anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima, VBC Greatest Generation Live host Glenn Flickinger welcomes Marine Corps World War II historian Steve McCloud to talk about his in-depth study of Fox Company, the Pacific War’s Band of Brothers.

In his book, Black Dragon: The Experience of a Marine Rifle Company in the Central Pacific recounts the experience of a single Marine rifle company—2-F-23, or “Fox” Company—and its drive through the central Pacific in World War II. Through painstaking research of battlefield reports and extensive interviews with surviving members of Fox Company, Steve has reanimated the grueling, day-by-day slog through the Pacific theater through the eyes of the US Marines who endured it.

This is the story of American teenagers who left home, many for the first time, trained together, and formed a team that held strong until, at last, those who survived tried to leave it all behind as they dispersed, returned home, and sought to build their lives. Decades later, Fox Company re-formed through correspondence and reunions and also welcomed McCloud into their midst by telling him their stories. McCloud took notes, chased down company reports and other documents to fill in the gaps, and carefully reconstructed their journey.

As one member of Fox Company recalled after returning to Iwo Jima half a century later, “I think the pilgrimage to Iwo has helped me conquer my black dragons—those bloody and stinking nightmares that made nightly uninvited visits for fifty-six years. My dreams were in color, predominantly bloody red. Those remaining are in black and white and shades of gray, not so violent and stinking. These I can live with.”

Readers who reveled in Stephen Ambrose’s masterful oral history of E Company in the European theater will find similar heroism and heartbreak in the pages of Black Dragon.

Sponsored by D&D Auto Salvage and Tobacco Free Adagio Health.  Simulcast to Facebook and YouTube.

WWII SeaBee and WWII POW on VBC Happy Hour – Monday, February 27 @ 7pm ET

Date: February 27, 2023
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Location: zoom, Facebook, YouTube
All Events | Greatest Generation Live | Online Events | VBC Happy Hour

102-year-old Raymond West joins VBC Happy Hour to share his story of serving in the 28th Division in World War II, being captured in the Battle of the Bulge, and surviving to the end of the war in two POW camps. Also joining us are Vietnam Donut Dolly Rosemary Schwoebel and her sister, Diane Schlosser, who oversaw publication of their father’s WWII memoir. Ivan D. Thunder’s The Pacific War and Iwo Jima is a series of vignettes of daily Seabee life during and after the battle of Iwo Jima. A former Lt. CEC, USNR of the 133rd Naval Construction Battalion, Thunder writes with simplicity and candor describing his harrowing, bloody experience landing on the island under enemy fire; and after the island is secure, describes the sneak Japanese attack where even the Army cooks fought them off with knives. He then switches to the lighter side of living in a foxhole while mimicking FDR. Included in his recollections are essays where Thunder unabashedly expresses his opinion on whether we provoked the Japanese; if the A-bomb was justified; and offers his detailed tribute to Admiral Nimitz. In addition, the chilling diary of a Japanese Marine Officer and a G-2 Intelligence Bulletin recounting a U.S. Merchant Seaman’s POW experience, help to found out the Iwo Jima story. Though written by one man, this book transcends the individual and is a testimony to the extraordinary “Can Do!” spirit of the Seabees. As the Greatest Generation passes away, these inspirational recollections will serve as a useful primary source for young historians.

Purple Heart Women on VBC Happy Hour – Monday, March 6 @ 7pm ET

Date: March 6, 2023
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Location: Zoom, YouTube, Facebook
All Events | Online Events | VBC Happy Hour

In honor of Women’s History Month, we talk with nine post-9/11 veterans–all women–who served in combat and received Purple Hearts for their wounds.

These nine women are profiled in a new book, Out of the Shadows: Voices of American Women Soldiers, written by Vietnam Marine veteran Ron Farina. Ron will also join us to talk about the the unique lives of these women who served side by side with their male counterparts in war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Ron Farina’s book engagingly captures the narrative of modern American soldiers who served and sacrificed in battle. At times uplifting, and at times heartbreaking, these are real stories of women warriors that must not be ignored. Their experiences and struggles should be a reminder that our country has an obligation to fulfill its promise to honor and support our post-9/11 generation of veterans.” – Lt. Col. Amy McGrath, USMC (ret.)

Join us for a special two-part VBC Happy Hour (part 2 on March 20) to talk with these nine women, whose service, struggles, and sacrifices are now woven into our nation’s fabric:

  • LTC Vivian Cochran, US Army, Iraq and Afghanistan
  • Connie Johnson, US Army, Iraq
  • SFC Tara Hutchinson, US Army, Iraq
  • SFC Elana Duffy, US Army, Iraq and Afghanistan
  • Jennifer Hunt, US Army, Iraq and Afghanistan
  • Mary Jesse Herrera, US Army, Iraq
  • Marlene Rodriguez, US Army, Iraq
  • Kendra Garza, US Army, Afghanistan
  • Maggie Bilyeau, US Army, Afghanistan

Sponsored by D&D Auto Salvage and Tobacco Free Adagio Health.  Simulcast to Facebook and YouTube.

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