For years a group of area veterans have been gathering at 7:30 a.m. every morning for coffee at the McDonald's at Staples and S.P.I.D.
Despite COVID-19 closing the restaurant's indoor dining, these veterans are still staying connected.
For more than 30 years, as many as 10 to 15 of our nation's heroes come together every weekday morning for coffee. Now they meet outside in the McDonald's parking lot.
“We are still hanging in there, and I enjoy it as much as it was the first day I came here,” said retired fireman Octavio De La Garza.
“We are here every morning: fresh air, sunshine, social distancing, mask, and we enjoy our coffee,” said Marine Corps veteran Bill DeSantos
This coffee club is a group of veterans from all branches of military service who say their healthy friendship has evolved through sharing stories over the years. Plus, it is a great excuse to leave the house.
“We have a different topic every day, mostly political, a lot of satire, and a lot of jokes. We really enjoy it,” said Marine Corps veteran Bill DeSantos.
“First thing we do is make fun of each other. We have the Marines over here, the Navy over there, and the Army over here. One of the guys is with the Coast Guard, and I'm Air Force so I guess they get to kick me around a little bit, but we have fun talking about each other,” said Air Force veteran Ruben Garza.
For many of them it is also a form of therapy.
“And we like to talk about experience while we were in the service. We are out here because we want to make sure we don’t go and pay a doctor the money that they charge just to have the same conversation, ” said Navy veteran Rene Soliz.
These veterans say they will keep coming for a hot cup of coffee and those stories as long as they are able.