Generational support on display

Published 6:00 am Monday, November 12, 2007

The Greatest Generation Coffee Club members, including World WarII and Korean War veterans, have been meeting to sip steaming cupsof coffee and enjoy humorous morning conversations daily for thepast 15 years.

On any given morning at Burger King, at least a few club membersare present.

Friday mornings, though, are different. On that day, most membersare present and are required to wear red shirts.

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Red Shirt Friday is an informal way of showing unity and supportfor America’s armed forces. The club also urges non-club members toobserve Red Shirt Friday in support of those who serve ourcountry.

Red Shirt Friday is serious business to the Greatest GenerationCoffee Club.

Club member Clell King said there is a 50-cent fine for anyone whofails to show up in a red shirt. He was amused and bewilderedrecently when his American flag themed shirt and red jacket failedto meet the standard and he was required to pay the fine.

Another event that would cost a member money is the member’s ownbirthday. King mentioned that on a member’s birthday, he isrequired to buy breakfast for the club.

“And Clell hasn’t had a birthday in five years,” quipped fellowmember club member Paul Jackson, offering an example of the playfulbanter that is heard during the morning gatherings.

Although the club is based upon previous military duty, one willnever hear war stories exchanged.

“You would be surprised that within this group of veterans you willnever hear war mentioned. Never hear it,” Jackson said.

Instead, the group engages in lively discussions about many topicsranging from gardening to Brookhaven history.

“We’re available to solve the problems of the public, too,” offeredclub member Cecil Rhodes.

Several members expressed gratitude to Burger King for therestaurant’s generosity and for accommodating the club.

“They gave us these mugs,” said Rhodes, while showing off hisBurger King mug. “They have been really good to us.”

While the group meets to enjoy coffee and conversation, they areserious about supporting troops, both past and present.

Jackson said the Greatest Generation Coffee Club is committed toencouraging the public to participate in Red Shirt Friday.

“The main thing we would like to put out there is that we wouldlike people to wear red shirts on Fridays to honor our troops,”Jackson said.