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Newest vets' coffeehouse starts up in Waterford

A new veterans coffee house in Waterford started up Oct. 8, and will meet from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. the second Tuesday of every month on the second floor of the Youth Services Building at 200 Boston Post Road.

Other veterans coffee houses currently are available in Norwich, Pawcatuck, Mystic, Groton and New London.

During the first Waterford meeting, about 50 veterans sipped coffee and munched on confectionary delights while they listened to a few speakers present programs that are available in southeastern Connecticut.

Veterans were there from Waterford, Brooklyn, Norwich, New London, Stafford Springs and East Lyme. The Navy, Army, Air Force and National Guard were represented.

Veterans in this coffee shop environment support each other in a way only they can probably best appreciate. Their dedication and service go beyond the battle fields. One veteran commented, “All of us are old people by the time we get out.”

Reminiscing, Andy Staunton said “Even though I was afraid, I never showed it.”

Now, he can show it and share his stories of those harrowing nights and days.

Andy Staunton was accompanied by Rosie, a 5-year-old black Lab mix who is a trained therapy dog.

Rosie and Andy make home visits together to reach out to veterans. Rosie graduated from an 18-month cognitive behavioral program, and she greets everyone — never missing a chance to make new friends.

All coffee houses are held from 9 to 11 a.m. on the following days:

— every Wednesday at United Congregational Church, 87 Broadway, Norwich;

— the first and third Thursday of the month at Masonicare Mystic, 45 Clara Drive;

— the second and fourth Thursday of the month at Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center, 27 Chase St. Pawcatuck;

— the first Friday of the month at New London Senior Citizens Center, 120 Broad St.;

— the third Friday of the month at City of Groton Human Services, 2 Fort Hill Road.

The coffee houses currently are looking for volunteers and support. People are being sought to make coffee, set up, grocery shop, pass around muster sheets and greet people. Contact Marvin at 860-425-6615 or or Gina at 860-425-6617 or for more information


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