MONROE – South Piedmont Community College has been providing military veterans a place where they can enjoy a cup of coffee in a relaxed environment since 2015.
Maria Pharr, president of SPCC, described the Veterans Coffee House as an opportunity for veterans and their families to enjoy fellowship while learning about topics of interest.
“Hosting the coffee house is deeply meaningful to the college, and we hope that those who attend find the camaraderie and value we hope to impart,” Pharr said. “Our military have risked or given their lives to provide us the freedoms and rights we enjoy today, and this is a small gesture of our enormous gratitude to them and to everyone who has answered the call for our country.”
Fourteen veterans attended the first event four years ago. SPCC sought to build awareness for the event by creating marketing materials and developing an agenda format. Attendance has steadily grown to nearly 100 attendees each month.
Events are informative, too. The group might hear updates about Veterans Affairs or health topics, such as heart health, diabetes or post traumatic stress disorder.
State legislators, such as Mark Brody, Craig Horn, Dean Arp, as well as local leaders like Monroe Mayor Bobby Kilgore and County Commissioner Richard Helms, attend the event to speak or show support.
Members of the Indian Trail VFW Post 2423, Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 634, Viet Nam Veterans of America Chapter 1103, and Unionville American Legion Post 535 are frequent guests.
SPCC’s Veteran Coffee House meets between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at South Piedmont Community College. Veterans from every branch of service are welcome to attend. Spouses may attend, too.