Iraq/Afghanistan veterans renew coffeehouse movement of Vietnam days

Veterans in Washington, Texas and Virginia are opening coffeehouses in a movement harking back to the Vietnam War era. The coffeehouses, often near military bases, provide solace to military members returning from the war, and to veterans who are struggling to piece together their lives post-combat.

In a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, Washington state “veterans turned baristas” from the current conflicts in the Mid-East are profiled. Seth Manzel spent two years in Iraq and served with the Army’s 1st Stryker Brigade. Manzel opened Coffee Strong, a coffeehouse in Lakewood, Washington, near the Ft. Lewis Army base. Manzel and a staff of other veterans oppose the war and work to provide comfort and support for their many active-duty customers.

According to the LA Times, such coffeehouses are making a comeback for “active military and combat veterans frustrated with what they consider a lack of access to medical and counseling services.”

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