Chamber honors those who served at breakfast

<p>A group of Hermiston veterans and their families enjoy coffee prior to indulging in a Veterans Day Breakfast put on by the Hermiston Chamber of Commerce Monday morning at the Hermiston Conference Center.</p>

Hermiston area veterans tooks turns sharing stories with one another Monday morning at the Hermiston Conference Center, reminiscing about the good and bad times of their times in the service.

Hermiston resident Al Sather, a Vietnam War veteran, served in the Army from 1953 to 1974. He is now a member of the Hermiston Veterans of Foreign Wars organization.

“I liked (the military) better than the farm,” he said, with a laugh, recalling having to deal with chickens on his family farm prior to being drafted to the war.

The event was part of an annual Veterans Day Breakfast where veterans from all branches of the military gathered to break bread with one another in honor of their service to United States.

The Hermiston Chamber of Commerce, Burns Mortuary of Hermiston, Barnett and Moro P.C., Sharon’s Sweet Treats and Espirit Graphic Communications Inc., teamed up to provide the complimentary hot breakfast to area veterans and their families.

“This is a fantastic event,” Dean Hacket, pastor at Living Faith Church, said. “It is such an honor to be in a room with so many heroes. We have veterans from Korea, World War II and Vietnam all at one table. It is such an honor.”

Hacket, an Air Force veteran, himself, served as the guest speaker at the breakfast, where more than 150 veterans gathered around tables with family members and friends.

The veterans, who served in various wars, from World War II, Korean War, Vietnam and Afghanistan, among others, talked with each other, shared their experiences and reminisced about their time in the military. Sather said this year marked his second attending the breakfast, and he is grateful for the opportunity to share it with his fellow veterans, friends and family.

“I love it,” he said.

Lester McMasters served from 1960 to 1964 in the U.S. Navy and was on one of the repair ships involved in the Cuban missile crisis.

“It was pretty spooky,” he said of the event.

McMasters said he appreciates the opportunity to have a breakfast in Hermiston honoring all of the area veterans.

“It is very special,” he said.

His wife, Leanna, said she equally appreciates the gesture to all those who have served.

“It is very nice for them to do, and it is a really nice breakfast,” she said.

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