The Levelland and Hockley County community is providing an opportunity for veterans and their families to come together to enjoy breakfast and hear a program regarding services available for veterans, Saturday, at the SPC Physical Education Complex.
Breakfast will begin at 8:30 a.m. and is free for veterans and their families. The entire community is invited to attend and celebrate veterans and their service.
After breakfast is served, a program will be provided by Larry A. Williams and Katherine McLamore, authors of Texas South Plains War Stories.
The book is a compilation of interviews with veterans from World War II to Afghanistan, documenting recollections from survivors of World War II, Korea, Vietnam and other conflicts, all of whom are residents of the Texas Panhandle. The book presents narratives from men and women whose young lives, for good or ill, were defined by their participation in warfare in service to the United States.
Every year, the committee for the Veterans Day Breakfast tries to give veterans a gift and a token of appreciation for their service. This year, veterans will all receive a copy of Texas South Plains War Stories.
Cara Phelan, veterans service officer for Hockley County, said after not being able to host the breakfast last year due to Covid-19, she and the committee are excited to bring the veterans together again.
“I’m excited to have a chance to just be with the veterans and allow the veterans to be with each other,” Phelan said.
Currently, Levelland does not have a place for veterans to get together, and Phelan said the great thing about the breakfast is it provides for that.
“Right now, Levelland doesn’t have a place for veterans to meet like the VFW or anything and this breakfast gives them a chance to fellowship with each other, and I’m excited about that,” Phelan said.
Phelan said this year’s breakfast is also focused around getting some information to veterans about the benefits, services and discounts available to them.
“One thing we’re focusing on this year is information,” Phelan said. “We’re just really trying to get information out there about what benefits are available to them and other things that are available for them.”
Another speaker at the breakfast will be the new clinic director for the Veterans Affairs Clinic.
“They will let them know about all the services that are available in Lubbock so they don’t always have to go to Amarillo,” Phelan said.
There will also be a representative from CapTell Phones that will provide information about the company that provides phones for the hearing impaired.
“It’s free for veterans and hearing impairment is the number one disability for veterans,” Phelan said. “These phones make life a little easier with a display that shows all the words so they’re not struggling to hear what’s on the phone.”
There are different versions of the phone available, depending on how technologically capable the individual is, all of which are 100 percent free for veterans.
The breakfast is open to everyone, not just veterans.
“I want the community to show our veterans how much we appreciate them and that whether it was years ago or last month, I want them to know we appreciate what they have done,” Phelan said. “We owe so much to them and I want them to know that we don’t forget.”
Phelan said the breakfast isn’t only to honor veterans from yesteryear, or veterans who served during wartimes, but all who have served.
“A lot of times, veterans who didn’t serve in wartime don’t feel like they should come but this is for all veterans who served in peace time or wartime,” Phelan said. “Whether they had to fight or not, they were ready to go if they were called upon and they deserve to be honored just like everyone else.
“We really hope the younger veterans come out, too,” Phelan said.
Above all, Phelan said she wants veterans to know that their service is remembered and honored.
“I’m excited to let the veterans know we’re grateful,” Phelan said. “Sometimes they think we forget, but we don’t.”
While there quite a few items on the agenda for Saturday’s breakfast, Phelan said the committee is dedicated to keeping the program brief to let veterans go about their day.
“We try to get them out within an hour or an hour and a half, but still provide the information they need,” Phelan said.
Phelan said the committee has involved the community in the entire event, with several groups volunteering to help.
The Lions Club is providing golf cart rides for veterans to and from their cars to the building, Levelland FFA will be volunteering to register guests and help veterans to their seats, and the local cub scout pack will lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Machayla Parkinson will sing the National Anthem.
The committee is comprised of individuals from Levelland and Hockley County, including: Rebecca Currington, Nick Williams, Lorien Calhoun, Shelley Baigen, Tanner Terrell and Michael Wiiest.