ABC7 Salutes: West Hills Wendy's becomes gathering spot for veterans

WEST HILLS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Every Monday for the past 10 years, dozens of veterans meet at a Wendy's restaurant in West Hills, sharing jokes and old war stories over a cup of coffee.

"When you get to be my age you don't have a lot of things to do. All of the people who come here have formed a camaraderie and it's something to do and we can talk about our old stories and all that. These are people that will listen to them because they experienced the same thing," said Michael La Vere, a World War II veteran.

The group, called Wings over Wendy's, has about 300 members and they're all veterans. La Vere is one of about 25 who served in World War II.

"I never had anything bad happen to me, I mean we did get shot up and stuff like that, but fortunately I am one of the survivors" La Vere said.

Another World War II veteran, Ethel Margolin, served in the Women's Army Corps. She said these meetings are a chance to start the week off right.

"It's very meaningful to me. I come here because I am part of a group that I belong to. It's a feeling of belonging" Margolin said.

Widows of veterans are also welcome. Marion Lovelace said these meetings make her feel closer to her husband who died in 2002.

"Payback, you know, I just feel like I'm doing something worthwhile" Lovelace said.

The group takes day trips together, supports one another through health scares and keeps up on world events.

"When they tell their stories, somebody appreciates that...because we all know what they went through" said Ed Reynolds, veteran and leader of the group.

The veterans at Wings over Wendy's take care of each other. They are linked in friendship and bonded by their service and sacrifice.
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