‘We’re very thankful:’ Veterans enjoy free lunch, great conversation at Concordia University

MEQUON -- Lured in with a free lunch, dozens of veterans from across the area showed up at Concordia University on Thursday, Nov. 8 -- invited for a pre-Veterans Day celebration.

"Who can pass up free food? I mean really," said Kadee Knapper, Navy veteran.

"The least we can do for them is this," said Lucy Jacobson, student organizer.

Free lunch for veterans at Concordia University

Veterans were treated to a free lunch, a meal fashioned after a summer barbecue.

Free lunch for veterans at Concordia University

"In the end, we did it because we're very thankful and we're very gracious for the bravery and courage that all these men and women have showed today," said Jacobson.

With more than 70 veterans showing up, some sat with old friends and others made new ones.

"Apparently he's from the same area that I grew up, South Bend, Indiana," said Noah Kampa, Marine veteran.

Along with the food, what seemed to keep veterans around wasn't something you could serve up. It was the friendly conversation.

Free lunch for veterans at Concordia University

"It's really about learning and keeping an open mind and an open heart and appreciating each other," Jacobson said.

Lucy Jacobson

Veterans shared stories with their peers and interested students of all ages, with conversations only stopping to get more food.

"It does break down that awkwardness, as if we were all sitting there with nothing in front of us," said Kampa.

The vets got an early smile ahead of their special day.

Free lunch for veterans at Concordia University

Free lunch for veterans at Concordia University

"It's a powerful thing that America still holds true to that to honor them," said Kampa.

Veterans Day 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1.

"Armistice Day," which turned into Veterans Day originated to celebrate the end of that war and today, we use Veteran's Day to recognize those who've served our country in all conflicts.