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Thank You Veterans

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Egg Harbor Café is pleased to offer a free meal on Veterans Day as a tribute to all the veterans and military who have served the United States. This year, we sat down and talked with US Army veterans Brendan Gleespen and Les Fiatte over breakfast at the Hinsdale Egg Harbor Café. They both served in the Army’s Psychological Operations Battalion (PSYOP) and Civil Affairs, Brendan in Iraq and Les during the Vietnam War.

In 1968, Les Fiatte trained to work a printing press in the back of a semi-truck distributing leaflets to civilians in Vietnam. After a medical condition sent him back stateside, Les ran a print shop at an Army base in Texas. Recently Les sent us pictures of himself, with his US Army Yearbook and an Infantry plaque, taken on Veterans Day at Egg Harbor Café in Hinsdale. Moved by his display, and that he’d carried his personal memories to the restaurant, we met Les and his friend Brendan for breakfast. There Les spoke with respect and good humor of the rigors of training and his distinguished army career that, along with managing printing operations, included a stint in the base kitchen making huge breakfasts for the troops – truly a way to our heart!

Brendan Gleespen worked as an MP in the Army Reserves before transferring to active duty in 2002. Brendan was deployed to Iraq in 2005, at a time when his daughter was only three weeks old. During his tour in Ramadi, Brendan was charged with reaching out to the sheiks, local religious leaders who held privileged positions of power in the community. His team included two other US military and a Jordanian interpreter who was fiercely loyal to the US. By establishing good relationships with the sheiks, the US worked to curb the insurgency and build up the local community during a particularly violent year. Guarding against snipers and bombs whenever they left the base, Brendan’s team traveled in a Humvee and Brendan served as turret gunner. Brendan’s tour ended in April 2006, and he is happy to be home serving as a police officer in Countryside, IL.

John Sasso, General Manager of the Hinsdale Egg Harbor Café, commented on how nice it was to connect with veterans across several generations, and to have the opportunity to thank them. We are grateful this November to Brendan and Les, and to all veterans and active military, for your leadership, mission-orientation, practical resilience, generosity and strength.

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