Pat Coombes (left) and Shaun Francis were trading anecdotes and jokes and enjoying some fresh caffeine at Buddy Check Coffee, a new program for veterans offered by the Royal Canadian Legion Aldergrove branch at 26607 Fraser Highway on the last Saturday morning of the month. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Pat Coombes (left) and Shaun Francis were trading anecdotes and jokes and enjoying some fresh caffeine at Buddy Check Coffee, a new program for veterans offered by the Royal Canadian Legion Aldergrove branch at 26607 Fraser Highway on the last Saturday morning of the month. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Coffee, cookies and conversation for veterans offered by new Aldergrove Legion program

‘Buddy Check Coffee’ takes place last Saturday of the month

Pat Coombes was telling a visitor to the Royal Canadian Legion Aldergrove branch how long he served in the RCMP.

“Twenty-nine years, 119 days, but who’s counting,” Coombes laughed.

He went on to explain that his name is spelled with an “e” because “there’s no ‘bs’ in my name.”

Coombes had dropped by for Buddy Check Coffee, a new program for veterans offered by the Aldergrove branch at 26607 Fraser Highway on the last Saturday morning of the month from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Aldergrove Legion holds service for Queen Elizabeth

It is a place for veterans to relax, have coffee, and make fun of each other, as Shaun Francis, who served with the PPCLI (also referred to as Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry) during the 80s, explained.

“We always like to take the piss out of each other,” is how Francis put it.

Buddy Check is a veteran-run program offering a relaxed environment, allowing for networking and sharing of experiences and stories over coffee, and, on this particular Saturday, home-baked cookies provided by another Legion member.

“It’s getting to know people, getting to know you’re not alone,” Francis explained. “You’re talking to people who have been in a lot of the same situations you have been in.”

Retired RCMP officer Doug Hadley, service officer with the Aldergrove branch, explained the program was launched by the Royal Canadian Legion Operational Stress Injury Special Section to help veterans gather to enjoy peer support.

Hadley said the program is open to any veteran.

“You do not have to be a member of the Legion.”

Any interested veterans can drop by the Legion between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on the last Saturday of the month, or call 604-856-8814 for more information.

READ ALSO: Aldergrove Legion branch goes from ‘awful’ green to blue


Have a story tip? Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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