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Vic's honors vets

Camp Murray coffee shop caters to veterans, provides free food and fun festivities

The ladies of Vic’s Espresso and Eats, (left to right) Alethea Fleenor, Shantell Youngblood, Valerie Wagner and owner Pam Rupers. Photo credit: Allegra Antwine

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With Veterans Day approaching, many people may be pondering ways to give back to the men and women who have served - and are still serving - our country.

Vic's Espresso and Eats on Camp Murray will do so in a big way Nov. 5 with its annual Vic's Honors Vets luncheon event.

Servicemen and women are invited to enjoy a complimentary hot meal from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Building 33. The menu includes traditional BBQ fare, including burgers, franks, slaw and soda that will be served by the regular beloved staff of Vic's.

The Vic's Honors Vets luncheon was established in 2010 by the original owners of the café and inherited by owners Pam and Dave Rupers when they purchased the business in 2011.

"When Dave and I bought the coffee shop, we continued the tradition," said Pam, when asked why they decided to keep the event going. "I am just so thankful for what the military does for us, and I'm so thankful for the Guard and what they do."

The event continues to be a success year after year, with Vic's serving roughly 200 meals annually. Still, the business owners have ambitions.

"Every year, we grow, so we're always planning for more. We would like to have a very large turnout this year," said Dave.

In addition to the free lunch provided by Vic's, attendees are encouraged to take advantage of the booths set up by various organizations and businesses during the celebration. In years past, the National Guard Association of Washington (NGAW), American Lake Credit Union, Joint Services Support, Minuteman Foundation, Wounded Warrior Project and USO have all taken part and offered information, resources and services for vets.

"My goal for this event is to have as many nonprofit organizations as possible set up with information for all of our Guardsmen and women - and for all of our veterans - so they can see how many things are out there to help them," Pam said.  

All leftover food from the event will be given to Parkland First Baptist Church's food bank, which will be on hand to accept nonperishable food donations.

It is easy to see the devotion and gratitude the Rupers hold for members of our military. Vic's Honors Vets is their way of expressing their appreciation for the veterans who make sacrifices to better the country we live in.

"I want people to know that this is our gift to them," Pam said.

Although Vic's sponsors and helps out with many events for the military, this event holds a special place in the Rupers' hearts.

"We need to give back," Pam said, "and it's a way for us as a coffee shop to say ‘thank you so much for being here, thank you for helping us to be successful, thank you for all the work that you do, and thank you for the protection you give us.'"

For more information, call 253.355.0513 or visit

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