Combat Cafe in Umatilla caught the attention of thousands over the weekend, as the small but mighty diner was recognized by WKMG News 6 and awarded its Getting Results Award.
Vet helping vets: Sorrento veteran creates non-profit for PTSD awareness
Although “off the beaten path,” the diner, run by Army veteran Bruce Chambers and his wife, Beth, has become a destination for veterans and civilians alike, offering healing and a safe place for locals to enjoy.
“One of our regulars, Rev. Graham Williamson, nominated us and we were selected,” Beth said. “They recognized us for our work in the community and how we are always looking for opportunities to give back.”
In fact, the Chambers have been integral in collecting donations for Vets Helping Vets, Infinite Heroes and have hosted numerous events like Trunk or Treat, teacher breakfasts and feeding the homeless throughout their nearly four years in businesses.
“We’ve become like a hub for people who want to help,” Bruce said. “Our new location really helps us accomplish more because it feels like a home. We have the space and place to accommodate these things.”
Combat Cafe has also adopted two local families for Christmas and will be raising funds and collecting donations to supply these families with a full Christmas.
However, many have commented on how the atmosphere alone has helped them.
“There was this one girl who told us that when she brought her father in who was a veteran, he sat down and saw the memorabilia on the walls and just opened up about things he experienced, things she had never heard before,” Beth said.
Bruce agreed, telling about a POW who frequents the diner who has opened up about the horrific things he encountered for more than three years.
“He feels comfortable talking to us and that means everything,” Bruce said.
It was Bruce’s dream to own his own diner one day, but he never dreamed it would turn into what it has.
“This is so much more than I imagined,” Bruce said. “I knew how much it would mean to me, but I never thought it would mean so much to our community. I am so proud of our team. We try to set standards in our industry. Our team always goes above and beyond to make it happen.”
The couple was awarded with a commemorative plaque for their recognition, which now hangs on the front wall of the cafe.
“We are so honored and thankful to our community who continues to stand with us,” Beth said. “It takes a village and we couldn’t do it without their support.”
This article originally appeared on Daily Commercial: Combat Cafe earns the 'Getting Results' Award