Veterans meet at Prairie Tavern for the first luncheon of the year


A veterans luncheon was recently held by Battle Ground Senior Citizens Inc. at Prairie Tavern to kick off the first of many monthly veterans luncheons.

Veterans gathered at 11:30 a.m. Friday, June 16, to enjoy time with their fellow former service members while enjoying the food and drinks at Prairie Tavern.

“I think it’s an opportunity to be able to reflect upon the past and learn a little bit more about regarding what our roles were and what we faced during the Vietnam era,” Bruce Drazich, husband of activities director Jana Drazich, said. “Because in many cases, it wasn’t pretty, even if you were stateside, the sentiment was not toward you. And I think it was hard for many of the Vietnam vets to come back and be admonished and whatever and later in life than the others that fought in the following wars and stuff. They came back and they were well received, you know, it’s a little tough in that respect.”

Bruce and Jana Drazich met in the service as both are U.S. Navy veterans and now have been married for half a century.

Bruce Drazich believes it wasn’t until just the last five years or so that Vietnam-era veterans began fully receiving the honor and respect they deserve. Jana Drazich added that she is one of very few women who served in the Vietnam era, especially in the Navy. She said she knows of a few who did serve live in the Clark County area and she hopes to see them at the luncheons.

“I think now less than 5% of the population, probably even less than that, have served in the armed forces,” Battle Ground Mayor Philip Johnson said while attending the luncheon. “We’re not super citizens by any stretch of the imagination, but we did take some time out of our lives to dedicate to the country.”

Bruce Drazich feels the North County community is accepting of veterans, especially those in the senior citizen community, he added.

“But you go to a lot of the local stores and stuff and you know, they find out you’re a veteran and stuff, most of them in their response are pretty genuine. There are some just automatic responses, which does not come across as real,” Bruce Drazich said.

Those interested in the veterans luncheons or more that Battle Ground Senior Citizens Inc. has to offer can email or call 360-953-3278.

Prairie Tavern is located at 14925 NE Caples Road in Brush Prairie. It serves a wide variety of food options, including pizza, burgers, fried favorites and more.