Last night he was broadcasting from San Francisco and tonight CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley will be in Seattle. One of the stories he’s bringing from there is on Lakewood’s Coffee Strong.
In the segment, a former Marine tells CBS she might have committed suicide were it not for the progressive coffee shop near Joint Base Lewis McChord. Deborah Flagboam says she was sexually assaulted during boot camp but found support at Coffee Strong.
Correspondent Barry Petersen reports that Coffee Strong is helping war veterans cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and even saving lives.
The Lakewood coffee shop is a gathering place where soldiers and veterans can find not only free coffee but also access to counseling and information about meeting places and services available to them. It bills itself as pro-soldier and anti-war.
Iraq Veteran Jorge Gonzales, the executive director of the shop, tells Peterson: “Get help as soon as you feel something wrong with you. You are not going to be weak or less than a soldier.”
In 2004 there were 64 confirmed suicides in the Army and this year 132 Army deaths are apparent suicides. Petersen’s report looks at how this small business is working to lower that number.
The CBS Evening News airs on KIRO-7 at 6:30 p.m.