Breakfast with Champions

Recently I started my What If? project for my English class. My friend has a neighbor, his name is Demetrius Harakas, who takes veterans out to breakfast at his restaurant (Fantastic Café), drives them in his old war car, and talks to them about their experience in whatever war they were in. He says the veterans love to share stories with him; and he has heard A LOT of stories. For the past 8 months Demetrius has been taking local veterans to breakfast. He estimates he has taken about 70 veterans out and listened to their war stories.

ww2 car

When my friend found out her neighbor was doing this, she came up with the idea to document the stories the veterans told for our project. When she told me her idea, I thought it was amazing. I partnered with her right away and we pitched our idea to our schools production group to find someone to help us film the experience. Our first filming day was last Friday, November 22nd, and it went really well.

M0st of the time it didn’t even feel like we were there for a project. We got the opportunity to talk to a three war veteran and his wife, and I learned so much from both of them. The veteran, Jim, was in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam with 25 years in service. He had over 30 medals and a rank of master chief. He told some great stories and at the end of breakfast thanked us for meeting with him. I wondered why he was thanking us after he gave us a new insight into history, and gave us a connection that a history class never could. But that’s exactly what we want to do with our project, give people a new look and deeper connection to history through personal accounts from those who were actually there, and document it so that generations in the future can hear the same stories we did.

If you want to follow our project’s progress you can check out our blog at

While you are over there you can also nominate a veteran to get breakfast as long as they live in Orange County, California! Thank you!

Introduction video from


8 thoughts on “Breakfast with Champions

  1. Okay… this is AMAZING. I am so proud of Lindsay and Erica thinking of this idea and getting Tue to put the video together. I don’t know what else to say other than the three of you already made my year.

  2. Great work, team. I am blown away by this incredible purpose driven project and the production quality of the video. Great work. -An admiring teacher from Monterey, CA.

  3. Wow. I wish I would have had this type of idea when I was your age… But you are inspiring me even at this age! Please keep it up – we need to document these stories. THANK YOU for being the one to do this! And thank you to Mr. Theriault for keeping us in the loop!

  4. Great job Erica! I am so excited about our project and all of the positive feedback we have been receiving! Thanks for being an awesome co-producer!

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