SOMERSET — They come from cities and towns like New Bedford and Middletown, Fall River and Newport. They modestly claim that they meet for coffee and camaraderie.
But after sitting down and listening to the group, it’s clear that their mission is so much more.
They gather to tell their stories — to support each other when remembering those cold, dark nights standing watch on the bridge, the close calls at sea and the days at war.
They are the historians who are working to preserve the legacy of the destroyer veterans, a.k.a. The Tin Can Sailors.
The National Association of Destroyer Veterans is a group numbering 12,000 headquartered in Somerset. Every Wednesday, the office holds a drop-in coffee hour where veterans gather to share their experiences, to talk about their preservation work and expand their outreach efforts. (In addition to a library on site, they have a magazine, website, and active social media presence, and the group facilitates reunions of former…