A Molalla man wanted to create a safe space for veterans, so he opened up a diner where service men and women would always feel welcome.
Seven days a week, you can find Greg Adams behind the counter of Pip’s Gourmet Hot Dogs and Ice Cream.
He opened the Molalla restaurant more than a year ago, naming it Pip’s, short for pipsqueak, the nickname affectionately given to his son, Jordan.
"The baseball coach in high school gave everyone a nickname. Jordan’s only five-foot-six," Adams said.
What he lacked in stature, he made up for in personality. He could dance and carry a tune, but Adams hasn’t heard his son sing in years.
“Since December 21, 2013,” Adams recalls. “He was on his third deployment, came home on mid-tour, mid-deployment leave.”
The Army Sergeant was home for the holidays when he was involved in a terrible car crash on Highway 211.
“Left him with a traumatic brain injury, broken legs, fractured face," Adams said.
Jordan was only 26. He is now 31 and his parents still take turns caring for him.
“I’m starting at six a.m. with him, getting his food, giving him medicine,” Adams said.
Greg’s wife, Tammi, takes over while he runs the restaurant during the day. Despite years of their care and rehabilitation, Jordan still can’t speak and struggles to control his muscles.
After his son’s crash, Greg decided to honor combat veterans like Jordan, warriors whose wounds are hidden deep behind a steely exterior, by serving those who serve.
“Most of what we do here too is listen to them. It seems to make a veteran happy when you can listen to them and they feel they can share a story with you," he said.
Those in uniform, often eat free at Pip’s, thanks to a gift card program Greg started.
“Community members come in and put money on it, veterans come in. Sometimes they ask if there’s anything on it, sometimes they don’t. We just offer it and say here’s for your service.”
The walls inside the restaurant are proudly adorned with pictures of the veterans he’s met and their military branch seals.
In this cozy space, they find more than a warm meal. They find comfort in knowing their time in the trenches is remembered. Their sacrifice treasured.
“It’s kind of a safe place I guess.”
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