CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — In the middle of the breakfast rush at one restaurant, there’s a trio that shares a deep appreciation of friendship. Their meetings have long been made up of french toast sticks, hot coffee, and good conversations. There’s something very special about these Tuesday morning breakfasts.

Susan Murphy will tell you, being a server at a Clarksville Shoney’s for 35 years has made her an expert on people’s breakfast usual.

“I know their order before they even come in, sit down,” she smiled. “I know what they want to drink.”

There’s one breakfast usual that’s become special to Susan.

“One ticket. To me,” said 89-year-old veteran Darrell Henderson, speaking to a server.

“I was gonna pay yours!” laughed fellow veteran, 90-year-old Amos Elrod.

“Yesterday was payday!” Darrell answered. “Money’s plentiful right now.”

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Darrell is a Vietnam War veteran. Amos is a veteran of the Korean War. They met in 1962 and worked together for years at Fort Campbell.

Every first Tuesday of the month, the usual is for the men to meet up at the Shoney’s on Wilma Rudolph Boulevard for a veterans breakfast. They’ve been doing this for 30 years. Susan’s been their waitress the whole time.

“Those guys, they’re family,” Susan said.

“We just get together and tell war stories, y’know,” Darrell said. “That’s what old soldiers do.”

“That’s my early days,” Darrell laughed, looking at an old picture. “I think there’s a lot of years gone by. Had hair then too!”

“This is when I was in the Air Force!” Amos smiled, also looking at an old picture. “I was about 26, 27.”

The truth is, years ago, the veterans breakfast was a whole lot bigger, with many vets who retired around 1991 and ’92.

“People started droppin out due to dying,” said Darrell. “The rest of them are all gone.”

“It’s like losing a family member,” said Susan. “It’s just heartbreaking.”

“Now, he and I are the only ones left,” said Darrell.

“When they’re here, I know they’re okay,” said Susan. “I’ve got another month with them.”

“Sit down here and tell me something,” Darrell said as Susan walked over to his table.

“Well, I love ya!” said Susan.

“I said I wouldn’t retire until they wasn’t here anymore,” she continued. “I will be here as long as they are. I would miss them too much.”

“I’ll be 90 in another week or so and he’ll be 91 in two weeks,” said Darrell. “We gonna truck as long as we can truck.”

“As long as we’re able to, I guess,” said Amos.

Your breakfast usual might be any variety of things. These three have a usual they wouldn’t trade for anything.

“They’re my guys,” Susan said.

Shoney’s Chief Marketing Officer Gill Duff sent NewsChannel 5 a statement saying;

“Our country’s armed forces veterans have always been important to Shoney’s. We honor veterans, as well as the active military, every day throughout the year with a special discount. We actively seek veterans as potential franchisees for the brand. And, of course, our Veterans Day Breakfast, serving all vets a free breakfast at Shoney’s, is one of our biggest and favorite events of every year. It’s all done to say THANK YOU for their service to our country. We love to hear stories, like this one in Clarksville, about how Shoney’s serves as beacon for lasting friendships and how our community involvement has touched so many.”


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Shoney’s Special Mother’s Day Fresh Food Bar and a Complimentary Slice of one of America’s Favorite Desserts Make for a Perfect Day for Moms and Her Families on Sunday, May 8, 2022 at its Restaurants Nationwide

America, May 2, 2022 – Nothing says Happy Mother’s Day like a FREE slice of one of America’s favorite desserts and no brand puts together a special Mother’s Day Fresh Food Bar or makes Strawberry Pies like Shoney’s.

On this upcoming Mother’s Day – Sunday, May 8, 2022 – the iconic American brand will continue its now 75-year tradition of delighting matriarchs and her families across America with its Mother’s Day Fresh Food Bar, all under the supervision of Shoney’s team of culinary experts.

This year’s Mother’s Day Fresh Food Bar will include holiday-themed delicious choices like Shoney’s signature proteins including Crispy Chicken, Sliced Ham with Apples, slow-roasted hand-carved Turkey Breast and Herb-Roasted Salmon. A veritable cornucopia of Shoney’s other freshly-prepared items will include Squash Casserole, Fresh Steamed Broccoli, traditional as well as Creamy and Loaded Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans with Peppers, Sweet Potato Casserole, Corn and Macaroni & Cheese.

Of course, Shoney’s keeps piling it on with more, more, more including Dinner Rolls, Poultry Gravy, Cornbread Dressing, Cranberry Sauce, Cabbage Beef Soup, Broccoli Cheddar Soup and another amazing dessert, Peach Cobbler. All of this – and this is not a typo – starting at $14.99. Kids pricing will be $8.99 for ages 5 – 10. Kids 4 & Under will eat for FREE with adult Fresh Food Bar purchase.

Finally, Shoney’s will say THANKS to all moms on their special day as only Shoney’s can: with a FREE slice of Strawberry Pie, made-in-house daily with delicious, fresh strawberries in a flaky crust mixed with Shoney’s special glaze and finished with whipped topping when they purchase an entrée or partake in the Mother’s Day Fresh Food Bar.

Shoney’s serves more than two million slices of its famous Strawberry Pie each year. The dessert has been a part of Shoney’s rich history and has played a key role in the brand’s recent resurgence, according to Mr. David Davoudpour, Shoney’s Chairman and CEO.

“Mother’s Day is a special day at Shoney’s and we want to share this holiday with all moms, friends, family and neighbors by providing fresh quality food at a great value with friendly service,” said Mr. Davoudpour. “We didn’t create the strawberry yet we have perfected the Strawberry Pie and nothing makes us happier than to serve families across America with great food and treating moms to a delicious and free dessert. Please join us on this special day and as we like to say, Let’s Eat!®”

For 75 years, Shoney’s has collected industry accolades, beginning from day one. Shoney’s is consistently recognized as a premiere family dining restaurant, praised for having the best rating for value among all family dining chains while also being hailed for its service, menu variety and diners’ recommendations.

Since acquiring the great American eatery in 2007, Mr. Davoudpour has been on a driven and spirited mission to reinvigorate and revitalize Shoney’s, a family-friendly, southern-style restaurant brand. Shoney’s is one of the first, and has always been one of the most popular, family casual dining concepts in the United States.

In order to get back to what Mr. Davoudpour confidently calls Shoney’s “Glory Days,” the brand is now growing through franchising, following an extensive revitalization effort. Shoney’s is offering franchising opportunities to qualified single and multi-unit candidates.

Shoney’s is closely following all guidance issued by the CDC, state, and local governments and health departments to ensure sanitary conditions, cleanliness, and the health of our guests and team members.

Of course, price and participation may vary; please contact your local Shoney’s for inclusion information and other details.

About Shoney’s

Shoney’s is headquartered in Nashville, operates in 17 states and is now growing through franchising following an extensive revitalization effort. For 75 years, guests have enjoyed Shoney’s family-friendly, casual dining experience. Visit for more information on restaurant hours, locations and special offers. Shoney’s is offering franchising opportunities to qualified single and multi-unit candidates. You can also follow Shoney’s on Facebook, Twitter,  Instagram and YouTube.

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