any years ago there was an eclectic group 

of men living in a condo complex on 

Holiday Isle in Destin, Florida. They all 

came from different walks of life, some 

civilians and some prior Military including WWII, 

Korea and Vietnam War Veterans. They banded 

together over their joint love for America and bacon. 

Their history dates back to March 5, 2007 when a small 

group would meet once a week for breakfast at Harbor 

Docks to swap old war stories and talk about life. The 

group’s name came from the guy’s bacon preference. 

They all ordered their bacon crispy, so the waitresses 

started called them “The Crispies” and the name just 

stuck. Rick Scali, Sergeant in the Marine Corp serving 

in the Vietnam War, said, “This is the greatest bunch 

of guys I have ever had the good fortune to be with. My 

dream has always been to be with these same guys when 

they were in their prime, 20’s and 30’s. Their stories 

never get old, nor does their friendship.” The original 

group consisted of Jerry Stalnaker, Harry Johnson, 

Evans Heath, George Warren, and Tom Pollard. The 

group continues the tradition and now meets every 

Thursday at 8:00am for breakfast at Crackings. They 

group is a casual crew with no formal bylaws and as 

always, all U.S. military services are represented and 

welcomed: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast 

Guard. “I love the fellowship, war stories, and jokes. As 

the only Coastie I get the brunt of most of the jokes!” 

said former Commander of Coast Guard Station Destin 

Kurt Rommerdahl, BMCM, USCG (Ret.). 

The Crispy Warriors are made up of about 75 

“members” with 30-35 attending on average any 

Thursday. Most of the men fell in love with the 

Emerald Coast while working or visiting here and 

then stayed or retired. No matter what brought them 

here, they all love the strong military presence and 

respect the community has for the military. Skip 

Overdier, Air Force Master Chief (Ret.) described 

the warriors saying, “They are all true heroes and 

their stories are sometimes inspirational, sometimes 

heartbreaking and sometimes even funny. But they 

always remind me that the 1% have kept America 

free for the 99% and it’s something they would all do 

over again tomorrow if they needed to.” This prideful 

organization of conservative and patriotic men gathers 

to enjoy camaraderie and keep the faith in promoting 

the greatness of our nation. Retired USAF Major, Air 

Battle Manager, Charley Booton served in Just Cause, 

Desert Storm, and Joint Endeavor and described, “I’m 

so honored to be a part of a great fraternity of men who 

spare no expense to share their stories and continue 

to foster the value that our parents and forefathers 

instilled in us. At every breakfast there’s always an 

announcement of another community activity and/or 

venue that brings us all together and/or makes us proud 

to be an American.”

Most of the “Crispies” are prior Military, but there 

are a few special men like local Jeff Marken who was 

invited to join the breakfast group 

by a long time member and has been 

loving the camaraderie ever since. 

The warriors that served range from 

Sergeants to Generals. Civilian 

members like Jeff Marken and Jeff 

Carlisi still maintain a strong military 

background; both having fathers who 

were pilots in WWII. This is a truly 

unique group of men. “It isn’t every 

day that we can be so fortunate to not 

only socialize but also be friends of the 

same cut. The group is the cream of 

America’s loyal citizens and patriots, 

said Sam Lombardo, Army LTC (Ret.) 

who served in WWII Battle of the 

Bulge.  The Crispy Warriors are brave, 

they are strong and above all else, they 

are true heroes and patriots. 

 story by


Courtney Murray 


|  photo provided by


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