Military museum

Lt. Colonel Preston Funkhouser (ret.) looks at former Marine Jim Williams’ challenge coins which he collected during his military career in the military. The coins were part of Cracker Barrel’s military event for its employees.  X AVIER SMITH

Cracker Barrel celebrated Veterans Day with a showcase at its corporate headquarter, featuring memorabilia from employees and veterans. 

The event featured pictures and information about current Cracker Barrel employees who are veterans or employees’ family members that are veterans. Memorabilia included coins, medals, certificates and uniforms. 

Staff Sgt. Amber Jaggars, a Cracker Barrel retail manager, shared her story.

“I will never forget Mother’s Day in 2003. My first rotation home from the Middle East. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve and protect the rights of my family and country. Veterans Day should be every day,” Jaggars said. 

Marine veteran Jim Williams displayed his military memorabilia, which included his medals and challenge coins, which represent each of the military branches, individual units, special groups and specific missions. 

Williams also displayed a wooden gun carved and signed by his son, Elijah, given to Williams when he retired from the military. 

“He made it when he was about 12 years old,” Williams said. “He was just happy I was home for good.”

It also gave employees the opportunity to write notes and cards to veterans, and donate items for those deployed. 

Retired Lt. Colonel Preston Funkhouser, now Cracker Barrel’s Senior Director of Facilities, discussed the importance of recognizing military personnel with the museum, noting company founder Dan Evans was a Marine and current Cracker Barrel President and CEO Sandra Cochran is an Army veteran.

“It’s been Cracker Barrel’s philosophic theme to support military families, specially, for quite a long time,” Funkhouser said. “It seems like a natural extension of our brand and who we are. We’re known as a home away from home where you come and sit across the table and have dinner, lunch or breakfast with the family. It’s meant to be a family environment, so we see out outreach to military families as an extension of that.”

Funkhouser retired in 2013 after 20 years in the Army as an engineer officer. He said his wife introduced him to Cracker Barrel. 

“It has actually been my wife’s favorite restaurant since I’ve known her. I didn’t know about Cracker Barrel growing up out West. So, when I met her, I learned it was hers and her family’s favorite restaurant,” he said. 

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