Coffee Shop That Supports Vets Coming To Madison

A one-of-a-kind organization serving up coffee, and help, for local veterans is making its way to Madison.

“Vets helping vets” is the mission of Milwaukee-based Dryhootch. Support groups meet regularly upstairs at the coffeehouse, and coffee and conversation happens downstairs.

“It’s a social environment, it’s safe, because addiction and (post-traumatic stress disorder) is highly related, and we’ve been getting a lot of requests for Madison,” Dryhootch founder Bob Curry said.

Dryhootch is a coffeehouse with a purpose, with programs for vets to deal with PTSD, family issues, crimes and employment, among other things. A federal AmeriCorps grant is allowing the nonprofit to expand, and Curry said there’s a big need in Madison.

“There’s been some recent news in Madison, some unfortunate news, of veterans getting into trouble,” Curry said. “So the need is there.”

Dryhootch will partner with people such as BJ Ganem, a former Gulf Company Marine injured in Iraq, who is now Dane County’s veterans service officer. He’s been there, and he said he knows the struggles of returning home to “normalcy.” Ganem said he’s excited about the opportunity.

“Everybody likes coffee, and this one has a message with it,” Ganem said. “Vets helping vets is something that I think we need to incorporate across the board — and it’s a great thing that Dryhootch is heading up.”

Curry said the VA is overloaded and is asking for help. He said he knows his organization will be able to fill the need in Madison and help be the bridge to get vets to valuable services.

“It takes a community to heal our veterans,” Curry said. “We want to be that place where vets can talk with vets, and we want to partner with everyone in the community.”

Dryhootch said it hopes to open its doors in Madison on Feb. 1, near the VA Hospital.

With the federal AmeriCorps grant, matching funds are necessary, so the organization will be reaching out to the community for help.

For information about Dryhootch and how to donate, go to