Connecting with veterans in Yountville had been, up to that point, a purely personal experience for me. My father, Edward Keller, a former Marine Corps Captain who served in World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars, spent his last years here with me. At the end of his life, an accident left him confined to a wheelchair. Nevertheless, to his last, he was a spirited man, with a gift for gab and a very healthy appetite. He used to hang out at Bouchon and The French Laundry, eating and sipping wine, welcoming our guests and holding court. He was here to watch our projects grow—the restaurants, the bakery, the culinary garden where we raise the American flag each day. We installed the flagpole one July 4th with Dad in mind. He taught my staff how to handle the flag, how to fold and store it. It was our shared way of honoring all veterans. Since my father's passing, the flag ceremony is also a daily reminder of the time I got to spend with him here. So when I had the opportunity to cook for servicemen like him, I jumped at the chance.