Celebrating and commemorating our veterans. United States military veterans and their families.

A Valentine Heart for Veterans – Gig Line #194

GIG LINE

By Marsha M. Brown

In only two weeks we’ll again celebrate Valentine’s Day and because it’s the one special day we set aside each year to say, show, write or sing our love to others…it would be a reallygood day to visit our veterans who are mobility restricted, homebound or in an assisted living facility near us on the Outer Banks (and elsewhere).

I dare say there isn’t a soul in this world who doesn’t appreciate being shown love and affection any given day of the week…and no matter how tough…or strong…or stubborn a person might be…and whether the expression of fondness is through a hug around the neck…or a peck on the cheek…loving kindness means a lot to all of us…especially to those who miss their independence and spending time at will with those they love. Over the years studies have proven that we thrive when we’re nurtured and loved – and in the absence of love and affection…we recede, decline and/or wither. Imagine how much it would mean to our precious veterans if we took just a few minutes of our day to stop by and visit them on Valentine’s Day, Sunday, February 14th – just for a few minutes…to bring a smile, a card or a little treat to our deserving veterans.

In the process of writing this GIG LINE, I was able to speak to a representative of Spring Arbor of the Outer Banks (Assisted Living Facility) located 803 Bermuda Bay Blvd., Kill Devil Hills. The lady I spoke with was willing to answer the few questions I posed to her which were not resident specific of course. Primarily I wanted to know how many veterans resided there; the visiting hours schedule and what goodies/treats could be donated and acceptable for resident veterans. She told me there were 13 veterans currently and that visitors were welcome to come pretty much whenever they wanted to. She added that treats were accepted and she seemed eager to welcome folks who wanted to share their respect, gratitude and love with the veterans who so deserve it. I also got the distinct impression that greeting cards were a real favorite ‘treat’.

I also contacted Peak Resources (formerly Britthaven) Outer Banks located 430 W. Health Center Dr., Nags Head and was told that they had 10 resident veterans. In addition, dietary restrictions are always a priority, so if a family or group wanted to take sweet treats to either facility, the staff will accept them but discern who can and cannot eat them. Suggestion: perhaps some that are both sweet and sugar free to ensure they might all enjoy your goodness! You know, even store bought cookies embellished with icing, sprinkles, etc. and decorated with your kids would be fun, quick and yummy too!

Our veterans gave so much for us and devoted family members do all they can for the most part to love on their vet every chance they can, but…those who are bedridden and far from the people and things they love the most are often lonesome. It would be a truly wonderful project for a school class or Sunday school project to make homemade cards for our vets to drop off at the assisted living and nursing home facilities to distribute. (Also, making extra cards might be a good idea in case of new resident veterans during the next two weeks…just in case to ensure no veteran is left out!) J  

Veterans are remarkable people – no matter the age…no matter if they served in a conflict or combat…or if the job they were assigned to do involved office desk work their entire military career…they represent our American pride…special in so many ways…each and every one. There’s never a one-and-only perfect time to remind us all to think of them…or the wives, children, parents, siblings and friends who waited and prayed…and waited and prayed…for their safe return.  Many sat on the dock…near the  hangar…and many have slept in hospital waiting rooms and at our heroes hospital bedside…praying still for healing and recovery.

Holidays make us happy! They remind us of special days that we’ve shared with special people in our lifetime – maybe we dressed up for an elaborate black tie affair…or maybe we held hands on a sandy path to the beach sporting tattered blue jeans and a sweatshirt and while sitting on a piece of driftwood at water’s edge we drew hearts and “I love you” in the tiny grains around us. Whatever the holiday, there’s one thing for sure…holidays bring us together.

Our nation is going though a lot right now and for many different reasons but maybe we can commit to set aside this one special day to remind ourselves that love overrides all of the other yukky emotions and feelings we witness – and if we can just keep in mind the beautiful passage from the Bible New International Version (NIV) and exercise it every day…the tough times can only get better:

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres.

Our military men and women are patient…they’ve hung in there, through it all…steadfast to their commitment in the face of disappointments and frustrating changes which are out of their control; they are kind…they get up every day desiring to help, protect and save lives of strangers and each other…our troops do not boast but they are proud of their fellow brothers and sisters and the tasks they are assigned to accomplish…they do not dishonor others…their oath is solid to our nation and to each other…they are not self- seeking but rather self sacrificing for the good of mankind…they are not easily angered except for the right reasons and when justified…they face each day with new challenges and assignments and while they keep no record of wrongs…they will never forget WWII, Korea, Vietnam, September 11th and the Gulf Wars especially – not to mention any and all conflicts any where else at any time …they stand tall and strong and doing ill will is not their goal but they protect the innocent and suppressed against evil doers…they support our American flag which stands for truth and goodness and honor both individually and collectively…they trust each other and the nation they’re obliged to serve to the best of their ability…and because of that, they will always hope and they will always persevere…no matter the cost.

Over the next two weeks, please consider those you love and show love to our veterans…they are so worthy and so deserving. If you have a question, please call me (252) 202-2058 or write an email to: [email protected] and reference “Gig Line”. God bless each of you… we love you and until next time…stay tuned!

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Marsha M. Brown has been writing a weekly Gig Line since 2012.  Marsha is the widow of Vietnam War, U.S. Army, veteran Billy Brown of Manteo, NC.  She was instrumental in establishing the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council and maintains an active role in the veteran community. You can reach Marsha with questions or suggestions at [email protected].  Have a story to tell or a veteran to feature? She would love to hear from you!

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