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

America’s Team – Gig Line #45


By Marsha M. Brown

Folks…let me ask you something. When you were in high school or college…how did you support ‘your’ team? Did you wear a cool cheerleading out fit? Perform funky dance   moves at the center of the gym floor or from the middle of the football field at half time? Did you ‘rev’ everybody up to ‘root, root, and root for the ‘home team’? Did the team spirit take over you and move you to stand up, stomp your feet, clap your hands and make sure everybody around you knew exactly who ‘your’ team was?  I sure hope so!!

I wasn’t a cheerleader, but like every other down home Manteo Redskins fan, I did my part from the side lines. No matter the sport, I whooped and hollered and cheered for our guys (and girls) because they represented us and they deserved it. They put their selves on the line, subject to competitor scrutiny, to represent the best of the best. It was important to our players and our coaches that we were there…showing our team spirit. It was important to us too.

We are the ‘American team’…aren’t we? When anyone in Dare County puts forth the effort to honor our veterans, we should muster up that same team spirit…seriously. We should seize every opportunity to show enthusiastic support to the men and women who have done their job…for us. No matter how long ago…if they’ve flown around the world, sailed across the seas, fought from fox holes, trampled through rice patties and jungles, over treacherous mountain terrain or endured extreme heat in dry dusty, barren deserts during their call of duty to fight for our country, maintain our freedoms and protect our liberties…they deserve our respect and admiration.

Mike Kelly’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 1:00 PM will again bring joy to everyone able to attend. According to the 2013 St. Patrick’s Day Application site it describes this year’s theme as “three quarters of a century of Outer Banks theatre and art in Dare County”. I assure you the hard work put into planning and executing the event will be obvious if you haven’t attended one before. It makes you smile and laugh until your cheeks hurt and an event not to be missed by all ages.           

As usual, the American Legion Color Guard will lead the Parade carrying the United States Flag, the American Legion Flag and two rifles. The walking distance for the Parade participants who will carry the flags and rifles is about a mile on N.C. 12 (Beach Rd.) or from MP 11.5 to MP 10.5 and those who ‘walk the walk’ are typically older, seasoned gentlemen. For years they have proudly represented the American Legion and they are all grateful that Mike Kelly honors them in leading the Parade. Like everyone they appreciate the great source of entertainment and fun the Parade route offers the entire family and the Legion Members look forward to their part again this year. According to Mr. Brian Kelly, Adjutant of the American Legion Fort Raleigh Post 26 in Kill Devil Hills, the Legion could use the help of all veterans who would be willing to lend a hand. He invites all veterans who are able to walk with them this year to please call him and join the fun. In addition to the Color Guard, he needs veterans to carry the flags of each service branch. He wants to hear from you, so please offer your help if you’re able. He asked that you call him at your earliest convenience so he can make plans accordingly. Also, I think it would be great to see female veterans take part in the Parade as well. ALL veterans who have been honorably discharged from our United States Armed Forces are welcomed to contact Mr. Kelly to help…please do that.

I’m personally asking the general public, family and friends of veterans, to especially cheer when you see the American Legion representatives. Locate designated or public areas to stand, park or sit on the side of Hwy. 12 and clap like ‘no tomorrow’ when the American Legion veterans present the flags and pass you by. Cheer, whistle and wave your American flag (if you have one) and let the heroes who have served our country know how much you appreciate and honor them. Bring your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to see the American spirit in action and inspire them too.

The Dare County Veterans Advisory Council is busy making significant plans to show special honor to veterans across Dare County throughout this year. A lot has been accomplished already and there are many activities in the works that you’ll come to hear about soon. We need to get used to the idea that new things are happening…things that have never taken place before in the beautiful County we love…to honor and bring to the forefront the good deeds, sacrifice and dedication of our 4,000+ men and women Dare County veterans.

Though my working with veterans over the past year and a half, I have come to learn a lot…a whole lot. I have learned that Vietnam Veterans find it hard to accept gratitude for the job they were sent to accomplish. They don’t have to say it. I’ve seen the look in their eye, I’ve heard the tone in their voice and I know they mean it when they say “thank you” for any praise given to them. In Dare County, we are inundated with productive, hard working, decent, kind, and faithful to God veterans. Men and women who have seen insurmountable heartache during one conflict or another somehow made it back home to little ‘ole Dare County…no doubt by the Almighty hand of God. They were saved and empowered with enough strength to make it back home and to do good things and to be a blessing to others. They were brought back home to be loved and honored. Every man or woman who has served our country or who have experienced first hand World War I or World War II, Vietnam, Korea, Desert Storm, Afghanistan, Iraq and any other conflicts have not only helped keep our country safe but they have influenced both our past and our future.

When I hear local veterans say “thank you”, I tell them that “We are the grateful ones.” and sometimes I apologize that it took so long to say so. My dear friends who have served, you know who you are. Like Karen Carpenter used to sing, “We’ve Only Just Begun”.   

Please mark your calendar to attend Mike Kelly’s outstanding Parade on Sunday, March 17th in Nags Head. Give shout outs to all the veterans you see in the Parade and to thoseyou see on the sides of the street who proudly wear hats and T-shirts that display their military pride. And please, if at all possible, give Mr. Brian Kelly a call to see how you can help.

Thank you for reading GIG LINE. Be happy, be safe, be proud and thank a veteran! Until next time, stay tuned…

Marsha M. Brown has been writing a weekly Gig Line since 2012.  Marsha is the widow of Vietnam War 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 editor@giglineheroes.com. Have a story to tell or a veteran to feature? She would love to hear from you!  

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