By Marsha M. Brown
Over time in “GIG LINE” I have identified each business that signed up to offer our resident Dare County veterans a particular discount on foods, goods and services. In addition, I have described the value of the discount per business be it 10% or more and any specifics to the discount as described by the business owner him/herself. However, in the last year more and more business owners began to hear about the Veteran I. D. Card program (est. by the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council) and they too wanted to join in and honor our ‘best of the best’, hence our list of places veterans could receive discounts grew from an initial handful to 40+ in locations between Hatteras Village, the northern beaches of the Outer Banks and even beyond.
That being said and just to summarize, veterans who reside in Dare County and who have acquired their Dare County Veteran I. D. Card are entitled to save money for expenditures currently at a minimum of: 20 restaurants; 9 hardware store locations; 4 car repair/parts stores; 5 retail/gift shops; 1 sport/activity; 3 sporting type retail stores; 1 footwear store; 2 home furnishing/decorative stores and a variety of professional/service businesses which include everything from air conditioning repair, plumbing, environmental home inspections, vacuum cleaner repair, home improvement, pet grooming and unlimited coupon booklets for retail stores at a local shopping center. Now…I’m the first to admit that I’m not a fanatical coupon clipper (though I admire their tenacity) but…I do like to save money on the things I buy if savings are easily optional (who wouldn’t?) therefore all things considered, I recommend the following:
- If you are a veteran; have been Honorably discharged from the U. S. military; can locate and show your DD-214 (a copy is fine – it doesn’t have to be the original document); take the time to contact us to get your ‘Card’.
- If you cannot locate your DD-214, we’ll refer you to Rhonda Creef, Dare County Veterans Service Officer to assist you in acquiring a replacement copy. You can reach her at (252) 475-5604 to schedule a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday appointment to allow her and yourself adequate time to address not only getting a replacement DD-214 but also any questions you or your spouse may have about potential V.A. health care, submitting a claim, potential entitlements and/or spousal benefits, etc. Rhonda can also refer you to a web site to request a copy online yourself if you prefer to do it that way as well.
- To acquire your ‘Card’ – we’re available each Monday through the end of June between the hours of 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM – Rm. 142, Dare County Administrative Building – 954 Marshall C. Collins Dr., Manteo (middle building in the Dare County Courthouse complex) OR call me: (252) 202-2058 and we’ll do our best to accommodate a schedule to enable you to get it.
- If you’re currently a member of the American Legion or V.F.W. organizations; are a local member of the Outer Banks V.F.W. Post 10950 or the American Legion Fort Raleigh Post 26, or if you’re interested in joining either, you can attend and acquire your I. D. Card while you’re there.
- V.F.W. Post 10950: meet on the 1st Monday of each month @ 7:00 PM – Colington Volunteer Fire Department, 108 Old School House Rd., Colington, 27948 (elevator on site)
- American Legion Post 26: meet (except during July, August & December) on the 4th Tuesday of the month @ 12:00 Noon (free lunch) – 302 W. Lake Dr., Kill Devil Hills 27948.
- Marine Corps League Outer Banks Detachment #1264: meet monthly (except during June, July or August) on the 2nd Tuesday @ 7:00 PM Kern Pitts Center in Southern Shores.
- If you’re reading this as a veteran visitor to the Outer Banks…consider joining fellow vets during your stay – they welcome you!
Also, perhaps you have a V.A./military issued I.D. or health card and you don’t feel that you ‘need’ the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council issued ‘I. D. Card’…and that’s O.K. but acquiring one ties in directly to specific discounts and it gives us a chance to meet and thank you personally for your service. Besides that…veterans we’ve issued ‘Card’(s) to have become friends/family, so just think about it, O.K.? To date, we have now issued 375 ‘Cards’ to local resident vets…but there are a LOT more of you out there that we still hope to meet and build a relationship with…if you want. Personally as Secretary of the Council, I see the commitment of fellow Council members all of whom are veterans themselves who sincerely desire to help, serve and honor you. (I’m the only exception not being a veteran myself…but I sure do love all of you who are!)
FYI: In searching the Internet recently my sweetie pie Billy found information on quickfactcensus.gov; the U. S. Census Bureau and the N. C. State and County Quick Facts that related to veterans. Though somewhat dated and related to the period of 2009 – 2013, I found the calculations still pretty interesting so, I’ll share them with you:
- North Carolina veterans numbered: 724, 295
- Of N. C. veterans, 475,000 served in one war; 70,000 served in 2 wars and 2600 served in three wars
- Of that total, the ratio of veterans service included: 35% Vietnam; 21% Gulf War; 14% Post 911; 9% Korea; 6% WWII
- N. C. had the third largest concentration of Active Duty Military Personnel in the U. S. and of those: 61% Army; 21% Marines; 14% Air Force; 4% Navy and .05% Coast Guard. At that time: 25,000 were Guard & Reserve forces in N. C.
- Of all N. C. military: 86.4% were male; 14.6% were female; 47% were currently serving under the age of 30; 37% were married w/children and 6% were single
The bottom line is that North Carolina excels in its number of American heroes…but so does DARE COUNTY. Those who have loved our country deeply and many who have been through so much…for all of us…live & work right here beside us. Sometimes though we fail to realize what they’ve done…where they’ve been…or what they went through. The brave men and women who have served deserve more than we can ever give…but let’s keep trying anyway. Let’s work together in our towns and villages to come up with ways and means to show our local and visiting veterans just how much we care. Let’s show our veteran family members too that we appreciate ‘their’ service. As Dare ‘Countians’ (especially)…we have a huge number of resident veterans to embrace and love…and to thank…often.
Our nation is G-R-E-A-T; hold your head up always, ignore criticisms from those who don’t embrace our American way of life…the life so many struggled to come here and enjoy for it is precious and should be defended against all who wish to suppress it. God bless the United States of America! Be happy, be safe and be proud. Stay tuned.