By Marsha M. Brown
Christmas is a time that we remember first and foremost as the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Humble beginnings with little fan fair and a baby boy born to a Virgin Mother…a story that has touched and influenced not only our nation but our entire world throughout time is the real ‘reason for the season’.
Thankfully, a time of loving each other, giving even when there’s little to give, and finding ways of helping those in need struggling financially, physically and emotionally gives the ‘giver’ more joy than the ‘receiver’.
At this happy, celebratory time of year we remember holidays in the past shared with those we love and we retrieve memories that will stay with us always. It’s a wonderful time. We hug more, laugh more, reminisce more, we eat too much and hopefully, we stop to consider our blessings too.
Speaking of blessings, I count many…no, I take that back, there are too many to count. In this past year, my sweetie pie Billy and I have loved our children and grandchildren more than we ever thought possible and tomorrow, we’ll love them even more, no question about it.
All of our relatives, church family and close friends who we look forward to seeing often have blessed us in so many ways. And… my dream of finding a way to honor my sweetie pie veteran Billy came to fruition in this year through GIG LINE…thank you Lord! Together, we work with other devoted, caring veterans and their families to give all of the men and women who have served our nation praise and honor. And folks…just let me be clear…supporting those who have given so much for us for so long lifts US up!
The Dare County Veterans Advisory Council established this year and The American Legion Fort Raleigh Post 26 has enabled us to learn more and reach out ‘together’ on a united front for our heroes and their families.
At our last Council meeting on November 29, 2012 we met Vince Puma…what a nice man! He came to talk to us on behalf of the local chapter of The Fraternal Order of Eagles, “an international non-profit organization with well over a century of history” is “nearly a million members strong” per the ‘EAGLES – Who We Are’ pamphlet. Do you know about all the good they do for others? Oh my goodness! Talk about “honoring those who serve”…they’re an outstanding group of people dedicated to positive goodness!
Mr. Puma or ‘Vince’ who serves as Chairman of the Membership Committee is so enthusiastic about encouraging veterans to join that several of our Council members (including Billy) reacted immediately. The private club is located at the corner of Baum St. and N.C. 12 (Beach Rd.) in Kill Devil Hills and the Social Club is open every day from noon until approximately 11:00 PM.
If you’re interested in becoming a part of this very worthy organization, you can go to the Club and ring the bell after 12:00 PM. Mr. Puma, asked that you tell the attendant who greets you that you’re interested in becoming a member and that you’d like an application. As I understand it, a temporary acknowledgement will be given to you until such a time as the process of interview, initiation and membership ceremony take place. However, Vince did say that each applicant should refrain from bringing guests until the official membership process is complete.
The process to join is fairly simple but does require that a U. S. military applicant have been honorably discharged from the service. For further info online, see www.foe.com.
In looking through the materials Billy got when he went over to apply, I was really impressed. The F.O.E. is all about family, charity, raising funds for disease (primarily diabetes) research and countless other worthy causes. Their focus is on honoring their fellow man, military, police, firefighters, emergency technicians and those who also serve others…they keep the goodness going! Plus, “The F.O.E. gives back 100% of the money raised by our members in the form of charitable grants each year”.
I was stunned to see their wide range of accomplishments that have in turn benefited all Americans from fighting “to preserve the right to publicly display the Ten Commandments” to influencing “the creation of the Old Age Pension, Social Security, the “Jobs After 40” bill and Medicare, ensuring a better life for senior citizens in the United States”. And…they even made the “First Public Plea for Mother’s Day”! WOW! Thank you F.O.E. members!!
Again, Christmas is about giving…more than presents and gift cards. It’s about giving of OURSELVES to OTHERS! Spread the love and the magic of contagious smiles. Consider becoming a part of The Fraternal Order of Eagles and The American Legion. They are right here in our midst and easily accessible. The comradary, friendships and contacts you get as a veteran is immeasurable through working with good folks who do good things…for others.
From my sweetie pie Billy and I, we wish everyone who reads GIG LINE a happy, safe and very Merry Christmas. If you know a veteran who may have ambulatory problems, please go see him or her, hug them and let them know that “out of sight isn’t out of mind” and that you love them and are grateful for their service.
Until next time, be happy, be safe and be proud…and thank God for the country we live in thanks to our brave, selfless veterans!