By Marsha M. Brown
There’s a lot to be said about social media and there’s a lot of things that are said in social media platforms but as someone who isn’t in it 24/7, I do find some pretty remarkable things about the opportunities it provides to those who engage.
Following my sweetie pie Billy’s passing last July and after having taken some time off (temporarily) from my 30+ year real estate career on the Outer Banks, I signed up for another means to reach out to friends and former clients (many of whom knew and also loved Billy) so that I could inform them about his passing. However, during the initial process, I first noticed prayer requests for family members/friends who were ill; news about folks in need of help; updates on our watermen and the plight they face any given day; great, happy news when someone finished chemo or went into remission; got married, caught a fish; or won a basketball game along with a host of other things. Many topics made you want to pray more and pray harder but my most favorite connection? Not the craft ideas, or the neat things for sale, or the recipes…it was the beautiful stories, postings and videos of our military families being re-united…of their surprise visit to their son or daughter’s classroom…of their heartfelt care for America – the country they love and serve…I wasn’t expecting so many positive avenues for military related topics, testimonies; personal accounts of military life…expressions of gratitude for their recovery/healings after traumatic injuries…video after touching video that stirred me up inside sometimes making me cry…the proud men and women who don the uniforms of all our service branches remind me of my sweet Billy and his love for all veterans that have served across our nation…those kinds of images – images of historical battlefields…and photos of weathered, old soldiers who served during WWII, celebration pictures of U.S. Navy Day…the pics of our U.S. Coast Guard battling ridiculous waves on a quest to help a disabled vessel…the U. S. Air Force planes flying high and fast to reach a destination far above the clouds and almost to heaven…the U.S. Marine Corps Seal proudly depicting the Eagle, Globe and Anchor…the of course pictures of U.S. Army personnel in their familiar Army Combat Uniform (ACU) and in their Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP)…my Billy’s service branch…old faded black/white soldier pictures from years past…and present day color pictures taken at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial…where veterans and family members alike stretch as high as they can in an attempt to capture a pencil/paper etching of that precious name etched in’ The Wall’; reminders of sacrifice and service…accompanied often times by written or verbal conversations posted among those who have experienced the trauma, the drama, the heartache of war and sharing their personal accounts while encouraging others who have been through what they have…seeing pictures folks have shared of the Arlington National Cemetery…the taped veteran interviews of recollections and memories that warm your heart and make you proud.
So in essence…I’m not a promoter by any stretch…and there are pros and cons about social media for sure but from my standpoint, I do find good in it…so far.
Reminder…P-L-E-A-S-E SAVE THE DATE! Sunday, March 12th 1:00 PM – Kelly’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade (Nags Head) where veterans and veteran organizations ALWAYS lead the Parade (thank you Mike Kelly!). If you’re a veteran who’d like to participate as a walker or a rider…PLEASE contact U. S. Army Colonel (Ret.) Carl Reiber at (252) 441-9469 (leave a message if he doesn’t answer) by calling well in advance of the event date. Carl, a member of the V.F.W. Post 10950, American Legion Post 26 and the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council would appreciate a ‘head’s up’ count to make sure ample transportation is provided for veterans who prefer to ride. Also…he asked me to please remind Gig Line readers and the general public that all veterans are invited and welcomed to join in and that you are NOT required to be a member of a veteran organization in order to do so. From all accounts the veteran Parade population has grown considerably over the past few years which is wonderful! Dare Countians’ who are bystanders for the Parade should see you as a veteran because honestly many don’t know who our veterans are! As a retiree, you could wear your old uniform, or a pair of jeans and a T-shirt…we just want to see you there…so we can celebrate you! Please try to come! And if you live on Hatteras Island, contact Gary Kierney cell: (252) 995-5730 ext. 3008 (he’s a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, Dare County Veteran Advisory Council Member & Dare County Deputy) and he’s again organizing transportation for you all both to and from the Parade in Nags Head. Again…to RSVP to Gary for the bus from Hatteras Island or to ride or walk at the front of the Parade with other veterans, by contacting either Carl or Gary well before Sunday, March 12th (day of the Parade).
Another ‘first’ has just passed, just like my Billy. Valentine’s Day without him…my first after 48 years. I love him and miss him so much…each and every day. You veterans, his friends, brothers and sisters, all make me think of him every time I see you. He loved you a lot…but then again…we all do. Call me if I can help you help a veteran at cell: (252) 202-2058 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for reading Gig Line and until next time, be happy, be safe and be proud and God bless you all and God bless America! Stay tuned.