By Marsha M. Brown
This GIG LINE has to open with a special ‘thank you’ to the family and staff of ACE Hardware.
Since the very concept of the Dare County Veteran I. D. Card, ACE Hardware has embraced the idea of offering a special discount to the men and women who have so valiantly served our nation. And when we contacted them recently to see if they’d be willing to host an event at their store so members of the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council could issue Veteran I.D. Card(s) along with the staff of the VA Rural Health Initiative based in Hampton, Virginia at the VA Medical Center, they graciously welcomed the opportunity.
Within a three hour period on Wednesday 10 veterans came to the Manteo ACE store and acquired their ‘CARD’ and on Thursday, 12 veterans attended the event in Kitty Hawk also receiving theirs. In essence, twenty two more local veterans can now receive discounts on goods and services at 19 area businesses. Also, over the course of those two days about 30 vets talked to the VA – R.H.I. team about potential health care through the VA, updated their file or inquired about claims. The folks at ACE went out of their way to accommodate the event, enthusiastically advertising the two day event and they provided indoor space out of the wind and cold weather for which we were all very appreciative. An example of nice people doing good for others! Thank you so much ACE Hardware owners and staff!
To date 240 veterans are local discount ‘CARD’ recipients. That figure represents three ‘proud’ groups of people – the veterans who are recognized in a special way, the businesses who see that Dare County veterans are interested in ownership of the ‘CARD’ and the Veterans Advisory Council who issues them. Another point…interest in the CARD continues to increase and besides that, we made new veteran friends growing our veteran outreach ‘family’. My personal observations? the second veteran (since initiation of the CARD) has told me he wanted the ‘CARD’ so he’d have something to prove he had served our country; two veterans who reside elsewhere and don’t own property, rent or reside in Dare County told me they were going to contact their County Commissioners to ask them to establish a means to promote their county veterans…like we do in Dare County; one veteran shared pictures of a pre-Memorial Day event that takes place annually in his former area of residency. The uniquely special event is held in remembrance of veterans who have passed away and for me; it was a WOW moment to see them. Billy and I hope to meet with him soon to learn more about it since he has experience with that particular project and to see if it might be a possibility to become a memorable Dare County event also.
A lot of veterans this week also said ‘thank you’ to everyone who has shown them respect and honor…though they never asked for anything special. They repeatedly expressed appreciation for the businesses that have provided them a discount whether they’re purchasing a meal or when buying a hammer. Some asked how this all came to be and some were just glad to know there is a ‘CARD’ available to them. One of my buddy GIG LINE readers Steve emailed me that he had spoken with a business owner about the ‘CARD’ who in turn expressed interest in signing on too…thank you friend! Overall, and to reiterate…it was a good, productive week where gratefulness was abundant.
Just to be clear, all ACE Hardware locations is one of the 19 currently listed businesses in Dare County who show this special support to our veterans. Other business participants include: Darrell’s Restaurant (Manteo), Buxton Auto & Marine/NAPA (Buxton), Jolly Roger Restaurant (K.D.H.), Kellogg’s Supply (Manteo, K.D.H., Duck, Edenton), The Cottage Shop (Nags Head), Kellogg Design Center (Nags Head), All Fixed vacuum sales/parts (Nags Head), Stripers Bar & Grille (Manteo), Big Al’s Restaurant (Manteo), Full Moon Café (Manteo), Pizza Hut (Manteo), La Dolce Vita Restaurant (Manteo), Quarterdeck Restaurant (Frisco), Garden Deli & Pizzeria (Manteo), NAPA (north of Oregon Inlet), AJ&M Home Improvement (Manteo), Ortegaz Restaurant (Manteo) &
A&B Carpet (Kitty Hawk). Would we like to see more businesses to sign up? ABSOLUTELY! How can a business sign up? It’s a simple one page document where the business owner fills in the blanks as to what discount percentage or veteran ‘perk’ they’re willing to offer. It’s not a cookie cutter plan…it’s a ‘customized’ veteran consideration based on the individual generosity of the business…that’s it. If you own a business please call me and we’ll Fax, email or hand deliver the form to you. After you commit, we’ll provide you with a sticker that you can place on your business entrance door, cash register or elsewhere to acknowledge that your business honors our veterans in a special way. If you’re interested in helping our vets and would like to host an event at your business site where Council members could set up (we don’t take up much room) and issue the ‘CARD’, please let us know because if a business wants to join forces with the others who have signed up, there’s no better time than right now! After all, this is the special season for sharing and caring.
We hope to have future events at ACE and other business locations too in the New Year where we can issue the I. D. CARD, so please keep abreast of future schedules in GIG LINE every Sunday. And remember too that on Tuesday, December 17th from 12 Noon – 3:00 PM, we’ll have our last scheduled date in which to issue the ‘CARD’ in 2013. Please stop by the Dare County Administrative Building – Rm. 168 (Courthouse complex) Manteo that day to see us and bring your DD-214 and proof of local address with you. My sweetie pie Billy and I would love to meet you and shake your hand…because…you my veteran friends are the best of the best!
Future GIG LINE news will include an update on the brand new veteran’s health care facility expected to open at some point in Greenville, N.C. along with a few other surprises that might interest you. I love you all…really and truly.
As usual be happy, be safe, be proud and love the brave and selfless men and women who have and are currently serving our country. Until next time…stay tuned.