By Marsha M. Brown
Since the first time a Dare County Veterans Advisory Council member issued a local resident veteran their Dare County Veteran I. D. Card, the initial list of local businesses who had signed up initially has grown exponentially. At first there was probably less than ten (10) businesses that had initially partnered with the ‘Card’ but since then times have changed!
The concept of a ‘special’ I. D. Card unique only to local Dare County veterans was multifaceted. It was imagined by the Council members not only for the purpose of providing a money saving discount at local businesses to veterans but to also encourage veterans to come get the ‘Card’ so Council members could personally thank you for your service; provide information to you about our local Veterans Service Office; encourage you to consider enrolling into the V.A. system and having an Agent Orange screening if you served ‘boots on ground’ in Vietnam. Also, the Council wanted to provide you with a free Veteran Benefit Booklet; encourage your membership and participation in our local American Legion Fort Raleigh Post 26, Outer Banks V.F.W. Post 10950 and Marine Corps League Outer Banks Detachment #1264 so you would connect with fellow veterans on a regular basis and help each other. After all no one besides a veteran truly understands a veteran and encouraging the growth of respectable veteran organizations is important if not vital. Council members also wanted you to consider registering your DD-214 with the Dare County Register of Deed office for safe keeping so that your family would have access to it at the time of your passing (in order to ensure that military honors could be provided at your funeral or memorial service). As I have been told directly from military personnel, your DD-214 showing Honorable Discharge must be available to the funeral home if you or your family wish to have military honors at the final celebration of your life. So you see…all of this is for your benefit and the scope of what the Council is doing far exceeds the benefit of monetary discounts at the register.
Because the list of businesses has now grown so much…to nearly fifty (50), I’m not able to provide the list in each GIG LINE so, I’ll update the list in this column but ask that you please refer to business updates as they come in by way of the www.darenc.com web site. Just click on DEPARTMENTS & SERVICES, then Departments T-Z, then Veteran’s Office then to the left, click on Businesses that Accept I. D. Cards for Discounts. Below, I will also describe the ‘discount’ itself as indicated by the Owner/Manager. Suggestion: you may want to cut out this column out and keep the list handy.
Another thing…this special ‘I. D. Card’ is directly tied to the specific discounts. If you have other V.A. issued I. D. cards, that’s great…but this ‘Card’ will ensure you a discount at the businesses who have signed up. Also…only veterans who reside in Dare County and who can show us their DD-214 indicating ‘Honorable Discharge’ are eligible to receive one. We DO NOT keep a copy of your DD-214…we only review it and it does not have to be the original that was issued to you – a copy that is legible is all we need to see. As much as we would like to honor all veterans who have served…our focus is on DARE COUNTY veterans with the hope that neighboring counties will also adopt a special plan for their resident veterans as well.
IMPORTANT: Remember that the discount offered is at the sole discretion of the owner. If you are a business owner and would like to sign up to support our veterans (or your fellow vets), we can provide you with the one (1) page Business Discount Authorization Form by Fax, email, snail mail or hand delivery. At the time you sign up, you will also receive a list of other businesses who like you, (if you are a business owner yourself) wish to acknowledge our local veterans and you will receive a door sticker that shows all patrons who enter your business that you thank our service men and women in a special way. OK folks…here is the NEW most up to date list of businesses by area and in alphabetical order where you can enjoy saving money and be acknowledged at the same time by proprietors who wish to thank you for your service and your sacrifice. Read carefully eight have been added in the last week (with the dedicated help of local veteran Tim Willis…Tim is on it!!):
Please note that while not all food establishments referenced alcohol it is my understanding that no alcohol can be included in the discount. Veteran friends please take the time to frequent the businesses that support you and let them know you appreciate their appreciation of you. This list is bound to grow (especially with Tim Willis’ help) and the more you patronize these businesses, the more our list will grow.
If you have any questions about the ‘Card’ please don’t hesitate to call me (252) 202-2058. At this time we are issuing the ‘Card’ on Monday(s) from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM at the Dare County Administrative Building, Rm. 142, 954 Marshall C. Collins Dr., Manteo through the end of June.
The Hatteras Island Veteran’s Memorial Park that was established by veteran Frank Miller and friends was dedicated last Saturday, March 21st in Hatteras Village. Everyone in attendance appreciated Frank’s personal commitment to the establishment of the new Park and the raising of the beautiful American flag. If you get a chance drop Frank a note or stop by and see the site yourself. Good job Frank!
Lastly…be happy, be safe and be proud. Many, many good people love and honor you. Let us all see who you are so that we can say thank you personally and often. God bless you all! Stay tuned…