By Marsha M. Brown
DARE DAYS ARE COMING! YIPPEE!
First things first…in retrospect and regarding Mother’s Day, I wish to thank all the women who have had children in this world regardless of change in a family’s dynamics or intricacy…in other words, whether by separation, divorce or loss of a spouse…thank you former daughter-in-law(s) for the beautiful children, grandchildren and great children you delivered into this world. God bless every one of you!
As I mentioned before, Dare Day, Saturday, June 4th has always taken place in downtown Manteo, however, this year it will occur at Festival Park just over the bridge from downtown. The awesome event planners with the Town of Manteo do an outstanding job each year planning, enticing vendors, assisting with vendor applications (especially Michelle Bunce who oversees the spectacular event) and others to make it an extremely nice, family day of fun, food, activities, and entertainment…a time in early June each year that makes us all happy!
Though still a few weeks out, I’m writing about it now (with this same info likely to be included in GIG LINE the week before the event) to let veterans, especially, know that the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council members will be on site on Dare Days at a designated booth where veterans can acquire extremely helpful veteran related handout materials, a free NC4VETS Resource magazine, a free reusable shopping bag, ink pen and an opportunity for a drawing to win a free U. S. American flag!
But…in addition to that, we will be available to issue a FREE Dare County Veterans Discount Card to veterans who: (1) either own property (improved or vacant) in our County – please bring a Dare County Property Tax bill; (2) or who reside in Dare County as a renter – please bring a copy of your lease; (3) in either case, veterans are required to show their DD-214 showing Honorable Discharge from our U. S. Military. We do not keep a copy of your document; we only review it. This exchange of information takes only minutes and after verified, a veteran will receive a Dare County Veteran Discount Card that benefits them due to all the 100+ grateful proprietors across Dare County/Outer Banks who have agreed to discount their goods and services from 10% -20% to honor our veterans. The amount of the discount is determined solely by the business owner or authority and these businesses stretch from Corolla to Hatteras Village on Hatteras Island. The ‘Card’ is a plastic durable card, and it has a number printed on it that identifies it has been issued, along with the contact number and email address of our Dare County Veteran Service Officer on the back.
As the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council Secretary, I’ve had the privilege to personally issue hundreds of these cards to veterans and while all appreciate the benefit of having the card to save money, some have insisted it was nice (if they never used it once) to have an acknowledgement that they served our country. Other than the official DD-214 document veterans receive following their separation from service, the only other proof of acceptable verification is a VA Health Care card that identifies ‘service connected’. With this ‘Card’ veterans can save money when purchasing everything from auto and marine parts to meals to professional services. In most cases, a business might have a sticker either on their entrance door or at their register, however at DARE DAYS, beginning JUNE 4TH, WE WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH A LIST OF PARTICIPATING BUSINESSES WHO OFFEER A DISCOUNT TO VETERANS.
If you ever encounter a situation where a server or check out personnel is not aware that a discount is offered to veterans at a business, please understand that new employees or employees still in training may not be aware of the discount that particular business offers. If that be the case, (hopefully not) you can either show them the list we provided you at Dare Days, print it off your computer at home/office or access it online from your cell phone: www.darenc.com/veterans where you will see the list provided there. An important note: the ‘Card’ is assigned to you, and it is not transferable, as the number printed on it is registered to your name.
Please remember that the month of May is MILITARY APPRECIATION MONTH, designated by Congress in 1999! It is a period of tribute to the men and women who have served and still serve our great nation…the GREATEST NATION ON EARTH! Also, May includes Loyalty Day, VE Day, Armed Forces Day, Military Spouses Day and of course, Memorial Day.
Question: How can anyone look at a service man or woman in uniform and not beam with pride? How can they not want to walk up to them and ask if they can hug them or shake their hand? How can they not want to speak the words…even if silently…’THANK YOU’? And even if our soldiers, airmen, seamen and Marines’ uniform hangs in a closet…too snug to wear…too fragile with age…it is a precious garment…it is a symbol of the owner or former owner (if they have moved onto Heaven) of courage, strength, loyalty, and devotion to our country…and let’s not forget of their tremendous sacrifice!
I’m a firm believer in the Lord, our God Almighty, Jesus Christ His son and the Holy Spirit…I also believe with all my heart that warriors of freedom, democracy, and love of country…defenders of all that is good…is loved by God. I believe that all of us are created equal and loved equally by our Father in Heaven and earth. I thank the Lord for His mighty blessings one of which is our military. And I am proud of each and every person who has donned the uniform that represents America. We have six branches now…U. S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and now Space Force…and may we not forget our National Guard! Thank you everybody who have served, who have literally fought to save us all from tyranny, oppression, and communism.
To all the veterans who served or who are active duty, I thank you. I admire you and I love each one of you whether I talk to you, meet you personally, email or text you…you matter to me…and to millions of fellow Americans across our nation and beyond…THANK YOU!
PLEASE make a note on your calendar or put a reminder on your cell phone to join us even for a few minutes at Festival Park on Dare Days starting, Saturday, June 4th. Good Lord willing, I’ll be there along with our Dare County Veteran’s Service Officer Patty O’Sullivan, and other veterans at our booth. If in the meantime you have a question regarding the V.A., a claim or potential benefits or entitlements having served, please call Patty at her office: (252) 475-5604 or her work cell: (252) 473-7749 or email her at [email protected] If you would like to reach out to me, my cell: (252) 202-2058, or my email: [email protected] please reference subject as GIG LINE.
Please stay healthy, safe, and happy! THANK YOU FOR JUST BEING YOU!! 😊 Until next time…thank you for reading GIG LINE and take the best care of yourselves and those you love! Stay tuned!