By Marsha M. Brown
Do you remember the old story about “Stone Soup”? I remember it well and I love that story! To summarize, it’s about travelers who went into a town with an empty cooking pot but nothing to cook in it. They filled their pot with water and added a stone because that was all they had. As people passed by and saw them cooking a clear pot of water and a stone, they inquired only to realize the travelers had nothing else. So, a local offered a vegetable, then another came who offered seasoning, then another a piece of meat or more vegetables and on and on. By the end of the tale everybody had pitched in and the water & stone soup turned into a hearty stew. It took a little from a lot but the kindness of others created a great end result. It was the best of times during the worst of times for the travelers and the village people. They worked together to help each other when nobody had much to offer. It reminds me of the American spirit, love for one another and care for a fellow man. Everybody pitching in just a little…would go a long way.
The Dare County Veterans Advisory Council established on May 7, 2012 has conducted four meetings to date. The Council is serious about tackling innovative ways to help our heroes, communicate with them and their families and provide effective acknowledgment of their service.
Under the sincere dedication of Chairman Clarence Skinner – Manteo a Veteran himself, the group is well underway with assigned projects and goals to reach out to our men and women Veterans on a personal level.
The Council meetings are held monthly (at minimum), usually last from 1-2 hours and are attended by the seven Member Council, public citizen Veterans and Dare County Veterans Officer, Rhonda Creef.
Everyone is invited and welcome to attend the public meetings which are typically held in the Dare County Administrative Building (abreast of the Courthouse) downstairs in Rm. 168 on the last Thursday of the month at 6PM. A schedule of the meeting dates are advertised on the Dare County web site: www.darenc.com.
It’s important to note that GIG LINE is a weekly means to communicate with the general public, celebrate our Veterans and their families, address their issues/concerns and give advance notice of up coming events that honor them.
What GIG LINE is not is an ‘official’ venue for reporting Council Minutes. At times, however, I like to summarize steps the Council has taken to help our Veterans and to further reiterate to you, their commitment to seek new, creative avenues to bring attention and celebration to the very special men and women who have served our country.
If you are not able to attend the Council meetings but wish to help…good news, there are several ways you can do just that! Dare County Veterans Advisory Council is comprised of people who care about Veterans but there is no funding appropriated at this time for the function of the Council and donations or contributions toward its goals would help tremendously.
For those who wish to offer monetary support, there is now an opportunity. Contributors can now make their tax deductible check payable to: Dare County – with “Veterans Advisory Council” – clearly designated on the Memo line. The funds that are designated toward the good of our Veterans will be disbursed according to Dare County/VAC policies and carefully scrutinized.
The reason the Council has appropriated a means for donation is simple…it takes money to function. A source for funds will enable the Council to acquire business cards, stationary, postage, not to mention help with advertising approved events and to purchase flyers’, posters, signs, banners etc.
As the writer of GIG LINE who also serves as a Council Member and Secretary of the Council, I’ve personally observed first hand the Council’s diligence in seeking ways to achieve goals without expense.
Of the seven appointed Council members, six are Veterans but all equally committed on behalf of our Veterans. At this point in time, no monies are appropriated, designated or committed from any other source for business of the Council (business cards, stationary, postage, signs etc.). In order for the Council to pursue and develop specific projects, funds would be a blessing. Funds would provide opportunities for us to sponsor and advertise Veteran events and conduct business for the benefit of all.
If you would like to make a donation or contribute it would help with upcoming events that require booth deposits/rental and in advertising our participation. The kindness and generosity of the newspaper and radio advertising can only go so far. The more exposure the Council can generate, the more Dare County Veterans will be recognized. For example, at Dare Day this past June, the booth hosted by the American Legion, also enabled the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council to introduce themselves. The outcome was productive in that 12 Veterans not only registered their information but expressed interest and appreciation for the newly established DCVAC.
If you cannot financially contribute, please know there are other ways to help. Do you have a talent that you’d be willing to share? For example: Could you cook, prepare/serve plates at a cook out? Or donate baked goods or a craft? Could you help sell tickets for a fund raiser? Do you sing or entertain? Do you have props or costumes to donate? Do you sew? Do you have carpentry skills? Do you own a business that could help in some way?
There are all kinds of needs and all sorts of ways to meet them together as proud Dare Countians’ and Outer Bankers’. All of us who feel proper recognition of our Veterans is long overdue can pitch in to support this new opportunity and to show the world just how special our Veterans really are.
To everyone who reads GIG LINE and who cares about our Veterans please help us spread the word that HELP is needed! If you’re willing and able, contact me through GIG LINE or call Rhonda Creef, Veterans Officer at (252) 475-5604 and Rhonda will forward the information accordingly.
No doubt, standing tall together for those who have stood for us for years…and years…and years is the right thing to do. We can accomplish mighty things when we work together, so please help.
Last week I was contacted through GIG LINE by a lady who wanted to thank a ‘stranger’ whom she had recently met. As it turns out, she and her 92 year old WWII Veteran husband and their family while waiting to be seated for a meal at a local restaurant met and conversed with another gentleman also waiting to be seated.
After exchanging conversation for some time, the ‘stranger’ came to realize that her husband had not only served our country but had even been considered at one point as ‘MIA’. The exchange between the new friends was enthusiastic until ‘he’ was called to his table therefore parting ways. Soon after she and her family were seated and had their meal, they were told by her server that their bill was paid in full…and not only the bill but the server’s tip too! Treated very unexpectedly by a ‘stranger’ who learned of her husband’s service truly touched her heart. Much to her surprise, the kind man who had paid for their meal and the server’s tip unbeknown to her had left before she got a chance to thank him personally. She wanted him to know how much it had meant to her showing her husband that gesture of kindness and respect.
If that kind ‘stranger’ who had a heart for Veterans happens to read GIG LINE, I hope you know we thank you too! You did a NICE thing for a hero and his family! Thank you for celebrating a Veteran and letting him know his service wasn’t forgotten. I am so proud of you. What you did…was “pay it forward”. God bless you.
Over the next week, take the opportunity to ask new people you meet if they’re a Veteran. You don’t have to buy them a meal or pay the tip, just show them your interest, appreciation and respect.
Write to me with ideas, offers of help, questions, and stories at [email protected] because I love to hear from you! Until next time, be safe, be happy, be proud and stay tuned…