By Marsha M. Brown
This past couple of weeks sure have been busy at the Brown household. On Friday, July 5th my sweetie pie Billy and I celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary. It’s hard to realize that we’re just a few years shy of half a century together. How do you look at your spouse or significant other? Let me share with you how I look at mine.
I look at Billy’s sweet face and I see the man every woman hopes to fall in love with in their lifetime. He’s kind and thoughtful…really thoughtful; a gentleman; a helpmate to me in every way and a soul mate too. He’s my very best friend and he’s a friend to everyone who is in need. He’s faithful to fellow veterans and a big ole’ fella who tears up when he hears sincere, heartfelt patriotic speeches; he’s grateful to those who stand up proudly for America and for our troops; he’s ever remembering…never forgetting those still M.I.A. or who are P.O.W. Billy respects and appreciates supporters of our flag, and for the faith our Founding Fathers embraced and acknowledged as important…and he’s a great big blessing to me. Over all these years he’s shown me honor as his wife and as the mother of his children. He and I pray together often and you know the old saying, (though I can’t recall who said it first), “those who pray together, stay together”.
Friday, July 5th I looked at him and I smiled. I knew God loved me a lot to put Billy in my life and especially to have gotten married only six weeks after we started dating…yes, you heard me right…after only six weeks of courtship. Back home from Vietnam in March of 1968, we started dating in late May and we were married July 5th…wow, it’s hard to believe. Mama and Daddy loved Billy right from the ‘get-go’ and they appreciated his genuine deep down goodness. They embraced our courtship and they were happy too. At being only 17, they had to go to the old Dare County Courthouse and sign for me to become Billy’s bride.
When our wedding day came, Daddy met me at the bottom of our stairs in the wedding dress that Mama had made for me. When I reached the bottom step Daddy just looked at me and smiled…then he hugged me…then two big tears made their way down his cheek. I’ll never forget that moment between us. I loved my Daddy…my Coast Guard hero father. When we went to the church for the ceremony Billy and I walked into the sanctuary holding hands making our way to the altar together where his Daddy, Rev. William S. Brown (Sr.) stood waiting for us so he could personally perform the nuptuals. Daddy was there with Mama on the second row but as much as he loved Billy and welcomed him into the family, he couldn’t bring himself to give me away.
If you’ve been reading GIG LINE for a long time, you probably remember the first GIG LINE…it was about Billy coming home from Vietnam and my realization of what true bravery, honor and love of country was. It was about his helping me to understand real sacrifice and the indelible impressions made on our men and women on the battlefields or in the jungles far from home.
Now, I suppose you could also be a newbie to GIG LINE, perhaps just finding out that it’s a place to find updates on the Dare County Veteran I. D. CARD distribution schedules as well as which businesses have already partnered with the ‘CARD’ to offer our veteran(s) discounts. And because of that, I want you to know that during these last two weeks and speaking with some of our veterans who got their ‘CARD’, I was told that GIG LINE is like a book they want to keep reading; another veteran’s wife told me that GIG LINE is a “love story” and numerous veterans ask (if they don’t see him first…where my “sweetie pie” is. Folks, that makes me very proud and happy and I thank you so much because GIG LINE was born out of the love for my Vietnam veteran husband Billy and for the respect I have for him and all men and women who have served our country.
And as you may know we’ve covered the gamut of topics over these last 60 plus GIG LINE columns but if my writings do anything at all, I hope it will lift up every single man or woman who has donned the uniform of the Unites States of America military and helped veterans realize their personal contribution to all of our lives, in giving us hope and safety for our loved ones for years and years to come.
The next time frame to get your Veteran I.D. Card is as follows:
Fessenden Center – Buxton, Tuesday, July 16th from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Dare County Administrative Bldg. Manteo in Rm. 168 on:
Thursday, July 18th – 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Administrative Bldg. – Manteo, Thursday, July 25th 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
If you can make it, please remember to bring your DD-214 showing HONORABLE discharge or separation and your driver’s license or other proof of local address. And…our recently installed Dare County Veterans Advisory Council Chairman Clarence Lewis, who is also Commander of The American Legion Fort Raleigh Post 26 (Manteo), located in Kill Devil Hills, and my sweetie pie Billy may also be there to greet you too. A lot of info and handout material will be available to you regarding Agent Orange, Rural Health Care Initiative, VA contact references by phone/email, on VA medical facilities in Elizabeth City and Hampton; how to obtain your DD-214 online or through our Veteran Service Officer, Rhonda Creef and a host of other matters of interest as well including…the brand new updated list of businesses in which you can use your Veteran
I. D. Card. YIPPEE!
We enjoy seeing you any time we can so try to stop by the appointed locations soon and just so you know folks, I’ll have a date, time and place for the upcoming fund raiser for a fellow veteran in the upcoming GIG LINE on Sunday, July 21st and I can’t wait!
In the meantime be happy, be safe, be proud and thank a veteran…every single day! Also, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my cell: 252-202-2058 if you have questions in the interim. Thank you for reading GIG LINE and as usual…stay tuned!