By Marsha M. Brown
Thanksgiving is that special time of year when we reflect on the people and things that have touched our lives, brought us joy and inspired us to become a better ‘us’.
At our Thanksgiving Day dinner table we typically take turns sharing what each of us are thankful for. Sometimes we’re a little bashful, sometimes the words are few but heartfelt just the same. Like every year I’ll again share what makes me happy…my ‘sweetie pie’ Billy’s pride in GIG LINE; my children calling me just to say “I love you Mom”; my granddaughter making me a rubber band necklace; my younger grandson handcrafting a wooden gun for historical reenactments and my older grandson describing his vision of opening his own auto mechanics shop; spending time with my sister, an outstanding cook, who takes the time to share a recipe she thinks is “fail proof” that even I can handle; praying with a friend, sharing tears during happy and sad times; remembering family gatherings that are funny, down right crazy and all the touching moments in my life are precious and golden and times that I cherish. Remembering past Thanksgivings having watched Daddy carve the turkey as if performing intricate heart surgery…they are special and unforgettable times.
You too are a big part of my Happy Thanksgiving. You have written to me by email sharing stories and poems about veterans; you’ve attended events that were held in our heroes honor; you’ve sat there patiently while I talked about my husband’s experience coming home from Vietnam; you’ve called me over the past year and shared with me plights of fellow veterans who needed help or maybe they just needed a friend…and you’ve taken the time yourself to do what you could to hold a flaming torch for your brothers and sisters. You have made me proud loving our veterans as you have.
This year I have so much to reflect upon. I’ve heard you speak gratefulness for GIG LINE and for your Veteran I.D. Card and for a community that has rallied around our veterans; I’ve seen your tears when you speak of pride in our fighting men and women…deployed troops who will yet again not sit at the table with their loved ones; I have sat beside you in prayer for a veteran whom you love and who has struggled to overcome hardships and heartache, physical challenges and loss of limb as a result of exposure to Agent Orange and I have listened when you’ve shared your pride in them for their continued bravery beyond the jungle still determined to overcome the enemy Dioxin; I am astonished at the sense of humor spoken from the lips of a veteran who despite it all accepts what life has dealt him while comforting those around him; I’m in awe of that veteran who beyond everything he has been through makes those around him laugh with funny quips and stories…and I sit at his bedside amazed.
Our veterans, veteran family members and friends make me thankful. I think about a veterans lover, child, brother, sister, father or mother who inspires me each and every day to write, speak out for and lift up our veterans to an audience of readers yes, but also to our Father God Almighty. I am thankful for you all and for the help you have given veterans over this past year…and for all the years of your tender mercy before that.
Our communities thank churches who have collected personal care items to be distributed among veterans; members of the Blue Star Mothers of America; men, women and children who participated in ‘Brotherhood’ – ‘SALUTE TO VETERANS’; the man in the little red car in Kill Devil Hills who tirelessly promotes veterans at each and every turn; members of the American Legion Post 26 for their steadfast dedication over the years; the newly revitalized V.F.W. Post 10950 members for re-uniting veterans of foreign wars; those who have hosted veteran events at all the Veteran Memorials in Dare County and at Pirates Cove and St. Andrews By the Sea for their Candle Lighting Ceremony this year and for the Dare Center staff for their steadfast commitment to veterans…we are thankful for you all and everything you’ve done recently and over the years too to show the love to those who so deserve it most.
This holiday I will thank the good Lord for every single person who has taken the time to show our vets that we mean what we say when we tell them they’re NOT forgotten.
My gratitude is for the veteran in Currituck who took the initiative to seek help for a World War II veteran; our Veterans Service Officer and Dare Arts Council Executive Director for all the extra work they’ve put into taking care of and for our veterans; all the veterans I’ve met in Tyrrell County over the past year and for the opportunities they afforded me to spend two special days honoring our veterans with them.
Thanksgiving is about just that…giving…and thankfulness to the giver. This year many people involved in the recent Marathon stopped to give on behalf of veterans and the American Legion Post 26 who thanked them with a little red Poppy remembrance for their gift is very grateful. Thank you for doing that…for showing that you care and for giving generously.
IMPORTANT…Folks with Thanksgiving Day upon us and Christmas not far away, you can do a really nice thing for our men and women who serve. Please consider writing a non gender specific card or letter to our troops. Take an opportunity to show you care; that you’re thinking of them and that what they’re doing MATTERS to you and your family. You don’t even need a stamp or any postage! Just write your card or letter (which could be distributed to either a male or female…suggestion: you could address it to “My Hero” then take it to the lobby of the Dare County Administrative Building (middle building in the Dare County complex), at 954 Marshall C. Collins Dr., Manteo and put it into the box that will be designated for ‘SUPPORT OUR TROOPS’. The box will be centrally located and easy to spot for your deposit. Per Pam Buscemi of Blue Star Mothers of America, the correspondence will need to be picked up by Friday, December 5th at 1:00 PM in order to get to our troops before Christmas…so…please hurry everybody!! Be crafty with your kids or grandkids…and how about your school or Sunday school class? Make your own cards or letters but please take the time to do this so that our Dads & Moms, sons and daughters and brothers and sisters will know we care. If you have questions call me (252) 202-2058.
Until next time, remember our veterans and remember that our blessings are just that… blessings! Think about the biggest giver of them all at your dinner table and remember His greatest gift of all…LOVE! Be happy, be safe and be proud. Because of our U. S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard (and National Guard too)…we have a lot to be proud of! Happy Thanksgiving from my sweetie pie and I and as always…stay tuned!