By Marsha M. Brown
In last Sunday’s GIG LINE, I acknowledged the ‘Hatterasman Drive Inn’, 57449 N.C. Hwy 12, Hatteras, N.C. 27943 as the most recent business to sign up to offer our Dare County veterans a 10% discount upon presenting their Dare County Veteran I.D. Card at check out. I also mentioned that I had understood from my sweetie pie veteran Billy who had recently met the owner, Frank Miller, Jr. (also a veteran), that he was working on a very special personal project to be established in Hatteras Village to honor all veterans.
Billy had met Frank and his daughter recently while he was issuing Veteran I.D. Card(s) at the American Legion Post 26 K(ill Devil Hills) when Frank and his daughter stopped by. When he came home that evening he told me how serious Frank was about establishing a monument on his own property in Hatteras Village in which to honor all veterans. He also explained that Frank wanted very much to encourage veteran activities and commradary among both the resident and visiting veterans to Hatteras Island. Billy said that Frank had described his restaurant as having a military theme to it featuring military memorabilia, pictures and the like making it a unique and welcoming place to eat and visit for everyone. It sounded to me from Billy’s take on it that it was the ‘happening place’ for those who had served and where vets could consume way more than tasty dishes ranging from grilled cheese sandwiches to yummy seafood dishes to mouth watering burgers loaded with everything but the kitchen sink. Billy’s description of what Frank was doing in his community for those who deserve it so much made me want to go there…yes…to eat but mostly to experience the atmosphere of service and honor.
Days after Billy had met the Millers’, my interest peaked and like Billy I wanted to thank him for joining forces with other Dare County businesses that have honored our veterans. And besides that, I wanted to delve further into the ‘project’ he had underway. So, I called the restaurant not long before close and while waiting for him to come to the phone, I had an opportunity to speak to his son, Frank III learning not only about their variety of menu choices but of the commitment of a family who not only loved each other deeply but our country too.
Summing it all up? It was apparent that the business is family operated and a veteran favorite! And once Frank Jr. got on the phone I learned that he had served in the U. S. Army (Intel) and that many of his customers are ‘regulars’ who go there to eat of course but equally as much to share their personal stories and military experiences. Frank told me that sometimes one veteran might be telling his own story while everybody listens and at other times several vets might talk about their memories, encounters and military familiarities all at the same time – in other words it sounded to me like a neat, customized place to go…to meet a lot of heroes (of course all veterans are heroes don’t you know?), make new friends, enjoy humorous accounts and even maybe some tears from time to time and as for my sweetie pie and I? We can’t wait to go! And about Frank’s project?
Frank told me he’s in the process of establishing a very tall flag pole (large enough to accommodate a really large flag) that will be lit 24/7 and…besides that…drum roll please…a monument to honor veterans. He described the project with g-r-e-a-t enthusiasm and he said it should be completed by next spring. Frank Miller, Jr. is a go-getter I tell you! He has a vision, a plan and he’s seeing it through with the devoted support of his family. Good Lord willing, I’ll visit the ‘Hatterasman Drive In’ very soon, sample his mouthwatering ‘fare’ first hand and see up close and personal the site for his pending ‘monument’.
To date I haven’t had the privilege to meet Frank’s daughter but I hope to soon! If by chance she’s anything like her brother, she’s a sweetheart! Frank III took the time after a long day to answer my questions and he was a total gentleman. He was obviously proud of his Dad and his service to our country and of their family business too. Overall,
I thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with both Frank Millers and I was moved to know that Frank Jr. is proud of his service and the personal goals he has be inspired to accomplish for his ‘brothers’.
To each and every business owner who has willing supported our Dare County veterans by offering a discount off of their meal, goods or services…I thank you so much. I thank you as a as a Vietnam veteran’s wife; as a citizen who loves our country and those who support and protect her…and I thank you on behalf of each of the other six Dare County Veteran Advisory Council members being: Chairman Clarence Lewis, Frank ‘Dale; Draper, Joseph ‘Joe’ Pope, Lynda Hester, Josh Turner, my darling Billy Brown all of whom are veterans and Jeff Slaker also a veteran and public member volunteer to assist the Community Liaison team. God bless you all for any and everything you do for the men and women who, like each of you, who have sacrificed so much for all of us.
As promised, here is the updated list in alphabetical and location order of businesses where you can use your Dare County Veteran I.D. Card for discounts: MANTEO/ROANOKE ISLAND: Ace Hardware, AJ&M Home Improvement, Berry’s Automotive, Big Al’s Soda Fountain & Grille, Darrell’s Restaurant, Datafix Computer Solutions, Full Moon Café, Garden Deli & Pizzeria, Kellogg Supply (exception lumber & special orders), La Dolce Vita Restaurant, My Secret Garden, NAPA, Ortegaz Grill, Pizza Hut and Stripers Bar & Grille; NAGS HEAD NORTH: A&B Carpet, Ace Hardware, All Fixed (vacuum sales/parts), Darrell’s BBQ & Seafood Restaurant, Gulf Stream Gifts, Hallmark Shop, Jolly Roger Restaurant, Kellogg Supply, Kellogg Design Center, Kelly’s Outer Banks Restaurant & Tavern, NAPA Auto Parts, Sugar Creek Restaurant and The Cottage Shop; OREGON INLET SOUTH (HATTERAS ISLAND): Ace Hardware, Buxton Auto & Marine, Hatterasman Drive In and Quarterdeck Restaurant. Please note that in most cases a daily discount of 10% applies, however several businesses offer 15% or more.
Until next time, love each other…our country and our veterans…all of them; show them they matter…show them they’ve made a difference in all of our lives; be happy, be safe and be proud…despite the ‘nay sayers’. God bless you and your family and call us if we can be of help to you. 252-202-2058. We love you all!