Celebrating and commemorating our veterans. United States military veterans and their families.

I’m Full of It…The Christmas Spirit – Gig Line #133

GIG LINE

By Marsha M. Brown

We’ve all heard the old expression, “You’re full of it!” Well folks, I’m here to tell you that Ireally am full of it…the Christmas spirit that is! And I refuse to let the bad news that we hear every single day get in my way of being happy, thankful and right down giddy!

If I even had a ‘Scrooge’ or a naughty list (like Santa) I’d have a hard time writing names down because I believe there’s at least some good in every body (maybe and hopefully) that being said…I feel the goodness of our fellow Americans and sometimes I want to just jump up and down. Even with folks struggling, squeezing and choking a dollar…people give. They give at the Salvation Army stations in front of stores; they give to the Angel Tree for kids; they give items of personal necessity to our hospitalized veterans and to their neighbors too when they learn help is needed. Can’t you see it? Can’t you just feel it? It’s in the air…its in smiles and happy wishes…it’s in our friends and family and co-workers…by golly…its everywhere!

I recently mentioned that my sweetie pie Billy and I went to see my brother Ed for the Thanksgiving holidays. It had been five years since we had seen each other and it was a really wonderful and special time together that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Ed’s wife Sandy is a fantastic cook who loves not only to prepare a meal fit for royalty but she goes above and beyond embellishing the dining table and decorating the dining room with holiday theme and what a great job she does! Talk about creativity and good taste! She’s an inspiration and a joy and we love her a lot. Our time with them was memorable and I thank God for the opportunity to have been able to go. Sandy’s dinners far exceeded delicious…but consuming the love and kinship of she and my brother was the r-e-a-l ‘meat’ of the matter.

On the way to Florida to see them Billy and I laughed and held hands and listened to music and spent rich time together. Except for my practically white head of hair and Billy’s distinguished (I call it) whitish beard, it was if we were ‘back in the day’ courting again. Traveling straight through 13 hours with stops only for gas & potty, we were thankful for good weather and safe passage each way. Of course, it’s no secret that traveling the Interstate at 70 mph+ you mostly see tractor trailers and other folks enroute to visit folks they love too…but…Billy brought attention to one vehicle that stood out. It was an SUV with white hand written letters on the back glass that read, “Taking our Marine home today”. I stared at it cruising out of sight…I assumed their Marine might have just finished boot camp maybe at Paris Island or stationed elsewhere coming home for the holidays…or maybe…their Marine was coming home from war in Afghanistan or Iraq…or maybe…their Marine had been hospitalized and just discharged or maybe and best of all…maybe…he or she was coming home for good… safe and sound. Hopefully whatever the case, it was our hope that he or she was in good health…that they were happy and that they knew how much they were loved…not only by the folks transporting them…but by their country. Maybe…that Marine could feel the love from Billy and I because I sure was sending those vibes J for their service, their love of country and for their heroism…maybe…they could feel the gratefulness of the greatest nation on earth…our nation…the U.S.A. Maybe they know how much we appreciate service of their own accord, having joined willingly and unselfishly to protect us from peril and to preserve our American way of life. Maybe and hopefully.

I tried my best to wave at them and mouth the words ‘Thank you’ but we couldn’t (safely) catch up…they were in a hurry to pick up or deliver their special ‘Christmas package’…their Marine to their destination. And who in the world could blame them?

To all of our troops everywhere…God bless you. If by chance an active duty service man or woman is reading this GIG LINE…please know how much we love and appreciate you…each and every one of you…Army, Navy, Marine Corp, Air Force and Coast Guard…National Guard too…you are our heroes and a huge blessing to us every day!

Because Billy and I were out of town for two Wednesdays and not available to issue Dare County Veteran I.D. Cards, we’re planning to spend an extended period of time at the American Legion Post 26 Wednesday, December 17th from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM located 302 W. Lake Drive 9.5 MP, Kill Devil Hills. If you haven’t been there before, look for the Gift Garden (formerly T-Tops), turn west toward the sound and the Post is the 2nd building on the right past Gift Garden. If you do not have your Dare County issued I.D. Card entitling you to discounts at almost 40 local business locations, please plan on coming to get yours. The requirement? Just bring your DD-214 showing Honorable Discharge and your local Driver’s License and local address…that’s it! The process takes about 15 minutes per veteran, its well worth your time and you’ll receive a list of businesses that wish to honor you especially with discounts for goods/services equal to 10% or more along with other information to help you connect to fellow veterans in Dare County. Note: there is NO charge for the ‘Card’; we do not copy your DD-214 or make note of your SS#. We only look to verify your name, service branch, discharge status and notate your mailing and phone number for the I.D. Card log. Also, the ‘Card’ itself is a result of the collective efforts, respect, care and promotion of all veterans in Dare County by the seven member Dare County Veterans Advisory Council of which Billy and I are both members. Please come and get your ‘Card’ so that we can say hello and thank you for your service regardless of what other V.A. issued retirement, disability or health I.D. cards you may have…we’ll be looking for you! If you have a question, call my cell: (252) 202-2058.

Until next week, be happy, be safe and be proud! Look for chances to say thank you to a veteran you see that walks by you…notice his or her hat, T-shirt or bumper sticker on their vehicle. Get out of your car if need be and tell them how much their service means to you…show them we couldn’t be who we are as a nation without them. Love your neighbor, love each other and know that Billy and I love you too. Thank you for reading GIG LINE and God bless you all. Stay tuned…

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Marsha M. Brown has been writing a weekly Gig Line since 2012.  Marsha is the widow of Vietnam War, U.S. Army, veteran Billy Brown of Manteo, NC.  She was instrumental in establishing the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council and maintains an active role in the veteran community. You can reach Marsha with questions or suggestions at [email protected].  Have a story to tell or a veteran to feature? She would love to hear from you!

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