By Marsha M. Brown
Well, hello everybody! I hope this GIG LINE finds you and your family blessed and eagerly embracing the New Year 2014!
Just days into it, I wholeheartedly anticipate an exciting year of even stronger interest on behalf of our Dare County veterans…speaking of which – the new schedule for issuing your Dare County Veteran I. D. Card in January, February & March 2014 is as follows:
Dare County Administrative Building, 954 Marshall C. Collins Dr., Manteo (which faces the Dare County Courthouse (middle building in the complex) each Wednesday from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM as follows:
January 8, 22 and 29 – Rm. 168
January 15 – Rm. 142
February 5, 12, 19, 26 – Rm. 168
March 5, 12, 19, 26 – Rm. 168
If you haven’t received your I. D. Card yet, please come see us and bring a copy of your DD-214 along with your proof of local address. Again, we will NOT keep your DD-214, we’ll only look at it to see that you were HONORABLY discharged or separated from our United States military service.
In view of the fact that both of the recent events graciously hosted by ACE HARDWARE in Manteo & Kitty Hawk were such a success, future events at various business locations throughout Dare County will ensue. The combined efforts of Veterans Advisory Council members who were on site to issue veterans their I. D. Card (for local business discounts) in conjunction with the R.H.I. team (VA Rural Health Initiative) out of the VA Medical Center in Hampton, Virginia provided an opportunity for veteran convenience because you could both apply for eligibility for VA health care at the same time you obtained your Dare County Veteran I. D. Card (if you resided in Dare County). Trust me when I say, each event was very productive! Keep abreast of future event schedules through GIG LINE in the coming weeks as we are coordinating dates with Hampton, VA at this time.
UPDATE: As I had mentioned previously, the new Greenville VA Health Care Center (HCC) is near completion. In fact, I contacted them very recently to inquire as to the date for their Grand Opening and understood they should have a ‘soft opening’ on January 13, 2014 but…the official opening date was planned for a later time in March of this year. Representative Jeffery Melvin, Acting Public Affairs Officer of the Durham VA Medical Center, referred me to a link from the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center regarding the new Center at Greenville (greenvilleHCC121113.doc) where I learned that while the new VA facility located at 401 Moye Blvd., Greenville, N.C. 27834 would offer numerous services to veterans, it would not offer an emergency room, a walk in clinic and it was not a hospital.
However, the g-r-e-a-t news is that veteran services in Greenville is a primary care facility that will offer special services including pharmacy, audiology, women’s health, optometry, radiology, dental, cardiology, laboratory, orthopedics, mental health and minor procedures. That’s important for veterans from Dare County who prefer to travel west to Greenville (for the scope of services provided) as opposed to traveling north to Hampton, VA for medical help. Mr. Melvin was very nice and offered what information he had available at the time and once I reviewed the article he referred me to, it was obvious the new 116,000 sq.ft. facility is located a very short distance from the former veteran medical facility and it will provide ample parking etc.
Over the period of time the Council has issued the Veteran I. D. Card(s), we’ve heard several Dare County veterans say they had previously sought/received medical care from VA facilities west of Greenville over the years, so we’re happy to hear about the new Center that will open soon in Greenville to assist veterans in eastern North Carolina. It goes without saying that we all appreciate any means for medical care for veterans in rural areas especially.
If you’d like to call Rhonda Creef, Dare County Veteran Service Officer to schedule an appointment to meet with her to file a claim, request help in acquiring a replacement DD-214 etc. Rhonda is very knowledgeable about forms, eligibility and other matters that could benefit you and your family, so please investigate the possibilities. Also, if you’d like to apply for a Dare County Veterans Advisory Council member position, you can either go online to make application or contact Rhonda Creef to submit a hard copy application.
Following our next Council meeting on Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 3:00 PM (the public is always welcome and invited to attend) at the Dare County Administrative Building, Manteo, Rm. 168, I will update you through GIG LINE about the great work that Director Chris Sawin, Dare County Arts Council and his staff has done on behalf of Dare County veterans. What a nice group of folks! They are among many who care about promoting the men and women who have and currently serve our country!
Veterans…people respect, admire and love you. Keep reading GIG LINE and I’ll keep you posted as best I can on events, news and stories about our heroes. In the meantime, be happy, be safe, be proud and thank a veteran each and every day! They so deserve it! And as usual…until next time…stay tuned!