By Marsha M. Brown
Happy New Year wonderful people! I’m excited…are you? Twelve new months are ahead and we have an opportunity right now to start planning our strategies…for better health, wealth and happiness. What are you going to do with your New Year? How do you plan to spend it? Over the last 12 months, I’ve met countless veterans, their spouses, children and siblings and each of them have blessed me in one way or another; each has taught me something I didn’t know before and each has inspired me to press forward and accelerate my own research for good, positive and productive means to support and honor our veterans.
In the latter part of December, I heard the ‘Wreaths Across America’ program could use some help. I had understood that Arlington National Cemetery was short of wreaths to lie upon the graves of our fallen which prompted me to contact the group about making a donation. Once I spoke to a rep, I was told that just shortly before my call the quota had not only been reached…but greatly exceeded…so much so that they had ample wreaths to lie at Arlington as well as additional memorial sites too. Nice! This was a genuine witness of the kind and loving hearts of people who respect and appreciate our veterans. Prior to the Christmas holidays this year, I’ll remind everyone who might be interested in participating to contact the group but in the meantime, if you look at their website (www.wreathsacrossamerica.org) and click on “News & Latest” you’ll see really moving videos…but before you do, grab your tissues…you’ll need them. The testimonies of the families who appreciate the support of our fallen heroes will deeply touch you.
For those of you who have your Dare County Veteran I. D. Card…but who rarely use it, please re-consider. Some of the business owners who eagerly signed up to offer our veterans a discount have said they aren’t seeing a lot of veterans come in and present their CARD. The process of contacting and acquiring the business sign ups was considerable from all involved and the business owners would like to see you stop by not only to offer you the discount but to thank you too. If you come across a question about the CARD or if you do not have a computer to access updated lists of businesses that participate in the discount program, please call me (252) 202-2058 and we’ll be glad to help you by printing the list of businesses who discount and send it to you. Also…IF you should attempt to purchase goods, services or food using your CARD and the server is unfamiliar with it, please understand that all businesses do their best to familiarize their staff with the CARD but on occasion, if a question arises the owner/manager should be aware to verify the discount or you are welcome to call Billy or myself. The list is updated on www.darenc.com – click on ‘Departments or Services’ (Desktop Version if using your IPhone) – then, ‘Services T – Z’; click on Veteran’s Council and once there look to the left for ‘Businesses That Accept I.D. Cards for Discounts’. Check this list periodically for updated entries and enjoy the recognition of being someone special…because you ARE! You are our backbone…literally…and we’re grateful for you. We appreciate, honor and support you and as time goes on you’ll see it more and more with each passing day. Dare County folks are close knit; especially for our vets and I know this to be true based on attitudes and actions that I have personally witnessed among our families. We support each other; we cheer each others achievements and we mourn each others loss. We’re united for Dare County and our country and despite our differences or disagreements at times – we are there for each other for the long haul.
I feel sure that some readers of GIG LINE wonder why I write so much about faith and God, but I write about what veterans inspire me to write. Faith and courage go as much in hand as peanut butter and jelly and I think it would be a challenge if not impossible to have one without the other. As individuals, as community members and as Americans we all have our personal bumps and hurdles to overcome but overall? We’re united in spirit, love for each other and love for country.
Only the good Lord knows what truly lies ahead but rest assured we can look to tomorrow with promise and hope…together. We can anticipate a new beginning and we can press forward with our talents, skills and abilities to do the best we can for our families and for each other. What we do with this New Year will depend primarily on our own choices and what we wish to do with what we have to work with. Will we use our head and spend money more carefully? Will we best utilize our time at work? Find ways and time to volunteer to best help others? I guess time will tell.
Time is a precious thing; find the time to bring more happiness into your life…you, my friend, are worth it! Remember that the greatest…absolute greatest gift…is love. Spread it around. It’s free and it can make all the difference in another person’s life who has little. Keep showing our veterans how much they mean to you; bring a smile to their face just by saying ‘Thank you sir…” or “Thank you ma’am for your service”. You will make their day and that’s a promise.
Until next time God bless you. Be happy, be safe and be proud. There is no greater country than the United States of America. If you have a doubt…ask someone who has fought to defend it and see what they tell you. With all of our hearts, we love you all. Stay tuned.