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

Phone Calls That Hug You – Gig Line #174

GIG LINE

By Marsha M. Brown

The pleasure of writing GIG LINE is mine as is the blessings that come from it as in the phone calls I received last week. I take to heart and thank God for every single day for the opportunity and privilege of writing for (and to) our very deserving veterans and their families.

A voice mail came to my cell phone from a gentleman who had served as Chief Warrant Officer helicopter pilot and combat veteran in Vietnam. He didn’t live here but the message he left said that his Mother resided in Kill Devil Hills and that she had sent him a copy of GIG LINE. After reading it he called and left a beautiful message saying that he enjoyed the “heartwarming” column about our grandson Ben. When I returned his call we had a nice exchange and I felt at the end of it we had become friends. He reminisced about his service in Vietnam and I again heard identical phrases and terminology that I’ve heard time and time again…reaffirming the experiences, trauma our troops endured and an echo of the unbreakable ‘tie that binds’ Vietnam veterans hearts, heads and souls. In response…I thank that Mom for thinking of her son and sharing the love for the veteran whom we owe so much to; thank you for taking the time to communicate through GIG LINE that Vietnam veterans are not forgotten and that even young men in their pre-teens today respect and look up to them. This special vet saying ‘thank you’ and complimenting our grandson meant a lot to Billy and me and when I invited Ben to listen to his message, he was inspired, encouraged further and he was proud.

Another phone call came from the son of a veteran who was interested in helping his Dad acquire his Dare County Veteran I.D. Card. He had read about the ‘Card’ in a previous GIG LINE and wanted to learn more. I explained to him that the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council had come up with the ‘Card’ idea to offer at least some benefit  to our veterans on a regular basis and that having one would mean his Dad could enjoy discounts from 10% – 20% at almost 50 businesses on the Outer Banks. I further explained that all his Dad needed to do was bring his DD-214 showing Honorable Discharge and his Driver’s License or picture I.D. showing local address to acquire one. I asked that he go see my sweetie pie Billy at the Dare County Administrative Bldg. Monday(s) between 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM – Rm. 142 and that the process only takes minutes. What I learned during that call that a loving son’s persistence to help his Dad resulted in locating his Dad’s DD-214 where he had least expected to find it I smiled. That document is critical and every veteran or vet family member should help their vet locate theirs too, then take it to the Register of Deeds Office at the Dare County Justice Center (Courthouse) to have it registered for safe keeping. This son who called is a good son who loves his Dad and who obviously wants all things good for him. Billy hopes to see them and thank them both this Monday. J

Folks…my point is that these were just two examples of the many family members who care about their veterans who served. They care that these men in their lives matter greatly and they want them to know other people (like us)…care about them too. I was proud of those phone calls and countless calls and emails before them. Our vets served our country not knowing the final outcome of their service…they are all heroes in my book and I hope that through my little column GIG LINE, they (you) feel the love and honor for each of you. It takes guts to sign on the dotted line in a commitment to protect us, our freedoms and our liberties. God bless each and every man and woman who has served in our U. S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and National Guard.

Remember:

The Hatteras Island Veterans Support Group meeting, Wednesday, September 16 2:00 PM, Hatterasman Drive In, Hatteras. Come enjoy veteran fellowship; acquire your Dare County Veteran I. D. Card (bring your DD-214 showing Honorable Discharge and your local Driver’s License); pick up a V.A. Veteran Benefit Booklet, get a new NC4VETS Resource Guide and consider getting a ‘Friends of Hatteras Island Veterans Support Group’ T-shirt while you’re there too! Show your pride in our vets and help this energetic group of veteran lovers on Hatteras Island that the time they’ve put into honoring veterans everywhere…matters. They have big plans for veterans who live and visit Hatteras Island so let them know you care too and sign up to help with future events while you’re in the process of getting your T-shirt!

Remember:  

NATIONAL POW/MIA RECOGNITION DAY – Friday, September 18th.  If you personally know a former POW, please take the time to go to them and hug them. Tell them how thankful you are that they finally made it home…whenever that was. Tell them you’re sorry for the suffering they endured. Ask them what needs they may have, if you can address them or gather a group of friends, church members or neighbors and try to fix what is wrong. If their need is too great, please let us know and maybe we can find a way together to help.

The day earmarked to honor and remember our POW/MIA is just that. It is to remind us that thousands including mostly WWII; Korea; Vietnam; Cold War; Iraq, Afghanistan are not yet back home but they could still be waiting to come home. According to a beautiful poster I recently saw from the American Legion Department of NC regarding this special RECOGNITION DAY, 363 of the still unaccounted for are North Carolinians.

Pray for our men and women who may be captured, sick and suffering. Pray that we find a way to bring them home, restore their health, shower them with love and even if they have already gone to be with the Lord, that we receive their remains for proper honors and burial and to help bring closure to their families. God bless them all.

Remember:

American Legion Post 26 located 302 W. Lake Dr., Kill Devil Hills monthly meetings every 4th Tuesday (except in December) at 12:00 Noon Meetings resume again September 22nd. Lunch is served at no charge.

Remember:

C. P.”Buster” Nunemaker, III Public Relations Coordinator with the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island extends a hearty invitation as follows: “Come join us at the Pirates Cove Pavilion for the NC Aquariums on Roanoke Island’s Wounded Warrior Beach Bash Friday, September 25 from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.  Wounded Warriors from Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune will be participating in activities during this week long event. Those activities will include: diving with the sharks at the Aquarium, Golf at Duck Woods Country Club, Charter Fishing, surfing and paddle boarding, OBX JetPac and many other activities. One of those activities will be a meet and greet thank you party in honor of the Wounded Warriors at the Pirates Cove Marina Pavilion as mentioned on September 25. The Southern English Band will headline the event with music along with Greg Honeycutt’s acoustic sounds. Food and beverages are being provided by Food Lion and Pepsi Bottling Ventures.  We hope everyone will join us for this event.” If you would like to volunteer, call Kate at 252-475-2335.”

Remember:

V.F.W. Outer Banks Post 10950 wishes to thank the Colington Harbor Homeowners Association for their generous support of Post 10950 on Saturday, September 5th at which time Post 10950 presented passersby an opportunity to help veterans through the Buddy Poppy Program. The event was very successful and featured two local young men – a 12 and 17 year old who helped. V.F.W. Post 10950 meetings are held at the Colington Fire Department, 108 Old School House Rd., Colington every 1st Monday of each month at 7:00 PM. An elevator is on site w/ample parking. (Next meeting Monday, October 5th)

Until next time be happy, be safe and be proud…we have the best military anywhere in this world; shake their hand and tell them what they mean to you…I can assure you they won’t forget your show of gratitude. If we can help call me (252) 202-2058. God bless you all. Stay tuned!

Contact the Editor

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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