By Marsha M. Brown
In early 2013 the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council created and initiated the Dare County Veteran I. D. Card. The ‘Card’ itself was unique and multifaceted in that it would first and foremost help our veterans; acknowledge their service and sacrifice to our country; save them money at participating businesses and demonstrate that in Dare County their service is remembered, appreciated and honored; it would also give the Council members who would disperse the ‘Card’(s) an opportunity to meet the veterans personally, thank them and help educate them on available resources for help especially through our Dare County Veteran Service Officer, Rhonda Creef located at 954 Marshall C. Collins Dr., Manteo, NC 27954 so they could make an appointment to meet with Rhonda and discuss potential V.A. benefits, entitlements, health care eligibility and the application process for a claim.
Originally the plan was to issue the ‘Card’ only to full time resident veterans, however, over time and with such positive responses questions were posed about the veterans who own property here, pay taxes here, support our local businesses, our churches, our civic organizations and fundraising events. Also, there are many property owners who own multiple homes in Dare County and there are many who live in their property themselves months at the time and often times the majority of the year.
That being said, at the last Veterans Advisory Council meeting on Thursday, August 25, 2016, the subject was again discussed and this time the initial plan was amended to invite veterans who do not reside full time but who do own property in Dare County to also be eligible to acquire the ‘Card’. In addition, they will have to show proof of property ownership here be it a current Dare County tax bill and or a local utility bill as well as their required DD-214 showing HONORABLE discharge and their current Driver’s License for identity verification.
In my opinion, this move is nothing short of positive for several reasons: a veteran is a veteran is a veteran; all veterans deserve every good thing possible in their lives; many of these veterans who reside outside of Dare County – wherever that may be – care enough about our county and the Outer Banks to be vested in it; many have a goal to retire here at the point they are able to and many are good neighbors, supporters of our local families and many of them also work here throughout the summer months.
The Council members have also been asked on more than one occasion about issuing the ‘Card’ to veterans outside of Dare County. However and unfortunately we cannot go beyond the boundaries of the County of Dare. What we have done is sincerely thank those veterans for inquiring who were interested and our Council has offered on numerous occasions to assist other local governments with implementing a Veteran I. D. Card of their own to help veterans. In fact, the offer has been extended numerous times and is still on the table. Dare County folks care about veterans, we care that they are held in high regard and all anyone has to do is look at the events that have continue to grow and fill our calendars during Veteran’s Week, Memorial Day weekend and more. WOW!
In essence, if you are a veteran who lives in Dare County permanently or who owns property in Dare County you are eligible (with property verification as noted above) to receive your I. D. Card.
For further information on when and where you can obtain your ‘Card’ please contact Council member Marsha M. Brown cell: (252) 202-2058 or veteran and Council Vice Chairman Jack Leonard (252) 255-4631. Also for a peek at the businesses who wish to thank our veterans for their service by extending a discount for their goods or services, please view www.darenc.com; be sure to look on the Home Page at Departments & Services for Veterans to see the list. You’ll be surprised!
Until next time, be happy…be safe…and be proud. Thank God for all of our veterans and those who love and support you because veterans ROCK! Contact me if you know a veteran in need at my cell number above or write to me at email@example.com. I love you bunches! God bless you and please stay tuned!