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

The Best of the Best – Gig Line #122

GIG LINE

By Marsha M. Brown

The fall season is upon us and soon we’ll be celebrating Veteran’s Day giving honor and recognition to the best of the best’ and I can hardly wait…how about you? Are you going to attend a veteran ceremony or event this year? Please do! Well in advance of Veterans Day, I’ll list all of the events, times and locations so you can plan accordingly.

In last week’s GIG LINE I talked about P.T.S.D. – a subject we often avoid but a topic we should bring to the light more often. In doing so, I also shared personal heartaches that I’ve experienced over the years just to reiterate that we all go through hurdles and bumps in the road at times. That being said, as much as we share hard times, we also share joys, exuberance and happiness because truthfully there is much to be happy about…and I made up my mind this week to remind everyone of how much we have to be thankful for.

Heading the list is our service men and women – thank God for our veterans and troops who currently serve our nation – where would we be without them? And what about the National Guard who jump into action all over America to help rebuild communities destroyed by fire, flood, tornadoes and earthquakes; and what about our military medics who see so much yet their diligence to offer hope, provide care and healing to our troops goes unraveled; and what about strangers we hear about who have donated the organs of their loved one in order to save another life (or several) and who give you pause to consider organ donation as well; what about when you see commercials about St. Jude – Children’s Research Hospital or the Shriners Hospital for Children and you think immediately about the sweet little children who are patients…then, you remember the dedicated loving doctors, nurses and staff or ‘angels of mercy’ who go to work day in – day out and hold hurt little hands in theirs restoring health, confidence and life skills; and what about the Lions Club and their members who spend hours after a long hard work week to fry fish or cook BBQ to help the blind and others who need help; and then consider the folks who work with our Monarch Beach Club – inspiring special hidden talents that are revealed on a stage when the ‘Bell Ringers’ honor our veterans each November at the Dare Center causing smiles and tears too; and what about the Salvation Army volunteers and all the good they have done for our troops over the years? And our American Legion Post 26 and V.F.W. Post 10950 members (Kill Devil Hills) who are mostly older, seasoned gentlemen who still continue to serve their brothers today devoting golden hours on Memorial Day weekend encouraging the public to help our veterans who proudly exchange a little red poppy flower to remind us of the poem ‘Flanders Fields’ inspired by World War I about the soldiers laid to rest as a result of battle and of battles all over the world where veterans sacrificed their life in order to preserve the lives of others.

Oh my goodness…I could fill a whole section of this paper with reminders of what we have to be happy about and thankful for. And about the time you wonder for a minute why America stands out like ‘she’ does…almost as quickly as you stopped to wonder…you know…it’s our people…it’s our faith…and it’s our love one for another.

Together we have demonstrated a renewed energy for our Dare County veterans and all who have served. From the Commissioners to the Veterans Advisory Council to the Dare Arts Council to the N. C. Aquarium – Roanoke Island and beyond we have made strides in showing how much we care and that we’re grateful for our veterans and what they have done for us…but we’ve only scratches the surface folks.

Last year at the ‘Salute to Veterans’ event hosted by Manteo First Assembly everybody who participated including the littlest of them all were eager and excited to sing and perform for our veterans. As the little darlings in their sparkly red, white and blue costumes, made their way down the isle and up on the stage robustly singing patriotic songs and waving their American flags…each one grinned from ear to ear! To them, it was a big deal to sing for our veterans and to us who witnessed their enthusiasm…it

r-e-a-l-l-y was a big deal. Their little statures exhumed an unmistakable patriotic spirit that was touching …they were proud and anxious and bursting to show the men and women they know to be ‘heroes’ a special honor.

While I won’t ‘spill the beans’ or tell you everything now…I will tell you that this year, the 2014 ‘Salute to Veterans’ should not be missed. It will reach farther than ever before into our conscience, our heart and into our very soul. The event will be entertaining…but this year it will be more than that…it will be an ‘experience’. From the actors, singers and musicians to the lighting, directing and stage crews each one dedicate their time because of their respect and love for you …our veterans…their only hope is that veterans and their families will come and be there to see it.  Please…please mark your calendar now for Saturday, November 8th at 7:00 PM – Manteo First Assembly. It will be a night that we will all remember for a long time.

Our Dare County veterans and their families are awesome that’s for sure but so are the  businesses owners who show their support by offering discounts to veterans who have a Dare County Veteran I.D. Card. While we’re seeing continued veteran interest in obtaining the Dare County issued ‘Card’ – we want all veterans who reside here to have one. Please see about getting yours each Wednesday from 10:00 AM to 12:00 Noon at the American Legion Post 26/V.F.W. Post 10950 at 302 W. Lake Dr., Kill Devil Hills (west side by-pass behind T-Tops Souvenir Shop). Just bring your DD-214 showing ‘Honorable’ Discharge and your local Driver’s License (they are not copied nor kept). Also, you’re welcome to call me (252) 202-2058 to make arrangements to get one if going to Kill Devil Hills isn’t an option for you.

Great things are happening for our veterans in Dare County folks. If you’re a veteran, let us hear from you; if you care about our veterans and want to help with fund raisers, donations or personal care package items or…maybe some help to build a ramp for a vet that really needs one…please call us! I can promise you that your help will go a lot farther than you think…for one thing it reminds our vets that you care and that what they went through for us is not forgotten. And helping our vets is like a booster shot in the arm for those who tirelessly commit their time to connect with our veterans and to help meet their needs.

The other day I saw a soldier in uniform that I’d never met before…I looked him square in the eye and said “Thank you…we love you…and God bless you”. He stared back at me and when he said “Thank you ma’am”…his eyes were sincere and his exchange was heartfelt. Reach out folks and love our vets.

Thank you for reading GIG LINE and please suggest that others read it to stay informed about local veteran events/news. Call us if we can be of help and please get involved with helping our veterans in one way or another. As usual, be happy, be safe and be proud…we are American protected by the b-e-s-t military force in the world! Until next time…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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