By Marsha M. Brown
I have to start this second “GIG LINE” article by saying thank you! Since our first article was published last week, we have received many wonderful and supportive comments throughout the community. We are grateful that you appreciate what we are doing and that you felt the article touched you personally.
Recently our daughter thoughtfully suggested I explain what inspired our title for those who may not know. We were inspired to dub our writings “GIG LINE” because we knew that military personnel, especially, would know immediately the article related to them. Service men and women recognize the term “gig line” as the perfect alignment of shirt buttons, belt buckle and zipper on a uniform. Our articles will be straight up too and in line with the thoughts of many. We hope to be a voice that will speak volumes, clearly expressing gratitude to our active and retired service families, then to all the kind patriots who support our Veterans.
We invite you, through our email address: [email protected] to comment on our articles and to suggest topics that you would like to read about. We are interested in what you have to say and we promise to do our best to keep you interested. We are eager to interview those who have expressed a willingness to tell their story however, the last official count of Dare County Veterans at 4,229 indicates we have a lot of stories to tell!
It is important that “GIG LINE” represents informative, positive good news for our Veterans and their families. What we will never do is forget those who have been lost or pretend that hearts have never been broken. Our desire above all is to use this opportunity to lift folks up together – those who have served and those who have not. We will celebrate the lives of all Veterans – those serving today, those who are retired and those who have crossed over. We also want to acknowledge the men and women who have served in the military for short periods who mistakenly believe they are not ‘Veterans’. As a very knowledgeable Veterans Affairs representative told us, if a man or woman has worn the uniform of the United States military, they have served and they are a Veteran!
This March 31, 2012 the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N. C. will host a ‘Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Celebration’. I called for tickets several weeks ago and at that time they were plentiful, however, yesterday when I got an update from the ticket rep, he informed me that 60,000 tickets had been issued and tickets are now limited only to Veterans with official ID – (four ticket limit) and only at the gate. If you are interested, please look for information online at Lowes Motor Speedway and make plans to attend. No doubt, it will be a historical day in the lives of many.
Momentum is continuing to build and we continue to learn something new almost every day. Interest, attendance and new membership in our local American Legion Fort Raleigh N. C. Post 26 have increased considerably. Also, for those who don’t know, some businesses provide discounts to eligible Veterans who can present their official Veteran ID card for goods they purchase. For example: we understand that Home Depot and Lowes both offer a 10% discount for Veteran purchases and Old Navy offers a 10% discount every Monday – again for those who can present their Veteran ID card.
It is our hope that support for Veterans in Dare County will greatly increase. If you are a business owner who would like to offer our Veterans a break, please let us know. To those of you, who already show an ongoing appreciation to our Veterans, thank you! I learned a long time ago that if you support and promote others, it will always come back to bless you.
Our Dare County Board of Commissioners is in the process of establishing the Veterans Advisory Board we requested and we are grateful. They have asked for those interested in serving to obtain the committee member Application online through the Dare County web site or through our local Veterans Officer. It will take some time to get the Committee established but hopefully before too long, we will be able to see the positive influence we anticipate come to fruition.
Lastly, if you attended the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade held this past Sunday in Nags Head, you saw the American Legion and many others ‘walk the walk’. It was a beautiful day, a great parade and everybody had fun! But what touched me most was when Billy said as they walked the parade route, people took off their hats, put their hats over their heart, bowed their heads or mouthed the words, “Thank you!” Thank you loyal, true blue Americans who stand up for our Unites States flag! OK Marsha, calm down! Sorry…I just can’t help it, I’m on a roll! I’m a sap for the traditional red, white and blue, stars and stripes forever and all that. Look out uniformed personnel if you see me coming in an airport. I’ll likely walk over, stop you in your tracks, thank you and then ask if I can hug you. Folks, there is a lot for us to talk about. Until next time, stay tuned!