By Marsha M. Brown
We have much to be proud of in our country…so much. Set aside differences of opinion on political figures and politics in general; we are ONE NATION UNDER GOD after all. And our veterans? They are our mainstay, our protectors, our freedom fighters and when we consider their reasons for enlisting/signing on the dotted line; their pride in serving and having served; their personal sacrifice given without reservation…for all of us…their stories of triumph and their witness of tragedy…how can you help but love and want to support each and every one of them?
We are fortunate to live in a beautiful place such as this County of Dare and the great Outer Banks and be so accompanied by veterans. Most of the time we’re surrounded with them…but too many times we don’t even know it. The majority I have had the privilege to know don’t brag or boast…they just are what they are…typically reserved, with their experiences held close to their vest…none the less, we are blessed to see their mark on all of our lives from years past and through today and without question, they have earned and well deserve our respect, admiration and honor.
What would we do without them? Imagine how vulnerable we would be. When the ocean is kicking butt…and a mariner by profession or pleasure is in trouble, we call on the U. S. Coast Guard, yet often times we unintentionally take their being here for granted…after storms we’re thankful for the ready, willing and able help of the National Guard – though often times, their purpose and hard work is overlooked. In addition to the Coast Guard, the remaining branches who serve us being the U. S. Army, Navy, Air Force & Marines are awesome men and women and because they do what they do…our nation hands down is the greatest here on earth and second to none.
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This past Memorial Day reminded us of the loss of countless brave men and women who literally gave all they had…and ultimately their life. Various TV programs offered stories of devastating injury, long recuperations and the heartbreak of loving family members who struggled through seeing their ‘hero’ suffer until the point of recovery. Even still…many lives were changed forever with debilitating challenges…still and all…our vets have risen to the challenge along with their devoted wives and children adapting, adjusting and accepting the hand they were dealt. Courage? Determination? Hard work? Perseverance? Loyalty to fellow vets – encouraging them to disallow debilitating injuries to rob their life and their happiness – sharing painfully devastating memories out loud open to scrutiny and opinion in classes for P.T.S.D. where souls are hung out to dry along with hope that heartfelt testimony with help a ‘brother’ or ‘sister’ will find comfort and self forgiveness.
Our veterans are tough…and I do mean TOUGH. They are worthy of every good thing and they are great teachers about life for the rest of us. Their wounds though sometimes difficult to see visually span the gambit of our imagination and their difficult to accept accomplishments during war time and/or combat are for many hard to accept.
For the men and women who have been through so much, I pray that you feel the love that surrounds you. And even when you don’t feel like a hero…know that you are all dear to our heart, sincerely appreciated for your service and that we celebrate your home coming…each and every one of you. We only wish you could know…really know just how special you are and just how much we love you all.
Until next time…thank you for serving our country, defending our Constitution, for inspiring all of us to do more…and for reading GIG LINE. Look for our veterans in their T-shirts & hats and in slow traffic vehicle bumper stickers, then if you get a chance wave or give a thumbs up…let them (our veterans) and active duty servicemen and women know what they mean to you and your family.
You know the drill…be happy, be safe and be proud! If you know a veteran who could use some help or a friend…refer them to another vet; contact the local Outer Banks V.F.W. Post 10950 – member Jim Norrell (252) 489-9421 or the OBX Marine Corps League #1264 (252) 305-4768 or an American Legion Post or you can call me (252) 202-2058 and I’ll get the word to the veterans I know who would be willing to refer relative sources of help. God bless you all and please stay tuned!