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

We’re All in This Together – Gig Line #152

GIG LINE

By Marsha M. Brown

GIG LINE is a means or a ‘vessel’ in which to pour out the good news about veterans, who live, work and raise their families in Dare County. It is dedicated to their (your) honor; to thank you for your service to our country; to each other and to all of the rest of us…the citizens of the United States of America…the greatest nation on earth.

Since the first weekly GIG LINE was printed on March 14, 2012, you’ve heard me brag about people or entities such as our Commissioners (for establishing our Veterans Advisory Council)…and our Veteran Service Officer (for the guidance she has given to veterans seeking advice/assistance with claims, benefit questions, Veteran Administration correspondence etc). You’ve heard me praise business owners who show special appreciation and acknowledgment to our men and women who have served…and for our American Legion Post 26 and our V.F.W. Post 10950 members for their dedication and faithfulness and continual service to our nation supporting fellow vets ultimately reminding us that our veterans have earned and deserve continual and unyielding honor.

And yes, I’m the first to admit, I am a woman of m-a-n-y words…’tis true, ‘tis true…but what I’m not is a woman of empty expressions. I don’t ‘fluff’ compliments, ‘kiss up’ or mince my words. I don’t just tell you what you want to hear but what I think will encourage you, embrace you, lift you up and show you that you are a constant in my (our) minds and our hearts. Blowing air up your pants leg or skirt is the least of my life’s desires and when I reference gratitude for a person or entity that truly care about you its because they deserve it. I’m NOT politically correct…fake and phony is bor-ing but acknowledging the real deal people like yourselves and those who love you and take the time to thank you…is my ‘bag’. You all took the oath to genuinely care, protect and serve Americans and we don’t take that lightly.

You may remember some time ago when I told you about a neighboring county that had sought information on how we approached powering up public enthusiasm for our veterans in Dare County. I’ve also mentioned several times that people were hearing about the things we were doing to show our vets not only that we care…but how much we care.

This week I followed up with a visit from Mr. Chad Stephens, Veteran Service Officer for Hertford/Gates County who expressed interest back in December 2014 in our activities/support of our vets. We hadn’t seen him since that initial introduction and we wondered how things were going. When I called him, he seemed excited and proud that they were in the process of implementing their own program and discount card (similar to ours) for their County vets as well. He said he expected to have it up and running by June of this year and thanked us again for the help we had offered. Chad being a veteran himself seemed excited to see the project through. That means a lot to us, you know? Mainly because others who work with veterans in one capacity or another are hearing about Dare County…almost every day we hear compliments and the word is spreading. The reps we’ve heard from or have reached out to ourselves seem energized and eager to breathe new life into their veteran outreach and support now too.

The V.F.W. Outer Banks Post 10950 members are meeting weekly on an event they will host on Saturday, April 25, 2015.  The special occasion will earmark 25 years the V.F.W. Outer Banks Post 10950 has been in existence on the Outer Banks and in honor of those who implemented it; served as a member and who are working together for the goal of showing our vets that they matter. The celebration they will include yummy food catered by Carl Walker (alias: Tom Thumb) who is scheduled to cook/serve pork BBQ, fried chicken with all the fixings; live music will be performed; a special speaker will be on hand to address and thank all veterans for their service and more special fun will include a silent auction…a 50/50 drawing…a special door prize and more! Anyone interested in joining the V.F.W. are invited to attend as well as former members and those seeking to transfer their membership to our local Post 10950. The event will of course raise money for the Post as a means to further support and help projects for our local vets but the overall experience will allow a great platform for meeting, greeting and embracing brothers and sisters of foreign wars many of which live on the Outer Banks.

Members are eager to welcome all veterans interested in helping to preserve the organization overall, growing its membership and upholding its traditions…trust me when I tell you…they have m-a-n-y new plans/activities in the works! If as an individual or business you’re interested in participating as a sponsor, the group would greatly appreciate your financial support. For further info, you’re welcome to call V.F.W. Post 10950 Service Officer & District V.F.W. Post 10950 Senior Vice Commander Bo Simpson: (252) 473-7192. Mostly the group would just be happy to see you there with your children, grandchildren, neighbors and friends. More details will be forthcoming so please stay posted

Our Veterans Advisory Council members strive each and every day to create and execute ways and means to support our veterans. The American Legion Post 26 and the American Legion Unit 26 Ladies Auxiliary are comprised of devoted men and women who are proud of their service (and yours) and their family members who have served as well.  They too would really appreciate your attendance, new membership and support. If you would like to reactive your interest, please contact Commander Clarence Lewis: (252) 305-1934 or call the Post: (252) 715-4251 and leave a message.    

The Veterans Advisory Council first ordered 500 Dare County Veteran I. D. Card(s), but guess what? We are now in the process of placing an order for our second 500 Cards…so thank you for acquiring yours and please spread the word to fellow vets about acquiring theirs. They can get them each Monday (through June 2015) from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM, Dare County Administrative Building, Rm. 142, Manteo. What’s needed? their DD-214 showing Honorable Discharge and proof of local residency (preferably Driver’s License).  There is no charge for the discount card, the process takes about 15 minutes and it’s totally painless! Also…because the list of local businesses that are signing up to honor our local veterans (by discounting their goods and services) when they show their Dare County Veteran I. D. Card at check out, the most up to date list will now be accessed through the www.darenc.com web site.  On the web site you will also find info on future veteran’s events, celebrations, services, fundraisers and meetings etc. so please try to check it out at your earliest convenience and refer to it often. Because there is so much to report weekly in GIG LINE, it simply can’t post the growing number of businesses and keep up. So, please refer to the Dare County site as regularly if possible. If you have a question that I can help you with, please call me: (252) 202-2058.

You are the best of the best my veteran friends! You are what GIG LINE is all about and the inspiration behind it! You are appreciated, loved and you are our heroes…always and forever! Until next time, be happy, be safe and be proud of yourself, your comrades and your country. God bless you all! Stay tuned…

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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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