• 77°

Gig Line: A very important read!

If you read my last week’s Gig Line, you may remember that I had discussed my hope to locate some affordable masks for veterans. You may also remember that I had mentioned the last Dare County veteran count I had acquired from Raleigh, N. C. was well over 4,000. That is true, however, I want to be clear . . . my expectation was not to acquire 4,000 masks! Hopefully, veterans everywhere have already acquired a mask to help protect themselves as well as their family members. I can only hope Gig Line readers understood that without more in-depth clarification. What I was looking to determine is the best price for the masks because in the process of my issuing the free Dare County Veteran Discount Cards, which entitle veterans to discounts on goods and services and at eateries etc. (from one end of the Outer Banks to the other), a supply of the masks on hand to offer them if they didn’t have one already was my goal.

For veterans or family members who are just reading Gig Line for the first time, these very special and unique cards that enable veterans who acquire them savings options of over 100 businesses and all a resident or property owner veteran is required to do is to present me (for review purposes only) their DD-214 showing Honorable Discharge and an acceptable form of I.D. (namely a Driver’s License). The Driver’s License does not have to be for North Carolina, however it is required that the veteran seeking a card either resides in Dare County permanently or that he/she owns property either improved or vacant. They may live here and occupy a rental home, we would just need to see a copy of their residential lease and or a utility bill with their name on it. The card is greatly appreciated and by all accounts widely used by the vets who have already received them. The Dare County Veteran’s Advisory Council which brainstormed the card concept to acknowledge our veterans to save money on a broad range of purchases but to also create an opportunity to personally meet them and introduce them to sources of veteran information that could make a significant difference in their lives. Many veterans have not considered that their health problems could be a result of exposure to elements while in service i.e. Agent Orange or maybe the veteran has a substantial hearing loss due to use of specific equipment. Regardless, it is important that all veterans are appreciated and are made aware of potential benefits or entitlements that might be available to them during their life and at their passing.

So again, if there are people you know who make the masks, I would be interested in knowing how much they charge. I know of a couple of ladies who sell them reasonably, but they are very busy with orders and as a personal project and expenditure, I hope to acquire at least 25, so I will know that if a veteran I meet to issue the card doesn’t have one, I will have one to give them as a thank you for their service and to help keep both of us safe!

Help, help and help! The outstanding Outer Banks V.F.W. Post 10950 Auxiliary is asking PLEASE for potential members both men and women and age-eligible children of veterans to attend a meeting this Monday, May 18 at 6:30 pm at the location of the Seagate Tax Service, 114 W. Meadow St., Kill Devil Hills 27948 (located in the general area of the K.D.H. Dare County Library and the Thomas A. Baum Center behind the K.D.H. Post Office.

This dedicated group have done wonders for the veterans in Dare County; they show them that people care . . . that they are NOT forgotten, especially those in Peak Resources Outer Banks and Spring Arbor of the Outer Banks and beyond! They have volunteered tirelessly to support our OBX V.F.W. Post 10950, encouraging membership, assisting with many aspects of the annual fundraising events and they have been a blessing to our communities! They now need help outside of the organization so please consider being a part of the Auxiliary by attending their meeting this Monday night to offer support and to hopefully volunteer to hold an office. Surely there are some folks whose husband, wife, parent, child have served overseas and who are V.F.W. eligible who would like and want to help. We are all busy . . . we are all cautious about being around anyone these days, trust me, I get it . . . just please bring your mask and sit outside away from the others for a brief, but extremely important meeting! This meeting is no joke and if there are not enough people willing to step up and serve in an official capacity, we will lose our Auxiliary! Please, please help! Not only do our veterans need and deserve this group of good, caring people but the Auxiliary need us too! If you do not want to get out of your vehicle, still come. I hope to see you there, I plan to attend and I sure would like to see you there too!

Memorial Day is coming soon and it will be different of course due to COVID-19. Limitations are announced frequently about postponements and cancelations of veteran related events that our great country has always celebrated to honor our fallen heroes. This coronavirus has hurt us through death, sickness, extreme financial burdens and now it has crippled our ability to come together to wave our beautiful U.S. flags and hug and cheek kiss our incredible brave men and women veterans who deserve it so much. Keep your American pride at the forefront just the same . . . if you see a vet when you’re riding through a parking lot, toot and wave, blow kisses or just lip the words, “We love you!” or at the very least “Thank you!”

This darned virus may be kicking our butt for now but we’ve battled unforeseen, unexpected heartache before and like before, we’ll get up, forge ahead, keep going, into the storm that knocks us to the ground and if it’s hard to stand up again, we have each other to help us up to trudge on . . . that’s because our mighty veterans have set that example for us. We are not just in this together – which is true – we will come out of this together!

Until next time, consider praying . . . a lot. Our nation and our leaders have tremendous burdens on their plates and its spilling over trying to keep our families safe and not destitute; imagine for a minute if all of this was on our plate?? What if people criticized us from morning to night finding fault with everything we did? Dear Lord, I pray for God’s grace and His anointing of knowledge, good decisions from all we lean on and to put the stupid stuff aside. Personally, I am over it! The blame game, this not a time for bickering folks . . . can we just stand beside each other as a united front against this plague and not against each other . . . just until we can get through this? Is it possible? That would be nice! Please call me at 252-202-2058 if you know a veteran who needs help or write to me at giglineheroes@aol.com. You can also contact Patty O’Sullivan, Dare County Veteran Service Officer at 252-475-5604 or email her at dcvac@darenc.com. Though many Dare County offices are not open to the public at this time, just call or email her and she will respond, that I promise!

I love our veterans and I love their families too! Take care, be safe, wear your mask and even gloves if you are out and about. It is better to be safe and look like a bank robber than to be robbed by COVID-19! Stay tuned.

FOR MORE COLUMNS AND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, CHECK OUT OUR OPINION SECTION HERE.