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Gig Line: Respect reigns high

It was interesting the night of the election. I was sitting in my recliner still watching the news and at last time check, it was just after 3 a.m. The TV was still set on the news and the channel changer was on the end table next to my chair. Just before I shut my eyes and dozed off in a sleepy haze, no official winner had been determined since so much counting was still underway.

When I woke up, it wasn’t to the same news channel I had had it on, it was on a channel I never, ever watch and a movie “War of the Worlds” of all things was on – perhaps you have seen it. I am not a fan of science fiction, nor make believe space creatures or aliens. What caught my eye was the contrast between fake creatures and real life and to be honest, it reminded me of the battle going on in our nation – not the big metal creatures that consumed folks, ripped buildings apart or destroyed our cities, towns and landscape, but rather that the invisible battles that have been heightened and created now have worked its will to tear down our democracy, our history, our way of life and the thought of the negative influence on the vulnerable came to the surface and I was sad.

The overwhelming desire among some people to undermine and even destroy the very things we as Americans have held dear for so many centuries is heartbreaking. When do you ever remember such dissention and even violence toward people who simply disagree with others? I am 70 years old and I can’t ever think of a time such as this.

November 1 was my husband and veteran hero Billy’s birthday and the fifth year for me without him. Days before his birthday, I was consumed with thoughts of him and the many birthday celebrations we shared together. Sometimes we’d go out to eat a nice dinner, but not all that often. We mostly just loved being at home or at one of our kids houses celebrating the day God brought Billy into this world. He liked it that way, he wasn’t a fan of “foo-foo” and preferred just being surrounded by family and friends joking and laughing accompanied by lots of hugs and kisses.

It was his birthday – again – but I could only kiss his picture on my cell phone and tell him, how much I love and miss him. I asked God too that if He could hug him, I would so appreciate it and while it may sound silly to some folks, I know God is good, He knows our hearts desires and hears our prayers and nothing is beyond the scope of His love for us, so just maybe He did.

I knew of course that shortly behind Billy’s birthday was Veteran’s Day, which kept the steady flow of thoughts going. It is the special day of honor and celebration of the outstanding men and women veterans who from the new enlistee to top brass served this glorious nation.  Recollection of pictures of Billy in his Army olive drab T-shirt, camos and boots sitting on the side of the ship that took him and his buddies to Vietnam came into mind. He had a 38” waist then, a light brown crew cut and he had a look of determination on his handsome, brave face. Then other visuals of him in his dress uniform, so handsome, so serious, as if his eyes were focused on the mission to protect and serve. I thought too about how he detested seeing an American flag in shreds or laying on the ground and how he wished there were more of them everywhere.

My daddy was a proud veteran and retiree of the U. S. Coast Guard as was my cousin and great man Edward Lee Mann; my uncle Bill Tremblay (Mama’s brother) served in the U. S. Marine Corps in Korea and my Daddy’s brother, Uncle Clyde R. Mann was a Brigadier General in the U. S. Marine Corps who served in WW II, Korea and Vietnam. When he passed in 1989 from an apparent heart attack, he was only 68, but in those years, he had accomplished much for our country. In 1973 when he retired, he was the Marine’s Chief Legal Officer. At his funeral service in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, my uncle was acknowledged as a “great leader,” “a patriot,” a “devoted father and husband” and a man who “sought to live a life of honesty and integrity.” The most recent family member to retire her service is my niece, Denise N. Cooper, HMCM (SW) U. S. Navy (in essence, a Hospital Corpsman who oversaw the medical well-being of her brothers and sisters in arms) and her brother Stephen S. Cooper, too, served in the Navy as an Electronic Warfare Technician; my brother-in-law Randey Rich, USN Retired as a DK1 and there are others who have proudly donned the uniform of our great military and each and every one in my family and yours too has made us all so proud and grateful.

To all of you veterans who are reading this Gig Line, please forgive us if we fail to show you the gratitude we feel in our heart for you. We love you and we are so immensely proud of and thankful for you. God bless each of you and your families every single day and Happy Veteran’s Day 365 days a year.

Yesterday, I watched the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump stand in the downpour of rain at the annual wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery in Washington D.C. I was proud of the monument itself, of the acknowledgement of our deceased veterans and heroes and I was proud of President Trump, too. I was proud of the stand he and his administration has made on behalf of our veterans, for the help in our service men and women getting the Choice Card, but also that he has built up our depleted military equipment and arsenal. I would much rather see us have such an impressive array of defense and offense equipment that no foreign adversary would attempt to hurt us and to feel more confident that we may never have to use them than to seem unthreatening or unintimidating and be caught with our fatigues down around our ankles.

Regardless of the final outcome and end result of this 2020 election, I will always be grateful for and appreciate the things President Trump has done to unite nations, to support the State of Israel, to promote our military, our law enforcement, our belief in God and our unborn human life. I am proud of him and those who have supported his vision and if you disagree, I respect that, but I hope you will accept, too, that we as Americans are entitled to a civil difference of opinion and that we should all rise above hate, disparity and punishment against those with differing points of view. If former Vice President Joe Biden is the certified incoming President, I will pray for him and his family and that his leadership over our great country will be one that God would be proud of.

Until next time, I thank you dear veterans for all that you have done for all of us, for those you have protected on foreign soil and here at home; for those you have defended, wept beside, prayed over and witnessed their loss of life on the battlefields, deserts and jungles. No matter your military rank or title, no matter what you did stateside or far, far away, you are and will forever be our heroes.

For any veteran who could use some help, please contact either Patty O’Sullivan, our official Dare County Veteran Service Officer, at office phone 252-475-5604 or by email at dcvac@darenc.com or by reaching out to me at 252-202-2058 or by email at giglineheroes@aol.com.

I love you all so much and I thank our Lord for you every day. God bless and stay tuned!

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

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