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Gig Line: Kudos to veteran supporters

There is a lot to be said about those who love veterans and when we listen to the news or we’re on the internet, we should pay attention to stories about projects and volunteers who donate their time, resources and money to show our veterans we care. Over the past few months especially, I’ve seen, heard or read about the following:

The Patriot Fleet/Crete Carrier and Shaffer Trucking proudly claim to hire mostly veterans and whose trucks depict beautiful images of patriotism – the American flag and dog tag art work personal to the truck drivers themselves. Perhaps you would be interested in driving – regardless, you can learn more about them at cretecarrier.com – it’s a neat “read” if you have time.

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. as described on their website, are “dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities including education and outings.” You might want to check out their website projecthealingwaters.org regarding their North Carolina events as well as other locations.

Building Homes for Heroes is another source of veteran help in which their goal is to “gift” mortgage free homes to veterans who have been severely injured while serving. The homes they generously give to our veterans and their families have either been built or modified to meet the needs of the veteran. If you’d like to learn more about what they do, search buildinghomesforheroes.org

Though I only mentioned three organizations, there are so many more to learn about and/or support. God bless them all! If you research them, you’ll see that the CEO and board members sometimes don’t accept compensation for the work they perform on behalf of our veterans.

You know folks, our ears absorb (unfortunately) a lot of negative news e-v-e-r-y single day and sometimes, it’s hard to even listen to it at all but when it overwhelms you, just take a minute and consider all the GOOD that’s going on in our world . . . our nation in particular . . . think about the outstanding men and women who have served and returned home with broken bodies and hearts only to gather up their strength and determination to keep going, to smile, to thank God they came back at all and who  press onward and upward in spite of it all. They are incredible, they are remarkable, think about their appreciation of what others (organizations) have done for them and the fantastic ways veteran supporters have influenced or changed lives and your frown will turn upside down . . . I promise!

Those who demonstrate disrespect toward our flag, our veterans and our police officers, I feel sorry for. Not cool, my friends. I’m embarrassed for them and I wonder what really drives them to do some of the despicable things they do. Is it for lack of attention as a child? Have they never felt true love from anybody? It’s so sad . . . not even so much what they do as much as that they do it at all. Regardless and despite the demonstrations, protests etc. – pride, honor and respect always overrides their efforts – veteran appreciation, love and support for our men and women in uniform take president (thank the good Lord) and the rest is filed away hopefully first, with prayers for those who don’t seem to have any peace in their heart.

Our Dare County Board of Commissioners cared when they first implemented the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council in 2012; then, our seven-member Council cared, reaching out to our 4,000+ Dare County veteran population (and visiting vets) for nearly seven years now, creating the free Dare County Veterans I. D. Card, which offers access to nearly 70 businesses across the Outer Banks. Those proprietors cared enough too to say “thank you” to our vets offering discounts for their goods and/or services; and the folks from all walks of life, from all branches of service, have told others about the I. D. Card because they cared. Now, two neighboring counties have followed our lead and have established a Veterans Advisory Council too!

Our Outer Banks V.F.W. Post 10950 has cared, making a big difference in Dare County and our communities helping veterans in countless, incredible ways. Our American Legion Post 26 and their faithful commitment to set up poppy distribution booths (V.F.W. too) generate donations to help our veterans because they’ve cared and think about the Marine Corps League Outer Banks Detachment #1264 (obxmarines.org) whose unwavering dedication to benefit the annual Toys for Tots Program and our three high school scholarships and more programs/projects they do annually because they’ve cared.

See what I mean folks? We have truly wonderful ways to love each other, help each other, seek out people to help in this world and we’re all about it . . . right here.

Veterans are the epitome of sacrifice, honor and patriotism – they (you) make me happy. When I see a veteran wearing a hat depicting service in a military branch or the Vietnam War or the Korean War and beyond, I promise you I tear up . . . I can’t help it. I love you all so much. And when I see your show of pride, I think of my sweetie pie Billy and I miss him again and again and again each time. He loved this country and the camaraderie he shared with fellow service men and women across Dare County and everywhere else he went where veterans were.

So, to sum it up . . . you are the glue that holds us together and many of you witnessed firsthand the meaning of real sacrifice. You inspire us, you make us smile and when we look at you, it’s as if you’re standing there ten feet tall! Thank you for everything you have done for us, for all you’ve been through, for all you have seen, heard, felt and for the prayers you have no doubt spoken to Heaven for your buddies.

Our beautiful country of these United States is great because of you – without you where would we all be now? I shudder to think. And if you see me driving my Billy’s 2002 Toyota Tundra with the hood peeling paint, wave at me or toot your horn. I’d love to wave or toot back! Oh yes, you’ll hear it because it has a dual exhaust and it’ll have Vietnam Veteran decals on it! My Billy loved his Toyota and I drove it to his celebration of life service. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Until next time, be healthy, safe and happy. Embrace the valuable person you are and let others love and celebrate you. If you are a veteran, thank you and if you’re a deceased veteran’s wife, husband, mother, father, son or daughter . . . or friend, just know that you are very special too. If you’d like to share your thoughts, please write to me at giglineheroes@aol.com or text me at 252-202-2058. God bless you all and stay tuned . . .

READ MORE COLUMNS AND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR IN OUR OPINION SECTION.

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