Gig Line: Great things for awesome people

Published 9:29 am Sunday, October 6, 2019

Back in the day when my interest in writing peaked, I read a book that recommended a writer write “what you know” and that is what I’ve done ever since.

For fantasy writers, my hat’s off to them and maybe someday I’ll take a swing at it, but there is so much to write about that is real and sincere and important to communicate that to date, the pretend stuff has alluded me.

You and me and everybody else has a story to tell about life, personal   experiences, hopes and dreams, joys and sorrows and the people who have touched your life, made you happy, inspired you and who make you smile every time you see them.

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The greatest influence in my life is the Lord and the fact that He brought Billy and I together into a brief courtship, marriage in six weeks, then two incredible children and four grandchildren. I am so thankful that God gave me the privilege to be Billy’s wife and the mother of his children. I’m also thankful for how Billy inspired me to love patriotism, veterans, all branches of service and to pray for the safe return of our deployed troops and for those whose body, mind and spirit were hurt as a result of their military service.

Veterans are exceptional and worthy of every good thing in life. They (you) are proud, brave, bold, determined and accomplished. We look up to you; we stare with pride at your uniforms and your caps that boast your branch of service or the wars you have survived because your presence is beautiful. You are our defenders, you have our nation’s back, you are our heroes.

This ole girl doesn’t know a lot maybe, but what I have come to know better over the last seven years is our veterans. I’ve had the blessing of getting to know you, hear your stories, see the gleam in your eye when you talk about your brothers and sisters, the places you traveled during service, the mentors who touched your life and how serving our nation impacted your life. It is my honor and my privilege to meet with you every chance I can get to issue you a free Dare County Veterans Discount Card (formerly known as Dare County Veteran I.D. Card) and to just thank you for your service. Sometimes, I tear up because I see in you what I saw in my Billy’s eyes . . . American pride. I miss him so much, but I’m touched when I see veterans who have “walked the walk” and I just want to hug each one of you. Sometimes when I meet you and before we part ways, I reach out to shake or hold your hand and just say “thank you” and I really mean it.

We have so much to be proud of here on the Outer Banks. Our commissioners established the seven-member Dare County Veterans Advisory Council in May of 2012. Over the years we’ve had some changes in membership due to illness, a move out of our county, full retirement and extended travel, but we’ve been so blessed to have an outstanding membership along the way to date working every day to make a difference. The council meets every fourth Thursday of the month at 3 p.m. at the Dare County Administrative Building, Room 168 (downstairs left of receptionist), 954 Marshall C. Collins Dr. in Manteo. Note: November meeting will take place the week before our normal schedule on Nov. 21 due to Thanksgiving the fourth week. Everyone is invited and welcome to attend.

In the coming Gig Line columns, I’ll elaborate on what our council does to future promote our very deserving veterans and acknowledge the many wonderful business owners who have sacrificed profit discounting their goods and services specifically for our veteran’s benefit as their way of saying thank you.

Also, Veterans Week will be here before you know it and it’ll be a big deal! Chris Sawin, director of the Dare Arts Council, has done an outstanding job along with his dedicated staff at creating new and exciting things for our resident and visiting veterans and e-v-e-r-y vet should consider attending the memorable activities. (Remember . . . I’m writing about what I know!) I have attended several of the events over the years and Chris, Barbara St. Amonde and his staff and others have worked tirelessly to bring our veterans amazing opportunities. Billy enjoyed being a part of the activities and their impact on his life was remarkable. And another thing . . . with veterans who have been through a lot, the trauma of war and the loss of friends, it helps to be amid others who have too. I can tell you firsthand that what I saw in my husband was a healing influence.

There are so many people in Dare County who love our veterans; who want to show them (you) they care; that they appreciate your sacrifice and who want to give back. Please keep abreast of the events that will take place during the week of November 1 – November 11 and review often for schedule updates, I promise you’ll be so glad you did!

So much to tell you about in upcoming Gig Lines, so please keep reading and in the meantime write to me at or call my cell: 252-202-2058 and share your thoughts. Also, please refer any veterans you know could be helped by a referral; or by Patty O’Sullivan our Dare County Veteran Service Officer or contact any of the local veteran organizations.

Until next time, be happy, be safe and be proud. Love on our vets and each other and stay tuned!