Gig Line: Just keeping you in the loop!

Published 7:02 am Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Hello everybody! In case you missed the notation that I had made in a previous Gig Line, please indulge me while I reiterate.

Shortly after the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council was established in May of 2012, council members set a goal to reach as many Dare County veterans as possible to thank them (you) for their service and to offer suggestions and/or referral sources for help. It was important to encourage our veterans to consider meeting with our Dare County Veteran Service Officer (V.S.O.) if they hadn’t already (and only if they wanted to) to determine possible disability benefits, or any entitlements they might be due as a result of their service to our country.

The problem was figuring out how to reach them (you) while having no allowable access to names, addresses etc. So . . . the council came together and created a desirability for veterans to come to the council of their own accord and the result was incredibly beneficial to both sides. The council then had an opportunity to express gratitude to our veterans and to provide information that in some cases drastically changed (for the better) the lives of our veterans. Hence, the concept of the Dare County Veteran I.D. Card was born with the intent to get it in as many veterans’ hands as possible (who were interested) was the focus.

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The criteria for a veteran to receive his/her “card” was that they provide (for review purposes only) their DD-214 showing honorable discharge along with a driver’s license or picture I.D. The card was created with the help of a local graphic designer and the first 500 count was readied for distribution. Before too long, literally hundreds of cards were issued to the many deserving veterans who had contacted the council allowing them (you) to receive discounts on goods and services at a large variety of established businesses on the Outer Banks.

Many of you have already received your “card” and use it often at restaurants, hardware stores, auto and marine parts stores as well as for professional service discounts, i.e. tax preparation, heating and air, etc. The “card” has been a blessing without question and the veterans who have it and use it are grateful for the monetary sacrifice on the part of our business owners who provide the discounts demonstrating their respect to our United States military veterans.

This card has been a huge success. It has brought many veterans who reside here or who own property in Dare County not only savings at the check-out registers, but also pride in knowing that Dare County and her people sincerely care about our veterans and their families. It has encouraged phone calls and extensive outreach resulting in veteran education of what entitlements might be (with Patty’s assistance in filing claims and her follow through) and we hear often how much the “card” has meant to the veterans who have acquired them.

Now to my point . . . the initial card read DARE COUNTY VETERAN I. D. CARD and it was numbered on the back along with pertinent information a veteran might need, such as a direct office phone number and email address to our Veteran Service Officer Patty O’Sullivan: 252-475-5604. Also, the card was issued as a convenient means for a veteran to show a business, they were a veteran and they were issued the card enabling them to receive discounts. Newsflash! On the face of the last card re-order, they now read . . . DARE COUNTY VETERAN DISCOUNT CARD. Every aspect of the card is the same; they still numbered and just slightly re-worded to identify the privilege of discounts at participating businesses. The card is free and the proprietor determines his/her business discount percentage (%) – a specific discount is never required or dictated on behalf of the council, it is strictly at the discretion of the business owner or authorized personnel.

The cards initially issued are still as valid as the day they were issued and there is no need to exchange them, I’m simply letting you know that the front side of the card now indicates “discount” card. Another thing, the card eliminates the need for veterans to carry their DD-214 on their person when shopping or doing business.

If you’re a veteran and you have not acquired your “card,” please call me on my cell: 252-202-2058 as I am a Dare County Veterans Advisory Council member myself and I can issue one to you, or you can contact Patty O’Sullivan, Dare County veteran service officer: 252-475-5604 for your card. Patty is the only locally established official link between you and potential help through the VA (Veterans Administration). Patty can help you determine potential VA eligibility (though the decision to grant or deny a claim is not hers to make); she can assist you in acquiring a duplicate DD-214 if the one you were initially issued has been lost and she can provide you in depth information to help you determine what assistance might be available. It is my pleasure also and my sincere joy to assist you in acquiring your discount card as well.

My husband of 48+ years took God’s hand to Heaven in July of 2016, having served in Vietnam and as a result of exposure to Agent Orange. As a proud U. S. Army veteran, he inspired me deeply to love and support all his brothers and sisters who have and currently serve our nation. I loved my husband so, very much and I love you, too. Please call Patty or me if you know a veteran who could use a hand. Our council members are dedicated to you; we all work together with Patty to provide you important information, reference and referral sources, etc. and we invite and encourage you to call on us.

Until next time, be happy, be safe and be proud of yourselves for your service and of each other. From the bottom of my heart, I thank God for you every day. Stay tuned.