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Gig Line: Great things for our veterans

There are many good things that are being done for our veterans on a local level, some of which everyone may not be aware of, so I hope to shed some light on the matter with the hope that you or someone you know might benefit.

Dare County Veteran Service Officer Patty O’Sullivan – 252-475-5604, dcvac@darenc.com – is always the first point of contact that I refer veterans I talk to. Patty takes her work very seriously and more times than I can count veterans have expressed their appreciation about the help she has given them in acquiring a replacement copy of their DD-214, explaining benefits or entitlements they might be eligible for and assisting them in filing claims as well as following up with them on anything having to do with their issues or concerns. She refers them to helpful resources and, though not able to determine the outcome of a veteran’s claim, always hopes for the best for them and their family. If you are a veteran and you have not considered how serving our country might have medical benefit to you now, please contact Patty to make an appointment to meet with her. Even if you have filed a claim in the past that was denied, it might be worth discussing with Patty in case the V.A. has amended its criteria in certain situations, especially regarding the Presumptive List.

The Dare County Veterans Advisory Council that was established by our Dare County Commissioners on May 7, 2012 has come a long way, baby. The council and its seven members have made great strides when it comes to veteran outreach, education and acknowledgement. All meetings are open to the public and convene monthly (except December) on the 4th Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Dare County Administrative Building, 954 Marshall C. Collins Dr. in Manteo. One of the many things the group has accomplished is creating a unique and free Dare County Veterans Discount Card that all county resident veterans and property owners (even absentee) that will entitle them to discounts at nearly 100 businesses from Hatteras to Corolla. The discounts vary per proprietors’ discretion and range from 10-25% and the options to save money run the gambit from local eateries to auto parts to gift shops to hardware and literally everything in between. All local veterans must do is to contact me (Marsha Brown) at 252-202-2058 or write to me at giglineheroes@aol.com (Patty can also issue the card); provide your DD-214 for review only (we do not keep a copy or record SS#) and a driver’s license for review and that’s it! The process takes about 10 minutes and your card number is recorded as having been issued. It is not transferable to another family member, but it is a greatly appreciated means for our veterans to be honored by our business owners who care deeply about our veterans’ service and sacrifice.

Also check out the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council homepage online at www.darenc.com/vets where you will see tabs for ABOUT; the ADVISORY COUNCIL list of members and contact info; the DISCOUNT CARD info; the CALENDAR list of upcoming events and RESOURCES (veteran-related organizations). At a later time, I will write about the many other things the council has done in our veterans’ behalf, but for now, I’d also like to share that several grants have been applied for and acquired by the council, the last being very recent, that is forwarded directly to the Interfaith Community Outreach (I.C.O.) 252-480-0070 located at 115 Mustian St. in Kill Devil Hills. Please note: If you or a veteran friend has medical, financial or grocery needs, please take the time to call or refer them to this outstanding organization. They do good work on a massive scale across Dare and Currituck County and process veteran related grant monies, private donations, etc. to help our deserving veterans. No doubt they have been an answer to prayer for many who are going through much and their purpose is to help. Don’t hesitate, don’t be shy, don’t put it off. We all go through rough spots in life sometimes and the I.C.O. has earmarked funds that were donated specifically to help veterans. They’re good people – call them.

Lastly – always remember the steadfast brotherly/sisterly love shown through our local veteran organizations. Each one is dedicated to our veterans and the support they provide to our vets and their families is immeasurable. Trust me, I know.

Also, there is a local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Eagles #4506 which meets in Nags Head at 2706 S. Croatan Hwy. #9020 – contact # 252-441-8520 if you are a member elsewhere or would like to join them.

Our nation is grieving right now. Prayers are constantly bending God’s ear about all the turn of events in Afghanistan. Our veterans serving there right now and who have served there in the past deserve our respect, our appreciation, our honor to them and their families here at home and our prayers. All veterans deserve our heartfelt respect and admiration. God bless our troops around the world.

Until next time, be healthy, safe and proud. Love on our veterans wherever you see them; shake their hand; acknowledge them when they pass you by; show them that they, our flag and our nation are still hands down and forever the best of the best. I love you all – I truly do. Check out my new website: giglineheroes.com (much will be added, please have patience; it’s brand new!). God bless you and those you love. Stay tuned.

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

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