Gig Line: More good news!
Published 7:23 am Tuesday, January 17, 2023
Hello everybody! There are several things to bring you up to date about, the first being that “The Wall That Heals” will come and set up on display in Dare County this coming November 2023! If you typically read Gig Line, you have no doubt read in past columns about our anticipation of this incredible tribute to Vietnam Veterans. The names of those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice and passed while serving in Vietnam numbering 58,281 are engraved on the synthetic granite panels and those who have passed following their return here at home are acknowledged aside from the wall.
Many specific details about this outstanding opportunity for all Dare County residents and guests who would like to attend will be forthcoming as a Dare County website regarding this event is being constructed as we speak. The website will provide broad information about The Wall That Heals itself as well as an invitation to veterans, family members and veteran supporters alike who would like to volunteer to help promote, set up the wall, dismantle it at the completion of its display period and to learn how to help make this happen, those being: volunteering on site to help veterans and their families/friends locate names on the Wall; direct visitors to restroom facilities; answer pertinent questions regarding the event; help guard The Wall That Heals 24 hours a day, especially throughout the night. There is no question the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council, who will host this monumental event, will need serious monetary support. As secretary of the council and working on the event committees, we are looking at acquiring a budget of $25,000 and it would be a real blessing to reach our goal well before it arrives in Dare County.
Once The Wall That Heals Dare County website is completed, it will be announced thoroughly, so in advance, I ask that you all look for it in the coming weeks. You may be of far greater help to bring this beautiful tribute to the Outer Banks than you even realize, so please, please, contact me if you know of how you would like to help as I am compiling a list of volunteers who can physically help erect it and by all other means. We (the council) want this to be an unforgettable, educational and meaningful experience for our survivor Vietnam veterans, their family members and for everyone who has grieved the loss of a Vietnam veteran they knew and loved to the Vietnam War.
This extraordinary visual of the original Vietnam Veterans Memorial permanently established in Washington, DC will help everyone more fully understand the magnitude and loss of our American soldiers and the depth of its impact on those who returned home. In addition, the actual panels which entail a three-quarter scale, 375 feet long and at the tallest point 7.5 feet high. This display will also be accompanied by a mobile education center that travels with it to all site locations.
The Wall That Heals is scheduled to arrive to the Outer Banks on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at the Soundside Event Site in Nags Head. By Wednesday, it should be fully erected and by evening, that day and, weather permitting, visitors can come for a “soft opening.” From that point in time, it will remain open to the public 24 hours a day until its departure from the site on Sunday, November 19, 2023.
Prior to its arrival here, it will have traveled to 32 previous destinations across the United States. No doubt, there will be many tears, hugs and touching encounters between fellow Vietnam veterans and those who stand by, with and for the courageous men and women who served “boots on ground” while there.
It is also important to note that tours for school students, civic groups and business employee groups who wish to tour the education center will have the opportunity to do so. More on what to do to schedule a tour for your group will be forthcoming on the website that is currently underway with expected completion this February.
Again, I am asking as a Vietnam veteran widow, that you all please contact me and offer whatever help you can or expect to be able to offer for this spectacular event. My cell phone number is 252-202-2058, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org (please reference in the email subject line The Wall That Heals). I don’t mind telling you straight up – we are going to need a LOT of help to ensure this undertaking be one that nobody will ever forget; that hopefully veterans of the Vietnam War will feel healing, comfort and love from all who support, assist onsite and show interest in honoring them. They deserve it … they came home with little to no affection and appreciation for all they had endured and it’s our chance to go all out and show everyone who lives, works or owns property in Dare County just how much we honor their service and sacrifice.
It’s been 50 years since the end of the Vietnam War in 1973 and a long-overdue and much deserved “Welcome Home” … “Thank You” … and “We Love You” is due. This is our chance to show the veterans and their loved ones how much they mean to us and that we haven’t forgotten the battles they fought while there and since they came home. Please help us do this for them!
We will need a lot of advertising, promotional, word of mouth, social media and every other source available to us to get the word out to not only locals, but also to visitors from everywhere that this will be happening, however, please wait until the Dare County website is inclusive of The Wall That Heals information so all the information that is disseminated will be absolutely correct.
If, in the meantime, if you have questions I can answer or investigate for you about this awesome pending affair, again, please call/text me at 252-202-2058.
Also, remember the free 13-week Grief Share class starting this coming Wednesday, January 18 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church, located at 300 Ananias Dare St. in downtown Manteo. The class is taught by Peggy Snead and a few very important things to note: you are not asked to talk about your grief or to even speak if you don’t want to; the atmosphere is comfortable and confidential; it is of great benefit to anyone who has lost a loved one who are trying to adjust to life without them … trust me, I know and I highly recommend it. If you feel that you would like to attend, please come; no pressure to say or do anything; respect for your privacy and your grief is evident. If you feel this informal, casual gathering might help you, please come and if you don’t feel you’re ready to yet, come on any Wednesday, same time/place, through April. Each week there are new discussions, new videos and it’s like the class starts fresh each time, so you never feel it’s too late in the class schedule to join in. I’ve attended two different class session periods and I highly recommend it.
Update on cellphonesforsoldiers.com: We have collected another 34 cell phones to forward to their center (in Georgia) that refurbishes them for our soldiers and veterans. Thank all of you who have deposited your old, broken or no longer used cell phones in the boxes located at various sites across Dare County. You’re such a blessing!
To talk about your medical disability, to determine your potential benefits or to file a claim through the V.A. or to acquire a duplicate DD-214, please contact our veteran service officer, Patty O’Sullivan, on her work cell at 252-473-7749 or at her office at 252-475-5604 and leave a detailed message with your name and a reachable phone number. Patty is a dedicated professional who will answer your questions and discuss the potential of a V.A. disability claim. If you wish to acquire a Dare County Veterans Discount Card, call either me or Patty. To have one, you must have your DD-214 showing honorable discharge, proper ID preferably a driver’s license (not necessarily N.C. issued) and either a copy of your permanent residency in Dare County (a rental lease or utility bill with your name on it or a Dare County property tax bill. The process takes all of 10 minutes and you will save money at over 100 businesses on the Outer Banks from Corolla to Hatteras Village.
Until next time, thank you for reading Gig Line and for your interest in our veterans and The Wall That Heals. Thank you if you have made a donation toward the expenses to bring it here. I could just hug you! For previous Gig Line columns, please search giglineheroes.com. Thank you all and be healthy, safe and happy. Remember love is needed in this world, give it with your whole heart! I love you all. God bless you! Stay tuned!