Gig Line: Veterans matter – always and forever!

Published 2:04 pm Thursday, March 16, 2023

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Well, everyone – guess what? The Wall That Heals website is officially LIVE! Yippee! Check out The Dare County website is well done, interesting and impressive! It addresses every important aspect, such as the schedule, including the not-to-be-missed arrival into Dare County on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 (with all the loyal to veteran bikers who will escort it in); the option to volunteer to help erect, guard and dismantle it before its departure on Sunday, November 19, 2023; the option to donate; and it includes a short video that inspires you beyond words to take part in this grand event.

Speaking of … National Vietnam War Veterans Day is observed this month on Wednesday, March 29. This day was set aside to honor Vietnam veterans. Why was this date chosen? Because it earmarks “the day the last U.S. combat troops departed Vietnam, as well as the same timeframe which Hanoi released the last of its acknowledged prisoners of war,” per info I found researching the National Conference of State Legislatures. Reading further, I came to realize it was President Richard Nixon in 1974 who declared the first Vietnam Veterans Day one year after the withdrawal in 1973.

Mike Kelly’s 32nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Nags Head will take place on Sunday, March 19, 2023 at 1 p.m. If you are a veteran and you would like to walk with our veterans or ride in the van, please be at the American Legion Post 26, 302 W. Lake Dr., (west side of the bypass across from Ladles Soups) in Kill Devil Hills. Please be there no later than 11:30 a.m. – if you aren’t there on time, the veteran group will have to leave … and nobody wants that. In order to meet the requirements to participate in the parade, it’s a must that the van and truck/trailer leave at the appointed time. It’s always nice to attend Mike’s much anticipated parade, but to be a walker or a rider (if you’re physically up to it) with your brothers and sisters makes it even more special!

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The Patriot Foundation has provided information about the scholarship programs eligibility requirements, who is eligible; applicant criteria; sponsoring veteran/service member criteria and income criteria. Per the website: “The scholarship application for the Fall 2023 term is April 1st – May 31st, 2023. Applications can be completed online at” This website is worthy of investigation. Patty O’Sullivan, Dare County veteran service officer, asked that I include this information about the event for anyone who might be interested. Thanks Patty!

The Dare County Veterans Advisory Council adopted the project of collecting old, used, damaged cell phones and tablets to send to a center in Georgia where they utilize them for the benefit of our soldiers and veterans. You all have been wonderful about donating cell phones and tablets in the designated boxes at various offices/facilities in the county. Patty has been very instrumental in collecting the phones, packaging them up and shipping them out. Please think about the ones you’ve thrown in the dresser drawer not knowing what to do with them and tell your family and friends. is where you can find more info about the quest for as many phones as we can collect to send in. You can find the donation boxes at the Thomas A. Baum Senior Center in Kill Devil Hills; the Virginia S. Tillett Community Center in Manteo; the Fessenden Center in Buxton and the Dare County Administration Building in Manteo. Again, thank you all and please keep them coming!

In the coming months, we will have Veteran Advisory Council booths at many events. Please take the time to stop by and pick up information about the council, The Wall That Heals and the free Veterans Discount Card providing discounts at approximately 134 businesses from Corolla to Hatteras Village. If you have not acquired your card, please either call me at 252-202-2058 or call Patty on her work cell at 252-473-7749 or her office phone at 252-475-5604. Either one of us can issue the card to you provided you can show us your DD-214 that states your discharge was honorable and that you are a Dare County resident by means of property ownership or a lease. If you own property, please bring a copy of your property tax bill and if you rent your dwelling, please bring a copy of your lease agreement or a utility bill in your name. The last thing we need to see is your driver’s license, which does not have to be issued in North Carolina. The documents we request are not copied or kept; we simply need them for review. The process takes all of 15 minutes and that’s it!

If you’re a biker or even if you aren’t, please stop by the OBX Bike Rally, April 26 – April 29 at the Outer Banks Event Site in Nags Head. The group is comprised of incredible people who not only work tirelessly to support our kids at Christmas, but they are big veteran supporters and our bikers will escort The Wall That Heals here in November! Let’s also support all their events whenever we can.

Until next time, be healthy, safe and happy! There are countless folks around you that appreciate and love you. Look for the good in every day, pray for our troops near and far and please lift up our politicians and lawmakers. Remember that God loves you more than you can even comprehend … and I love you, too! For more Gig Line columns and stories, please search If you’d like to write to me, reach out at or call/text my cell at 252-202-2058. God bless you and everyone you love. Stay tuned!