Gig Line: Good news, sad news

Published 1:05 pm Tuesday, April 25, 2023

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Oh, my goodness! There is such great news to share with you in the coming weeks, I can hardly wait!

But first, I want to take this time to thank the good Lord for Mr. Clarence P. Skinner II, who has recently passed. Though my daughter Bonnie had worked with his wife Rose years ago, I didn’t personally know Clarence that well until Billy (my husband) and I planned the first Veterans Day Program event at our church, Manteo First Assembly, in November 2011, followed by the formation of the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council, established May 7, 2012.

Clarence participated in the event at church, speaking eloquently about his 25-year service in the United States Air Force and patriotism. He was a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars and very respected in his community, his church and Dare County. Clarence was the first Dare County Veterans Advisory Council chairman and, as the secretary, I found him to be serious about his responsibility to serve as chairman and to do any/everything he could to help our veterans – his “brothers and sisters.” Billy and I both enjoyed working with Clarence on the council and we were proud of him as an outstanding veteran and friend. Twiford’s Funeral Home is handling his service and if you would like to read about his life in greater detail, please see his obituary here. His life in the U.S. Air Force, as a devoted husband, father and grandfather is quite impressive. God bless his family and loved ones in this difficult time.

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I’m personally not an avid user, but I do like to search inspirational updates, veterans widow sites, recipes and things of that nature on Facebook. Last week while I was scanning through, there was a story about a veteran who was featured in an organ donor honor walk. The entry showed a video in the hospital, the ceremony that honored this veteran and the love and support of all the attendees who lined the corridors in reverence and respect to this great man.

The gentleman and hero was escorted by family and friends and obviously many “brothers” who walked behind the hospital bed that was transported to an elevator quite a distance away. Tears fell as his bed passed by his comrades and care givers; salutes were frequent and his honor walk service included the Thirteen Folds of the Flag – always a beautiful tribute.

The summary talked about the gentlemen’s love of his family and his country and mentioned a GoFundMe reference in the event anyone could help his surviving family. It was sad but very touching and a reminder that he sacrificed his life and limb in service to our country but also in his passing. Perhaps and hopefully, his donation to others will help them live a healthier and longer life.

Notifying family members that our wishes to be a donor at our passing and/or designating ourselves as a willing donor on our driver’s license is a solid way to make it known. Some folks I know are willing but prefer to acknowledge it only when there is no hope for recovery, but they prefer not to claim it too much in advance. Whatever the case may be, it is something to think about and strongly consider.

In the last few years but especially over the last couple of months, I’ve tried my best to learn everything I can about what life was really like for my husband Billy and all the veterans of the Vietnam War. Thanks to a new friend and an old friend (both Vietnam veterans), I’m gaining a better perspective and while the knowledge I gain isn’t information to be joyful about, its good information that as a widow I feel I want and need to know. I’ve said it before, the V.A. Archives Department is not all that forthcoming with details I hoped for, as in the places where he was stationed, etc. And not knowing any of the survivors in my husband’s company, I can’t ask them, but with the help of the books I have and the friends who suffered through it, I’ll know more as time goes on.

Very pertinent information about The Wall That Heals coming to Dare County this November can be found on Please take the time to look at it and hopefully it will get you as excited about it coming as I am.

There is another spectacular event that will take place this May that I will write about next week. Please be sure not to miss next Sunday’s Gig Line for that story … it will feature very awesome veterans doing something really cool and inspiring that you won’t want to miss. Plus, it will be an event that you may be able to help with and be well worth it!

Remember our Veterans Advisory Council meets every fourth Tuesday of the month (except in December); the next meeting scheduled for April 25, 2023 at 6 p.m. in the Dare County Administrative Building – downstairs, first meeting room to the left of reception desk. Everyone is always invited and welcome to attend. The meetings generally last from one to one-and-a-half hours. It would give you a chance to hear more about the support our council offers our veterans and meet the men and women who serve on it.

Don’t forget it you’re a veteran and you haven’t acquired your Dare County Veteran Discount Card, please contact either myself, call or text my cell: 252-202-2058 or contact Patty O’Sullivan, Dare County veterans services officer at office: 252-475-5604, cell: 252-473-7749 or email: patricia.o’ Either of us can issue the free card to you, once we see that you either reside in Dare County or that you own property in Dare County – either improved or vacant land; your driver’s license (does not have to be an N.C. license) and most importantly your DD-214 showing honorable discharge from your service branch. The process takes all of 15 minutes and is well worth it once you see the list of 140 businesses that offer our veterans discounts from 10-20% on goods and services as a thank you for your service and sacrifice.

Until next time, be healthy, safe and happy. There’s no denying that times are tough right now, not just economically but worrisome in many ways with an array of issues gripping our nation and beyond. But as much as the bad seems consistent in trying to crush the good, in the end I believe good and the goodness in people will shine through and   prevail. Please pray with me that I am right.

God loves you and so do I, my friends. Love one another, much like rich cream … rise to the top in every circumstance. Stay tuned!