Gig Line: A heartfelt thank you

Published 7:26 am Wednesday, June 14, 2023

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Before I get into anything else, I want to express my sincere gratitude for the awesome individuals who perform especially kind deeds for others and in particular for our veterans.

Charlie and Sally … thank you for thinking of me so often and for my sweet Billy, my “Sweetie Pie” who I miss every single day since he went to Heaven almost seven years ago. Through every gesture of your thoughtfulness, it’s obvious how much you love our country and others like yourself, who sacrificed so much. Even though we have never met face to face, I sincerely love you both. Thank you for your patriotism and for never forgetting how much I love and cherish my husband, who not only seemed like an angel by my side over 48+ years on earth, but who I’m very confident became a genuine angel when he passed.

Thank you Barry “Fuzzy” Holt for your service to our country also in Vietnam, for having served as a Dare County Veteran Advisory Council member and as a current member of our Council Committee working to help bring The Wall That Heals to Dare County this November 14, 2023. And thank you for filling in for me in the recent Columbia, NC V.F.W. Memorial Day event. You’re a nice man who loves and cares about your “brothers and sisters;” who comes to their aid when you see them struggle; if they need help or just a friend with an attentive ear. Thank you too for your prayers for them and for your community of Wanchese. We look forward to your speech at the Opening Ceremony for The Wall That Heals on Thursday, November 16 at 10 a.m.

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Thank you to each Dare County Veterans Advisory Council member (Justin, Kevin, Rick, Ellen, Jim and Tony) whom I have the privilege of serving with as secretary. You have each served our nation; you faithfully attend our monthly council meetings; you attend our committee meetings to bring The Wall That Heals here and you who strive in every way possible to reach out to veterans all around us – to help them when they are sick, physically challenged and/or when they just need a friend to talk to. I love you all so much!

Thank you Patty O’Sullivan for your work as Dare County veteran service officer. Your commitment to all the veterans on the Outer Banks from one end to the other as well as veterans who are referred to you by another veteran you have helped is commendable to say the least. You have gone above and beyond to service our veterans and their family members. I know this first hand from the compliments I hear so often and for the work you put into a follow-up regarding my Billy. I thank the Lord too for your willingness to step up and take the lead on the humongous The Wall That Heals project. Even with all your daily responsibilities as our V.S.O., you never flinched or pondered about overseeing this monumental undertaking rather, you willingly embraced the huge task that will touch countless lives of our local and visiting veterans and their family members this fall.

Thank you Tim Willis, also a veteran and devoted participant in nearly all D.C.V.A.C. activities and veteran outreach. You’re a gem Tim – for years you have stood by and with us (the council); you have diligently sought to encourage business owners to sign up to participate in the Dare County Veteran Discount Card program offering veterans discounts of 10-15-20% on their goods and services benefiting all veteran card holders. A veteran yourself … we thank you for all you do for your “brothers and sisters” and for being an integral part of our council.

Speaking of veteran discounts, thank you to our close to 150 business establishments and proprietors for generously offering discounts to our veterans who hold one of the cards Patty or myself issues. Without you, the Dare County Veteran Discount Card would be non-existent!

Thank you to everyone who has made a donation to help support the expenses of bringing The Wall That Heals here this November! We couldn’t do this without your help and not just with finances, but with your willingness to volunteer to sign up to help erect The Wall That Heals. Thank you for committing volunteer time from midnight to 4 a.m. shifts … please keep in mind we still need more sifts to be covered during that time frame if anyone should ask you how they can help. Remember, this breathtaking display will be lighted at night and open to the public 24 hours a day while it is here. In essence, the atmosphere displaying the names of the incredible 58,000+ service men and women who died in Vietnam will equate to hallowed ground. It will be respected in every way – no T-shirt, soft drink or even water bottle sales will take place … the atmosphere will be of deep respect, honor and dignity. Again – anyone who is a night owl and can offer their time during the much needed four hour shifts from midnight to 4 a.m. would be much appreciated. Please contact Patty O’Sullivan on her cell at 252-473-7749 to sign up if you can help.

Terry Gray, commissioner of the Town of Kill Devil Hills, thank you for all the work you have done already and will do to oversee the huge and incredible biker escort that will bring The Wall That Heals into our county. Your work for the people and veterans in particular all over Dare County is commendable and we are grateful. The biker participation will thrill children and adults alike and bring such a beautiful display of respect to our veterans … thank you Terry.

Wally Overman, vice chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners, thank you for all you have done every day since our project committee was formulated. Your input, ability to get things done and your personal interest and commitment to see this event be the best it can be cannot be measured. We’re anxious to hear your heartfelt words at the podium on Opening Ceremony day.

Commissioner Steve House, thank you too for your help in overseeing the Jeep escort for The Wall That Heals as well. The citizens of Dare County will never forget the patriotic display that will bring a reminder of bravery, suffering and loss during the Vietnam War in Southeast Asia. To each and every commissioner, we owe a special thanks for supporting this undertaking and words cannot express our gratitude adequately enough.

Dorothy Hester, director of Dare County Public Relations, thank you and your team for the county’s beautiful and informative website, for the videos and everything you all have done to bring to light the magnificence of this patriotic tribute to all who died while serving in Vietnam and to all who died or still suffer today as a result of exposure to Agent Orange once they came home.

To Lisa, Marie and every single person who has stepped up to honor our Vietnam veterans, thank you for all the tasks you have taken on for this project. And to Robbie and all the gentlemen who assisted with establishing the roadside signs, THANK YOU!

Veterans: if you reside full time or own property in Dare County, have your DD-214 showing honorable discharge and a picture I.D., please come to the Wednesday in Waves Tri-Village Marketplace across from Camp Hatteras Camp Ground on Wednesday, June 28, 2023 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. where the Veterans Advisory Council will have a booth. Patty will be on site and can issue your free Dare County Veteran Discount Card on the spot.

Until next time, be healthy, safe and happy. Love yourself first and that will help you love everybody else too! Be thankful for our veterans and who love our veterans and please call me if you want to chat, my cell: 252-202-2058 or email me: and for previous Gig Line columns, see I love you all from the bottom of my heart! Take care … love our U.S.A. and support our politicians who support our veterans and our law enforcement. God bless you! Stay tuned!