Gig Line: July 4 and July 5, 2023

Published 8:11 am Tuesday, July 4, 2023

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Hello everybody! Let’s get right down to business! If you would like to volunteer your time during the week The Wall That Heals will be here, Nov. 14-19, 2023, please either go online to the Dare County website, then click on “Volunteer” or contact Patty O’Sullivan, director of the event (our veteran service officer) by calling her directly on her office phone at 252-475-5604 or her cell phone at 252-473-7749.

In addition, if you would like to donate or contribute in some way to the expenses related to this monumental event, I ask that you please follow suit and again on the county web site and click on “Donate” or contact Patty directly. My requesting that you do this is not as much about seeking monetary donations as it is to ensure if you do donate that you are properly acknowledged. We (the of Dare County Veterans Advisory Council and The Wall That Heals Committee) are immensely grateful for any and everyone who has helped bring this very special event to fruition by pitching in regardless of the means in which you help. Our veterans first, but you too matter, and we cannot thank you enough because it takes all of us working together to make this event happen. The website I referred to explains the structure of the sponsorship opportunities, so if you get a chance, please review the site.

Lastly, the “In Memory” Honor Roll program is very important for all the families whose loved one served in the Vietnam War, came home and passed away since then. A touching candlelight ceremony will be held, acknowledging those Vietnam veteran family members when The Wall That Heals comes to the Outer Banks this fall. It will take place on the evening of Friday, Nov. 17, 2023. To learn more about the program and to access the application to be included in the ceremony, please click on “Events” then “Honor A Veteran.” To announce your loved one’s name, the application must be submitted to register and is required.

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Dare County Veteran Advisory Council members attended the Waves Tri-Village Market on Wednesday, June 28 and they boasted a very nice and productive experience! Their tent booth was set up outside in the parking lot across from Camp Hatteras Highway 12 soundside where they greatly enjoyed visitors to their booth. They will be back down there again to promote benefits to our veterans, issue Dare County Veteran Discount Cards, promote The Wall That Heals and more on Wednesday, July 26 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. same location. Please take the time to stop by – they’d love to see you!

They will again be set up at the Nags Head Soundside Market on Wednesday, July 5, 2023 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (where The Wall That Heals will be on display in November) then again, same place on Wednesday, August 16 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Also, check out our booth at Dowdy Park on Thursday, August 3, 2023 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Every time you see our Dare County Veterans Advisory Council booth, please consider that those who tend the booth are primarily veterans, Patty who is our veteran service officer and others who are dedicated to the wellbeing and benefit of our veterans. They are not paid to be there but because of their past military service or their sheer respect of our veterans, they’re there. They surely don’t expect “pats on the back” in any way – when you stop by to say hello or just show interest in what our council does for our veterans … that means a lot to each one of them. Having served the council as secretary for 10 years now and working beside them frequently, I appreciate them, their commitment, and their love for their “brothers and sisters” in our communities. God bless each one here on the Outer Banks and across our nation who shows respect and love to all our servicemembers!

July 4th? An awesome annual celebration we anticipate every year as United States American citizens and because my next Gig Line will be after the holiday, I hereby wish you all a SAFE, HAPPY and PATRIOTIC Fourth of July! Wave the most beautiful flag ever created! Thank all of you family, friends and co-workers who have served this great nation; straighten your shoulders, stand tall with your chin up and wear a big fat smile on your face – no matter what anyone says against this country … I believe the good, devoted, supporters of our legacy of fighting suppression, oppression and communism are the true HEROES and I pray God’s blessings on them all!

As for me, I will embrace every bit of the patriotic ceremonies I can witness all day and night and then. The very next day, July 5th, I will smile, thank our Lord and tear up remembering my sweet Billy and our wedding anniversary. It would be our 55th year of a wonderful, loving marriage … and it still is, though Billy has lived in Heaven since 2016. I cherish the memory of our simple, no foo-foo, intimate ceremony (he wanted it that way having just come home from the Vietnam War in March – only four months earlier – and avoiding large crowds of people). My beautiful mother, Eleanor L. Mann, made my pretty, white satin and lace wedding dress; Billy’s daddy, Rev. William S. Brown Sr. and pastor of Manteo Baptist Church at the time, married us and Billy and I walked down the aisle to the alter together. It was a very special candlelit ceremony at 7 p.m. and my best friend back then, Annette Midgett (Scarborough), was my maid of honor and Billy’s best man and best buddy, Eddie Biven (my cousin), stood with him. There was no great big lavish whoop-de-doo, but it was what my brand new husband wanted – simple, sweet and the bridge to enable us to leave our single independent life to become “one” … united in our promise to stand by each other, “To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part”. Big lavish weddings are wonderful, but I wouldn’t trade our “I do’s” for anything! Billy was and will forever be my hero, my best friend, my lover and the most incredible man – a Christian, a patriotic soldier and veteran, husband, father, grandfather and kind, sweet, hardworking provider that a woman could ever hope for. And I thank our precious Lord for my “Sweetie Pie” Billy every single day. On that unforgettable day, Billy was 21 and I was 17 years old.

So, my friends … two great days coming up this week. Celebrate with your loved ones and friends and remember why we have the freedoms we do and who has found, suffered and died to maintain them. Then, pray we never, ever lose them no matter what!

Until next time, be healthy, safe and happy! If possible, make amends with anybody you’re upset with, let go of any anger, resentment or disappointment you feel toward others who might have hurt you intentionally or not. Let it go. The act of forgiveness is priceless and life is too short. If you’d like to call or text me, my cell is 252-202-2058, my email is and for previous Gig Line columns, check out Remember, God loves you (us) all so much and I love you too! Stay tuned!