Gig Line: Get ready – it’s coming!

Published 11:47 am Saturday, October 28, 2023

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There is never a day that goes by that I’m not grateful for you … honestly! Why? Well, I recently received a call from a very nice lady who inquired as to whether she and her husband could volunteer for a four-hour shift at The Wall That Heals, which immediately touched my heart.

Now, this kind woman isn’t the first to inquire about volunteering – thank the good Lord for everyone who has committed to help – but you’ve heard the saying, “It takes a village …” and that is absolutely true. What meant so much to me was that she asked if she and her husband could volunteer for the same four-hour shift (which was of course welcomed) and when I asked, she said neither of them were veterans themselves. To be clear, not everyone who is volunteering is a veteran, it was the fact that people are looking forward to this event because they either know or love veterans who served in Vietnam or because they just plain care … they want to show their respect and they want to honor the lives that were lost. Just know that I am so grateful for you all and each of you are a blessing to me and countless others.

In the midst of horrible things happening in Israel and even on the streets of our previously beautiful cities when it used to be safe to stroll our babies, walk our dogs, hold our lover’s hand and walk the streets, shop or eat in our favorite eateries … people are afraid, they don’t want to step over drug addicts, homeless people, human feces, used needles and other drug paraphernalia strewn about or deal with the fear of being mugged, robbed, or murdered nearly every day.

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We are fortunate, we live on the Outer Banks on the beautiful coast of North Carolina and as my BBF says, “We live in a bubble.” And in this “bubble” there are wonderful, thoughtful people like you who take the time to read my long-winded Gig Line, who pitch in to help others when they are sick; or who have been injured; have lost a loved one or are burdened financially, mentally, or emotionally. Thank you, good people!

In case you haven’t heard …

As a means of even further show of support for our veterans, we are all encouraged via a Dare County Board of Commissioners resolution to participate in the “Operation Green Light” initiative. What is that? An inspiration that we use green lights at our businesses and residences beginning Monday, November 6, 2023, through Sunday, November 19, 2023, to honor our many local veterans, Veterans Day, and the period of time The Wall That Heals will be here arriving Tuesday, November 14 – departing Sunday, November 19, 2023. Isn’t that wonderful? Let’s all acquire green light bulbs for our front porches, exterior lighting and anywhere we can so those who pass by can easily see we stand together for our veterans!

We have an impressive number of bikers who have committed to be a participant in the escort who will bring The Wall That Heals into Dare County beginning in Columbia on November 14, however we are asking those of you who have a motorcycle to join the very special ride as well if you are able. Please contact ride captain Terry Gray at 252-256-1064 so he can count on you and your friends to join in. If you would like for me to text or email the flyer promoting this opportunity to you to forward to others, please contact me on my cell at 252-202-2058. JFYI … it means a whole lot to those who actually bring The Wall That Heals from state to state, community to community when they see a major show of support a warm welcome and a huge embrace of its arrival.

Update – as the event draws nigh, I (and others) will promote the exact schedule (program of activities we can experience) once it gets here, assembled and open to the public 24 hours a day. But to give you a few tidbits, we will hear a U.S. Marine Corps Brass Quintet; witness a Presentation of Colors; the reading of a poem named, “They” written by our county commissioner Vice Chairman Wally Overman (trust me when I say, it’s beautiful and very touching); bagpipes; a 21 gun salute; a flyover (pending confirmation); and TAPS, not to mention an address by Barry “Fuzzy” Holt, a local U.S. Army Vietnam veteran and true blue “brother” and others.

The opening ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, November 16, 2023. Then Friday night, we will have a candlelight ceremony “In Memory” to honor our Vietnam veterans who served there, survived to come home and who have passed away since then. Saturday will be a walk of Vietnam Veterans along the Wall itself, expected to take place at 1 p.m.

I can text/email to you a flyer about The Wall That Heals event if you’d be willing to forward it out to your email list of contacts, clients, church pastor and church family, clients, family and friends, or to post on your Facebook wall. Again, just call me (252-202-2058) and I’ll send it right to you. It would help to ensure that anyone who would like to attend will have advance notice to plan accordingly. Thank you.

Patty O’Sullivan, director of this monumental event and our veteran service officer, can be reached at her office (252-475-5604) or cell (252-473-7749) if you need her help with filing a V.A. claim, acquiring a duplicate DD-214 or if you have questions about the presumptive list regarding exposure to Agent Orange and/or a service-connected illness.

Until next time, be healthy, safe and happy. Hug and kiss your spouse and talk to your kids about things that trouble or scare them. If you are a veteran, thank you so very much for your service and sacrifice. If you served in WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Desert Storm, Afghanistan or Iraq or any other conflict, we honor and thank you. If you are a law enforcement officer, a fireman/woman, a paramedic/E.M.T. or first responder … THANK YOU ALL! We are blessed because of you and every morning in my prayers, I thank our good Lord for you. And even if there are days when you don’t feel appreciated perhaps when you’re tired and have seen horrible tragedies and heartbreak … know that you are very appreciated and that you are our heroes … very sincerely you are. God bless you and your family. God loves you and so do I. Stay tuned!