Gig Line: Good people, good things

Published 11:39 am Thursday, June 6, 2024

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No matter who you are, what you have, where you live, what position you hold in your job or who you hang with in your circle of friends, everybody matters. And now in life, it is especially nice to witness kindness, care and concern for others.

I want to share with you examples of goodness in the people I know, those I barely know or have never met in person. As I have said before, Gig Line was initially written way back in 2012 when I wrote about a monumental blessing in my life, when the good Lord brought my husband and I together, unexpectedly and out of the blue.

By 2012 we had been married 44 years and it was about time that I acknowledged to the world the experience of Billy coming home from the Vietnam War. I wanted to honor him, give him the praise he deserved as a veteran of our United States Army; I wanted people who did not know Billy what it was like for him to rejoice his return to our home land and to publicly thank God, that Billy made it back. After almost five decades together, I had learned much, but not as much as I wanted to … but I respected him, I was there to listen if he wanted to talk about it, but he rarely ever did.

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In the eyes of people who did know him prior to and even after his homecoming in 1968, Billy was happy to be home and newly married; he exuded a funny, dry sense of humor; he was a dedicated employee on his job; he held great pride and respect for our American flag and as a deputy sheriff for the rule of law. One year and 20 days from our wedding he became the proud father of a baby boy, then three years later a baby girl. Everyone loved Billy … at church, as neighbors and never was an unkind word ever said about him. He was a solid, good hearted, kind and highly intelligent man and everybody wanted to be his friend. But beside all the accolades I have not even addressed, he was also, as I mentioned prior, a Vietnam veteran. Like all Vietnam veterans, he had seen and unfortunately taken part in the horror, the unthinkable battle scenes … of friends blown to pieces … hearing voices of the severely injured and dying … and as a sergeant, he had done all he could to protect his troops as well as the South Vietnamese they were there to defend. And somehow – by the grace of Almighty God – he kept it together. He never verbally recalled the tragedies or drama that war creates, he simply lived his life as a resolute husband, father and friend to all each day and he was happy that he could.

My point? That he kept it inside and if you had not already known what he had been through like all his “brothers” and “sisters” who served in Southeast Asia, you would not likely have guessed. So when I wrote what was supposed to be a one-time “story” about his inspiration in my life inspiring me with his patriotism and love of country, it developed into a 12 year weekly and currently featured column. Good people? So many folks. I cannot tell you how many points of contact I have had through emails, snail mail cards with poems, stickers and patriotic prose (thank you Charlie and Sally – I love you!); invitations to speak at events and phone calls from Gig Line readers over all these years have blessed my life.

Just recently as a Realtor, I followed up on a real estate inquiry. The gentleman who answered my call serves in the National Guard as a chaplain. During the conversation, I thanked him for his service and briefly told him about Billy passing due to exposure to Agent Orange, in turn, he asked me if it would be okay if he prayed for me. I was so touched and of course I said yes, I would appreciate that. He then went to the Lord with a sweet heartfelt prayer asking the Him to bless me in my work and to help me throughout my life without my husband. I was so touched … I choked up and thanked him for his thoughtfulness and he asked me to stay in touch with him and to send him sales information. What started out as a follow-up business call from him initially resulted in an especially kind response that meant the world to me.

In the last two weeks I have seen a lot of videos of people helping people; the color of their skin did not matter (thank goodness) … black folks helping white folks; white folks helping black folks; a homeless man called out to a passerby who had dropped his wallet in front of him; motorcycle guys helping an old man cross the busy road to safety; teenage boys on bicycles blocking rush hour traffic physically carrying a disabled lady safely through an intersection; a tiny little girl telling her mama that she forgave her and it was okay that she had eaten all of her candy; various clips of travelers who stopped on the side of the road to cut fence wires to free a calf that was trapped and subject to die; a man who jumped into freezing icy water to save a drowning puppy and on and on it goes …

As Americans we ARE good people as a whole and in these extraordinary times when much of what we hear, read or even witness on a live feed is bad – really bad – we have to find or make the time to focus on the good things and good people in our lives and those around us. However, I have decided not to allow negativity to hold me down and even if something hurts me, I consider what I have to be thankful for and concentrate on that. To say it is not a challenge to try to understand hate and prejudice – that heck bent desire to hurt, punish, ruin and even destroy someone and then the audacity to deny that it is happening? I would be lying to say it is not difficult … it is, but “it is what it is” … so, I remember the sacrifices of our veterans, law enforcement, firemen, paramedics, first responders and everybody else who truly help others with a good heart, and I am grateful.

Now, guess what? Speaking of good people and good things! Just this week, our Dare County veteran service officer Patty O’Sullivan, contacted me about an absolutely wonderful announcement by one of our respected Dare County proprietors … and it is a DOOZY! Hear ye! Hear ye! Now hear this, verbatim per the provided summary:

“In partnership with our shingle manufacturer, GAF, and the OBX VFW (Post 10950), GALLOP ROOFING & REMODELING, INC. is pleased to announce the launch of our GALLOP GIVES BACK INITIATIVE. Our first project is a Veteran Roof Giveaway. We know that each of you are in regular contact with the people who we are seeking to serve and have the potential to be our most valuable partners in this process. Here are the details for this particular project:

  • Must be a Veteran
  • The home must be owned by the Veteran and used as their primary residence
  • The project must be 30 square or less (most homes qualify)
  • Must be inside of Dare or Currituck County.

We are accepting nominations through June 24, 2024, and plan to announce the winner on July 4, 2024.”

Please see the following link for detailed contact information:

Thank you, Gallop Roofing & Remodeling, Inc., for thinking of and honoring our veterans in such a special way!

When we work together for good (just like in the canned foods drive toward the $500 grant for veterans), we get things done in a big way.

In closing, if you are a veteran and would like to discuss veteran health care; or a potential or active claim with the V.A., or if you have questions about your current disability compensation etc., please contact Patty O’Sullivan as noted above. Her office: (252) 475-5604; her cell: (252) 473-7749 and her email: patricia.o’ If you would like to chat with me, I welcome a chance to talk with you, so please call/text my cell: (252) 202-2058 or email: and if you do email me, please reference Gig Line.

Until next time, be healthy, safe, and happy. When the rains fall hard on your head, still look up toward our Father in Heaven; I believe strongly that He is our source of comfort and peace especially in difficult and trying times. I pray for blessings on our troops and all who truly stand for truth and justice. My opinion? God, and His wisdom is the answer for all who believe. I love you all. Stay tuned.