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Gig Line: Just to remind everybody . . .

First things first: If you are a veteran who resides in Dare County and you own improved or vacant property OR if you are a permanent resident as a leaseholder, you are eligible to receive a Dare County Veteran Discount Card (formerly called I. D. Card). In order to acquire one, you are asked to provide (for our review purposes only), your DD-214 showing your discharge from the military was under ‘Honorable’ conditions along with your driver’s license or an official picture I.D.

This card looks much like a credit card and it entitles you to receive discounts at businesses from Hatteras Village all the way north to Duck (even into Corolla). It is a unique acknowledgement of appreciation that our Outer Banks business owners have extended to veterans to thank them (you) for your service and sacrifice for our country.

The card is readily available and it is the desire of the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council members and of course the proprietors that all veterans who wish to save money acquire one. How do you get it? Either call or text me on my cell at 252-202-2058 or email me at giglineheroes@aol.com or contact Patty O’Sullivan, Dare County Veteran Service Officer at her office at 252-475-5604 or email her at dcvac@darenc.com so that one of us can make arrangements to meet with you. The process takes all of 10 minutes! Please note that due to COVID-19, Patty’s office is still closed pending further notice, however she is happy to follow up and return your phone call if you leave her a voicemail.

This card will enable you to benefit from discounts typically from 10%-15%-20% off your purchases which can really add up! What businesses participate in offering you a discount? Search www.darenc.com where you will type VETERANS in the search bar and look at the options list that comes up below regarding veteran discounts. The list is pretty impressive!

You will quickly see that we have the participating businesses listed under the villages and townships in which they operate and there is quite a selection! Everything from eateries to car parts to retail shops and professional services too . . . it really runs the gambit. Over the years, we have issued hundreds and hundreds of these cards to deserving veterans and it is our joy to do so.

Due to COVID-19 and for everyone’s sake, we ask that when you call and we arrange a time to meet with you, that you please wear a mask, as will we. If you do not have one, let us know that and we will plan accordingly and bring one for you to the meeting. On many occasions, I have issued a veteran his/her card vehicle to vehicle or driver window to driver window. In addition, we have a magazine to give you that is entitled NC4VETS Resource Guide, which is a directory of veteran information, resource and references that you will find helpful and our business card to keep handy in the event you know other vets that you can refer to us.

Patty is the only official V.A. contact in Dare County who can assist you with research on your particular V.A. medical or disability benefit or status concern; request a duplicate DD-214 in the event you no longer have your original; describe potential entitlements and assist you in filing a claim on your behalf. Due to this pandemic, Patty said requests for a duplicate DD-214 or discharge paperwork are backlogged because the V.A. National Archives have been closed for several months, so please be patient even if you request a duplicate through V.A. email or other correspondence yourself. If you have a medical concern that might be service connected, please call Patty to discuss it and she will help you with the process and potential claim.

Our local Outer Banks V.F.W. Post 10950, American Legion Post 26 and OBX Marine Corps League #1264 are comprised of men and women who care about their brothers and sisters and want to help if/when help is needed. In addition, there are other organizations here as well who have resources to help a veteran, depending on the need. In essence, Dare County is known to be veteran friendly and inundated with loving, caring people who respect, appreciate and support our vets.

As Secretary of the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council, a veteran advocate and a writer, I cherish every veteran and family member I meet and, if not for COVID, I am typically a hugger! Gig Line is a weekly column I have written for seven years now. I started with my first in March 2012 written as a tribute to my U. S. Army/Vietnam Veteran husband – my one true love Billy – and about his return home from Vietnam and it has continued even since his passing in 2016 as a result of his exposure to Agent Orange.

Sometimes you might read Gig Line about experiences I have had being married to the most special man I have ever known. Sometimes my stories summon memories that you may have too, but then again sometimes my columns entail more detailed information that is pertinent and specifically of interest to you as a veteran or family member, hence the card that I am talking about now.

I suggest that you review the Dare County (Veteran) website I referenced earlier to see what events might be taking place in the county currently or in the near future and if you are a Facebook participant, search the Outer Banks Veterans site as well. It is another great source for veteran communication.

Until next time, be happy, stay safe and be proud. As a veteran, you stand out to all of us as heroic, selfless men and women and we love you more than you realize. Please wear your mask and social distance so we can all help put this horrible illness to rest permanently. Hold and hug the ones closest to you and love them like never before. Life is precious. The good Lord and family are everything. And in closing, just know this – even if we have not met, I love you just the same. God bless you and your loved ones, thank you for reading Gig Line and by all means . . . stay tuned!

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