Gig Line: You just have to figure it all out – The Coastland Times

June 6 has now passed several days, a day in 1944 when many beautiful young faces were captured in timeless and sobering black and white photographs – their ghostly gazes fixed on the beaches of Normandy. When you study these remarkable images, you see – you can almost feel – their bravery saturated with images of great concern, fear and anguish that overflow and overflow the pages. Paratroopers ascended from the sky before landing on the beach in darkness and bad weather. Either way, they were driven by purpose and they fought; they met terror head-on. Many lives ceased to live during this time. D-Day is another incredible moment in our extraordinary history that will never be forgotten.

To recap Dare Days, it was different this year, not operating on the streets of downtown Manteo, but rather across the bridge to Ice Plant Island for the first time at Roanoke Island Festival Park. Members of the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council as well as a super nice guy – a Vietnam veteran who helps the council every year in any way he can at every event were also there; his name is Tony. Rick Probst, Ellen Aidoock, Justin O’Sullivan, Barry “Fuzzy” Holt, Patty O’Sullivan (Dare County Veteran Service Officer) and Tony Imperiale once again showed their dedication to our veteran community, installing and managing our booth to welcome veterans, distribution of valuable vet information, issuance of the free Dare County Veterans Discount Card; handing out free cloth shopping bags and a free ticket for a chance to win an American flag. Conversations were exchanged between the veterans/board members who volunteered to “sit the booth” and the appreciation of the attendees who stopped by was evident. Some thanked Patty for her assistance in filing their VA disability claims and for the great job our board does overall in showing appreciation to our veterans. Luckily the weather was wonderful and it was a particularly wonderful day. Thank you to everyone who dedicated their day to our service men and women, who stayed all day, shop closed and to you who came by to chat with your brothers and sisters! Also, to Michele Bunce and the staff at Manteo Town, you are all awesome!

Last week, the title of Gig Line was “An unforgettable lesson” and it was about something I learned in 1968 that influenced my life and how I learned to defend myself. After a close friend read my column, she texted me that “she understood that she sometimes doubted ourselves, but that she didn’t see the political reference coming. I appreciated that because it’s people’s business: all the columns on which I write are based mostly on veterans related topics, but if you think about it, the current situation in our country has a lot to do with our veterans and what they sacrificed and died to protect.

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Our men and women signed up for military service to protect and preserve our American way of life and last night I watched Field of Dreams in which Kevin Costner’s movie wife stood up at a town meeting to defend our freedoms and that we should stand up against censorship. I wondered for a minute how many movies, songs, articles, books and stories have been written about the tyranny and freedoms we enjoy and mistakenly take for granted every day. Hopefully those who wish to suppress the joy of thinking for ourselves and expressing it will not be more tainted than they have been so far.

With regard to schools and the protection of our children: aren’t they former soldiers who know how to handle weapons, who have undergone intense and specialized training, who are skilled in supervising, who have survived a stress and immense danger, who have been revered for their quick thinking and creative strategies be perfect candidates to be hired to protect our children? I can’t help but wonder how many veterans and retired law enforcement officers would express interest in protecting the entrances and exits of our schools if a hiring drive began. Of course, scrutiny should be as thorough as those who buy guns, in my opinion.

When I see documentaries about seemingly ridiculous grants to study a shrimp on a treadmill and where other wacky financial aid has been made available, it’s not hard to wonder where we’ve placed our priorities, helping to the vulnerability of our schools, our children and our staff. What if we re-examine the spending of funds that seem almost absurd and without immediate benefit and redirect those funds where the safety of our children and American citizens comes first?

Almost everyone I know appreciates our natural resources, responsible and reasonable environmental protections and fair governance. What I don’t understand is how will the push for extreme “green” living help us push electric cars if our power grid is threatened or taken out of service? Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue? And another thing, the global warming debate – even though we’re not allowed to use our clean, widely available, more than adequate and more reliable natural fuel oil, propane. etc., how will it help us if we negotiate with other countries to buy their oil? Don’t their production methods influence what happens in their air, just like ours? It’s not like they live on another planet! Aren’t other countries that produce oil that we have to buy instead of using our own likely to influence global warming? How can that make sense? It’s scary, folks, and maybe I’m not thinking clearly, but air is air all over the world, isn’t it?

If you are a veteran, live in Dare County, and have your DD-214 which can attest to your honorable discharge or separation from military service, you are eligible to acquire a free discount card for Dare County veterans! Patty O’Sullivan or I can issue it to help you save money for purchases of goods and services from the far north to the south end of the Outer Banks. Call me at 252-202-2058 or email me at [email protected] or contact Patty (our official Veterans Administration link), office: 252-473-7749, office: 252-475-5604 or email her at [email protected]

Until next time, be healthy, safe and happy. Love those around you, thank God for those who love you back, and show kindness wherever you go. Even with all the challenges we face in today’s world, we have LOTS to be grateful for and appreciate. God bless our veterans near and far, here and those on active duty deployed overseas. Pray for their safety and that of their families while they are away; proudly and ardently wave our American flag with pride. Our red, white and blue flies higher than all the others. May God be with our country and those who have served it so well. I love you veterans from the bottom of my heart! Stay tuned!



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