Monday October 4, 2021? It was a memorable day for a very deserving person. A few days earlier, Katherine “Katie” McCarron, Dare County Senior Social Work Supervisor, Health and Human Services asked Dare County Veterans Service Officer Patty O’Sullivan (whom she supervises) to prepare a presentation to the Dare County Council of Commissioners which she obligated. She had prepared a summary of her interactions with veterans who asked her about VA health care, a potential disability claim, the acquisition of a duplicate DD-214 (a document from the U.S. Department of defense provided to a member military service when they leave active service) and other questions she could emotionally answer – at least that’s what she thought.
Seeing first-hand the good that has come from the active support the Commissioners have given to our veterans community, Patty was delighted to make them even more aware of the positive results of their support; their creation of the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council and to discuss the work Patty has done for the benefit of our deserving Veterans and their families.
However, what Patty didn’t realize was that a huge surprise was in the works! After several points were addressed on the podium, Katie greeted the Stewards and quickly motioned for Patty to come forward but not to make a presentation instead, and to Patty’s surprise, to be introduced to everyone. as Dare County Employee of the Month – October 2021 So she was receiving the presentation rather than making one!
I was forced to make an appointment that could not be changed, so as secretary of DCVAC, I was not able to attend as much as I would have liked. Luckily, Katie had informed Patty’s husband Tony of the “secret” in advance, so he was there to watch her be shocked, moved, and happy about her much-deserved prize.
It was a huge surprise for Patty and, while I wasn’t present, I was able to watch the meeting on my computer. If you know Patty, and even if you don’t know him, consider taking the time to see him as well. Just search www.darenc.com and see the commissioners, then click on the October 4, 2021 meeting.
Before Patty took on the role of VSO in 2017, my sweet husband had worked for Rhonda Creef, our former veteran duty officer who had held the position for almost 30 years. I am and will always be grateful for the help Rhonda gave Billy (a US Army veteran in Vietnam who went to Heaven in 2016 following his exposure to Agent Orange) and also to me in as a widow.
When Rhonda retired, I was the first to admit I was sad to see her go and wondered who would take her place. However, when I first met Patty, I was convinced that she would do her best for our vets – and she does it every day. She started out as professional, sincere and sympathetic and over time I have come to appreciate her unwavering commitment to our vets. Fast forward to 2021 and I can assure you that in my opinion hiring Patty was one of the best hiring decisions made in County Dare.
Patty is no stranger to the needs, concerns, disappointments, health issues and challenges of veterans. Her husband is a Vietnam veteran, having served in the navy; her son is an army veteran currently serving in the reserves; his father served in the Marines during World War II; his brother is a Vietnam veteran who also served in the USMC; his brother-in-law is an army veteran; one of his nephews served in the Air Force and his other nephew served in the USMC like his father. No wonder she’s all about veterans – it’s in her blood !!
Over the past four years, I have been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with Patty at board meetings and veteran events in County Dare. I have witnessed time and again her heart’s desire to help all the veterans she can. She has an unwavering commitment to our veterans and their spouses and does everything she can to serve all veterans with the respect and honor they deserve. While Patty maintains the privacy of Veterans, I hear compliments from Veterans I know or refer to (via Gig Line). Our veterinarians have repeatedly expressed their gratitude to me for her interest in them; its detailed explanation of their potential benefits; his knowledge and follow-up.
Patty attends all of our monthly Veterans Advisory Council meetings and she works at the booths we have set up at Dare Day, OBX Seafood Festival, OBX Shred Fest and every event the council attends; she is diligent in her attention to detail, supporting not only our veterans but their widows and family members as well and I am proud of her. As Secretary of the Veterans Advisory Council, I have heard countless expressions of gratitude from the Veterans who have worked with her and they are grateful for the work she has done on their behalf. I always try to remind everyone that she does not and cannot make the decision to award a veteran or not, but she will do her best to help them prepare and submit the necessary and adequate documents. in VA with the never-end I hope the result will be good.
Currently Patty is a part-time employee of Dare County – she does not work for the VA – however, she is accredited by the VA (Veteran’s Administration). She asks veterans who wish to contact her office to call her office at 252-475-5604 and leave a detailed message and a reachable callback number with voicemail if possible so she can leave a message. It is difficult to answer a call if the voicemail is full. If a veteran wants to email him instead of calling him, his email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patty is quick to tell you, “I will always do my best for YOU, just like you did for me protecting my freedom.” “Veterans hold a special place in my heart,” she always says, and indeed they are. Obviously her role as a Veterans Duty Officer (VSO) isn’t just a job, it goes way beyond that and there is no doubt that Patty O’Sullivan is a babysitter!
Until next time, be healthy, safe and happy. Love each other like crazy, forgive those who have harmed you, pray for our nation and for all our troops wherever they are. Thank a veteran every time you see one and pray for our America! Love you all and thank you for taking the time to read Gig Line. If you would like to read the columns I have written over the past seven years, please see giglineheroes.com The site still has some work to do, but if you have the chance, check out the stories about my 48-year-old veteran husband and a week. He was an incredible patriot who died because of his exposure to Agent Orange and the hero who inspired me to create Gig Line in honor of his siblings. God bless you and please stay tuned!
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