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PinkFlamingo

Stop saying "Thank You for your service" to vets

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"Some veterans believe that saying “thank you for your service” is almost a way for civilians to massage away some of the guilt at not participating themselves."

 

Interesting, probably could be applied to a lot of the righteous ones on this forum  :)

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I never thought it was appropriate to say that. I am a veteran and I've had people say it to me before. When ever hear it, I always think to myself, 'I lived in Hawaii for 3 years and got a free education. I should be thanking you'.

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Everything becomes rote if you say it enough. It's the definition of rote.  If you care about vets stay informed about what your government is doing. Stand up if you see Americans being put into danger for mercenary purposes.  If you have a friend whose kid is in a VA hospital, visit. Take the family a meal. Invest yourself somehow if you really care about vets. 

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I agree with this part and the bold especially:

 

Heaven forbid you don’t recognize the troops in a positive light! It’s insane that veterans are placed on such a high pedestal today; you’d be a social outcast if you in any way disparaged our service! It’s absurd…Time for a dose of truth: Not all veterans are heroes. (I can hear you gasp and feel your incredulity from here, but hear me out.) Like any organization, we have our screw-ups, our opportunists and people that joined for the wrong reasons. The simple psychology behind it is this: we don’t feel like we did anything special.

 

I wouldn't say it ever offended me but I always felt awkward when people would thank me.  I tried to never wear the uniform in public.  I hated that when I came home on midtour leave from Afghanistan, I was paraded through the Atlanta airport by some USO guy ringing a bell while people clapped.  I wanted to strangle the USO guy and then disappear into the floor.

Edited by Jimmy Jazz

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I never thought it was appropriate to say that. I am a veteran and I've had people say it to me before. When ever hear it, I always think to myself, 'I lived in Hawaii for 3 years and got a free education. I should be thanking you'.

I take it in the spirit it's given. But I agree with you. Free education and got to see things in Europe and Asia that most people only see in pictures.

Edited by bmore_ken

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Everything becomes rote if you say it enough. It's the definition of rote. If you care about vets stay informed about what your government is doing. Stand up if you see Americans being put into danger for mercenary purposes. If you have a friend whose kid is in a VA hospital, visit. Take the family a meal. Invest yourself somehow if you really care about vets.

Good advice here ^

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I agree with this part and the bold especially:

 

 

I wouldn't say it ever offended me but I always felt awkward when people would thank me.  I tried to never wear the uniform in public.  I hated that when I came home on midtour leave from Afghanistan, I was paraded through the Atlanta airport by some USO guy ringing a bell while people clapped.  I wanted to strangle the USO guy and then disappear into the floor.

 

I came back by myself from Iraq on regular commercial air from Germany after transferring from a military flight into a US airport with checked duty weapons one time. I had street clothes on, but had to declare and get the weapons inspected with customs officers. They made a huge deal out of "my service" after checking out my orders and all wanted to shake my hand. I don't really get embarrassed, but I found that experience to be amazingly embarrassing. 

 

I think pretty much everybody means well when they do this. I think a lot of people don't know how to deal with the situation because they don't have any experience with it. I do find the overly "moto" people who are trying to prove just how patriotic they are to be irritating, but people are going to be people.

 

Zen's right though; if you really want to "support the troops", the country in general should be cognizant of what we're doing with our military and do what they can to keep our civilian leadership honest on it. Just because a bunch of jacked-up barely adult Marines want to go "get some" doesn't mean we should be making sure they do. And if we need troops to go do something, we should be really willing to take care of the ones who need the most care when they come home.

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I'm sitting in a restaurant bar, waiting for Mrs MOTR to join me and there are two vets in here, one I am ashamed to admit, claims to be retired Navy, trying to milk the barkeep for everything he can get. That irritates me even more.

 

Don't thank me, don't give me special deals. Just remember and honor your damn promises and we'll call it even.

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I never thought it was appropriate to say that. I am a veteran and I've had people say it to me before. When ever hear it, I always think to myself, 'I lived in Hawaii for 3 years and got a free education. I should be thanking you'.

I usually never say thank you but will pay for the enlisted guys coffee in line ahead of or behind me

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My experience was very different with civilians. Unfortunately Nam was winding down and had soured the public along with my commander in chief "tricky ****". I went to college on the GI bill and quit after one semester. Although I was only 21 at the time, most of the students seemed like spoiled little brats, running their mouth about things they had no clue about. So my advice to anybody in the military now , just nod and smile, and be grateful they aren't calling you names. Back then I couldn't grow my hair out fast enough to "blend in".

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My experience was very different with civilians. Unfortunately Nam was winding down and had soured the public along with my commander in chief "tricky ****". I went to college on the GI bill and quit after one semester. Although I was only 21 at the time, most of the students seemed like spoiled little brats, running their mouth about things they had no clue about. So my advice to anybody in the military now , just nod and smile, and be grateful they aren't calling you names. Back then I couldn't grow my hair out fast enough to "blend in".

 

You sound a lot like my brother-in-law and several friends who were in Nam.  My husband didn't go onto active duty until '72 so he missed some of that negativity.

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I take it in the spirit it's given. But I agree with you. Free education and got to see things in Europe and Asia that most people only see in pictures.

But to me you still did something special and earned the nation's gratitude. You had to know the possibility of conflict arising at anytime and you could be placed,if not in harm's way, some unpleasant and unforgiving environ,  I mean plenty of times we don't see a conflict coming. It was awhile ago you served, but I'm guessing there was still back then anti-American terrorism-- does the name Robert Stethem mean anything to you?

 

The modesty you show is understandable and commendable, but you earned the respect and gratitude. 

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But, I'm mixed on the issue. I get what the writers are saying,but, no one can speak for all the Vets. Different ones will react in varying ways.

 

I never served, but I've been "thanked"  in the same sort of vein my share of times by strangers in public due to my police career. 

I had a good career. I've never been in a gunfight or shot anybody. I have been a bit roughed up in some fracas', but fortunately, nothing worse than some scrapes and bruises. Overall, I had a good, rewarding and satisfying career with very few and mild at that lows. I enjoyed it. Not so of course for too many of my colleagues. 

 

But, I felt like if a citizen made that effort and expressed that thought, they were sincere and genuinely supportive. Many police officers are not exactly approachable and/or come off as gruff and uncaring at casual citizen interaction.  ( not me) Doesn't mean they're bad or don't care, its just a lot seem to build up this insulation between themselves and the  public.   I always tried to warmly appreciate their expression and mention I thank them on behalf of my colleagues who didn't have it quite so good.

 

JMO. 

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My experience was very different with civilians. Unfortunately Nam was winding down and had soured the public along with my commander in chief "tricky ****". I went to college on the GI bill and quit after one semester. Although I was only 21 at the time, most of the students seemed like spoiled little brats, running their mouth about things they had no clue about. So my advice to anybody in the military now , just nod and smile, and be grateful they aren't calling you names. Back then I couldn't grow my hair out fast enough to "blend in".

I missed 'Nam by a few years ('78) but it was still pretty much the same. I got glares, and stares, and a few insults hurled my way when I was in uniform. But I never expected any thanks no matter. I served because I wanted to.

 

I will say I do express my thanks to WWIi, Korea and Vietnam vets. They were drafted. Big difference.

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But to me you still did something special and earned the nation's gratitude. You had to know the possibility of conflict arising at anytime and you could be placed,if not in harm's way, some unpleasant and unforgiving environ,  I mean plenty of times we don't see a conflict coming. It was awhile ago you served, but I'm guessing there was still back then anti-American terrorism-- does the name Robert Stethem mean anything to you?

 

The modesty you show is understandable and commendable, but you earned the respect and gratitude. 

Exactly why I said I accept the thank you in the spirit it's given. I served under Reagan so I never had to go to combat. At the time though particularly with my tour of what was then W Germany, I was always on edge, that something might happen. I was honored to serve because of those who served before me (my WW2 dad in particular)and do appreciate it when someone thanks me for my service.

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I will say I do express my thanks to WWIi, Korea and Vietnam vets. They were drafted. Big difference.

So do I. One of the biggest moments of my life was meeting a WW1 vet, when I was on a pass in basic training. I bought him lunch and he told me a couple of stories I'll never forget.

Edited by bmore_ken

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So do. One of the biggest moments of my life was meeting a WW1 vet, when I was on a pass in basic training. I bought him lunch and he told me a couple of stories I'll never forget.

I was in Harford Mall in the early 90's with my young daughters, and saw two old timers sitting on a bench. Both had ballcaps on from ships they served on, and one had a USS Arizona survivor cap. I stopped and turned around, walked up with two toddlers in tow, and told them to say thanks to these two men who did so much. I then extended my hand and told him that while I was born almost 20 years after Pearl Harbor, I could never express my gratitude for what he had been through and what I owed him. I made the poor old sailor cry, but I think they were tears of happiness.

 

I know he thought about that day in December of 1941 the rest of his life.

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I was in Harford Mall in the early 90's with my young daughters, and saw two old timers sitting on a bench. Both had ballcaps on from ships they served on, and one had a USS Arizona survivor cap. I stopped and turned around, walked up with two toddlers in tow, and told them to say thanks to these two men who did so much. I then extended my hand and told him that while I was born almost 20 years after Pearl Harbor, I could never express my gratitude for what he had been through and what I owed him. I made the poor old sailor cry, but I think they were tears of happiness.

 

I know he thought about that day in December of 1941 the rest of his life.

Very nice

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You sound a lot like my brother-in-law and several friends who were in Nam.  My husband didn't go onto active duty until '72 so he missed some of that negativity.

He may not talk about it much but it was there. I joined in 73 and Siagon fell in 75 when I was on "the Rock", but the "Nam hangover" lasted all through the 70s. The Reagan years brought respect for the military in the early 80s. I remember being kind of jealous, but was happy to see it.

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I missed 'Nam by a few years ('78) but it was still pretty much the same. I got glares, and stares, and a few insults hurled my way when I was in uniform. But I never expected any thanks no matter. I served because I wanted to.

 

I will say I do express my thanks to WWIi, Korea and Vietnam vets. They were drafted. Big difference.

It was especially bad around military towns. When I was at Pendleton the civilians in Oceanside hated marines. We kind of brought it on ourselves with bar room brawls and such combined with the Nam hangover, it was pretty bad.

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He may not talk about it much but it was there. I joined in 73 and Siagon fell in 75 when I was on "the Rock", but the "Nam hangover" lasted all through the 70s. The Reagan years brought respect for the military in the early 80s. I remember being kind of jealous, but was happy to see it.

 

 

It was especially bad around military towns. When I was at Pendleton the civilians in Oceanside hated marines. We kind of brought it on ourselves with bar room brawls and such combined with the Nam hangover, it was pretty bad.

 

We were married by the time my husband went on active duty.  He was JAG so maybe that made a difference.  

When people thank him now for his service, he just nods and smiles.  I think it embarrasses him a little since he is a Marine who never saw combat.

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We were married by the time my husband went on active duty.  He was JAG so maybe that made a difference.  

When people thank him now for his service, he just nods and smiles.  I think it embarrasses him a little since he is a Marine who never saw combat.

It does feel awkward at times. Your hubby sounds close to my age, or a little older maybe. That's pretty cool being a JAG. Does he feel as bad as I do about what has happened with the corps , such as the sex scandal and all? I never thought I would live to see these things that are happening now. As much as I respect it, it isn't the Marine Corps I joined. I'm old fashioned and don't believe combat is a place for our country's women. I was raised to put women on a pedestal , treat them with respect and protect them.

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