I just came across this article, Please Don't Thank Me for My Service. I don't often thank veterans, but there are times when I do. I guess I'd just been taught that this is what you're supposed to do.
Every time I thank a vet, I feel like a total suck up. Does anyone else? Do you think it's inappropriate to thank veterans? How do the veterans here feel about it?
Post by fritobandito on Apr 4, 2019 6:08:30 GMT -5
I feel sorry for the veterans, not thankful.
I didn't volunteer for military service, just missing the draft. I think military 'adventures' are a huge part of what's wrong in the world but I don't have a plan to fix that. So we're going to have soldiers and they will have their experiences. I don't see the point of thanking them for that. I don't think less of them either. I think the job you choose more often reflects your skills, not your character. Career criminals excepted...
I don't mind it, but neither do I seek it out. It means more when people express their support in ways/words other than saying "Thank you for your service" - which, while appreciated, is almost cliche at this point. I'm not offended, though, and I don't think it's in any way inappropriate.
When someone says it, I just respond back, "Thank you for your support."
I attend Norwich University, the oldest private military college in the country. Needless to say most of my classmates are military, ex-military, FBI, or secret service. I always tell them on the boards when we do introductions that I thank them for their service. It seems to me they always appreciate it and I will always say it. I do understand the other side of the coin. My son was in the USAF and never deployed anywhere. He was supposed to go to Afghanistan two different times and his orders were changed at the last minute. He was always state side. He felt that he never really did anything except sit behind a desk and work on contracts. The thank you for your service made him uncomfortable since he had friends that deployed. He never wore his uniform when traveling unless required and he never boarded a plane early even though he had the opportunity.
It depends. What did they do? Where did they do it? People find out that I am a veteran, (a status I am PROUD of), and automatically thank me. When I was in the Navy, there were NO wars, NO conflicts. I practiced war, went to foreign countries...places I could NEVER had been able to go to otherwise. I was visiting a beach in the Caribbean while my brothers pick-up was buried in snow in Michigan. I basically had a four year PAID vacation, even considering those 36 hour days. (and took my hotel room and restaurant with me), and in return got a college education, basic healthcare for life, friends I will never meet, and a lifetime of memories. Don't thank me for my service...it makes me uncomfortable. Thank ALL veterans for their willingness to put their lives on the line in the defense of OUR country.
Tomorrow is 27 May - Memorial Day here in the U.S.
It is not a 'happy' holiday for me. It always brings me back to 23 Aug 1968 at Special Forces FOB-4, DaNang, Vietnam. On that day I lost 17 comrades-in-arms in action that took only 19 minutes of furious close up ground combat in which I was wounded myself (2nd time) and came within an RCH* of being name #18.
Those 17 names are on the 'wall' on panel 47W and since we now have a 1/2 sized wall here in Punta Gorda (FL), that's where I'll be for a few hours tomorrow.
When someone says to me 'thank you for your service' what comes to mind is the 9 out of 10 non-combat solders that kept us going. The S-1 (clerks and administrators that kept the paychecks coming) and the S-4 guys that kept us in bullets and chow and other necessities (Class 6 - alcohol) (mostly) and of course the cooks that busted their asses to feed us (again, mostly). And of course the medics that looked after us.. These people and many more are the real 'backbone' of the military but you just never hear of them as being 'heroes' - but to me all of them are.
I spent 23 years in the U.S. Army family and traveled most of the world on various SF military missions and so I may have a different perspective as to what's important and what's maybe a little lower down on the list. The infantry soldier cannot function without support - lots of support. The 'point of the spear' is only what you hear and read about.
My dad spent 26 years in the U.S. Navy and was one of the survivors of the sinking of the carrier Wasp (CV-7) in 1942 some 350 miles SE of Guadalcanal. Know what he said about this? - the water was colder than he thought it would be. That's it. So I have some military history in my family.
I too am with Ben on this one. 'Thank you for your support' is all about I can manage to say.
- L -
Last Edit: May 26, 2019 16:56:10 GMT -5 by mollypop
For those of us in the US, today is Memorial Day. As a reminder, this is not the day to thank someone for their military service. It's a day for remembering and honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice while in the military. Here's an explanation of the military-related holidays that I found handy:
o Armed Forces Day (3rd Saturday in May) - for those who currently wear the uniform o Veteran's Day (November 11) - for those who used to wear the uniform o Memorial Day (last Monday of May) - for those who never made it out of uniform