For veterans, is ‘thank you for your service’ enough?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by bruno, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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  2. debcst

    debcst Member

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    Thanks for sharing this thoughtful article.

    On a side note, there is a documentary about the volunteers who greet the troops who pass through Bangor. It is called The Way We Get By, and can be streamed on Netflix. I would recommend it...it is kind of quirky and sad, but a window into the interaction between our troops and some elderly veterans who find a lot of meaning in reaching out to them.
     
  3. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    I can understand and appreciate your position in declining the offers to speak at your son's school. It is very easy for the audience to get caught up in the physical appearance of the speaker and totally miss the message that the holiday is about ALL those who have served.

    However, and I'm not sure how you might do it, there is a missed opportunity to show veterans' appreciation for their country and the country's support for veterans - a thank you to the country that has taken care of its veterans wounded or not.

    I'm sure that there are very few regrets among veterans for their service to country, despite the hardships many face after their time in service. And that is the message that I think that is often missed in these speeches.

    I'm sure your son appreciates every day he has with you and the doctors who have made your recovery what it is and you appreciate every day you have with him. If someone in the family ever wanted to make a speech about how much veterans are appreciated, perhaps your son can talk about how well his country has taken care of his dad (no distraction of your physical presence necessary).

    And thank you for your contribution here on SAF as well!
     
  4. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Well, I finally read the article and it wasn't half bad.

    Through the first few years "thank you" was hard to hear as I was a cadet, but I figured it wasn't really me they were thanking as much as the uniform I was wearing, so I'd respond thanking them for saying something.

    While "thanks yous" are leveled at people for a variety of reasons, it hasn't bothered me in the same way that it did the author. I don't want to question someone's motive, whether or not they've served or if they have any idea what I've done. They probably don't. I never expected a thank you, and short of buying a fellow Coastie I run into a round at a bar, I don't run down the closest person in uniform to thank them.

    I figure it's broken down a few ways.... those who have served and those who haven't is the first cut off. That's further broken down by the branches you served in. I feel far more connected to another Coast Guardsman than a soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine, and I'm WAY more likely to buy him a drink (don't worry folks, 98% of the military is Army, Navy, Air Force or Marine Corps, someone will buy 'em a drink, I'll take care of that other 2%).


    I would not feel comfortable thanking one of my peers in my service. It's been far more comfortable just relating to life in general, hitting on common threads between services, or more focused themes in your own service. That said, I'm a veteran, no active duty or reserves anymore, so while I still identify with my fellow Coasties, I'm not sharing their load anymore. That transition is a little hard. You have an identity during your service...heck you're even color coded and have a special little symbol to show your place in that organization...and then it stops.

    What DOES annoy me is people who have never served who have something to say. My classmate in grad school in a prior Marine. I'm a Coast Guard vet. We go back and forth, playfully making fun of each other. That's cool. I'm fine with anyone joking.... provided they've "stepped up" and done something. I don't like a civilian who has never served trying to get in on that action.... talking trash about another service is something you earn when/after you've served...and it's something that sort of obligates you to defend your own branch. Joe Blow undergrad from Civilian School should not feel the need to "relate" to something he's never done. The banter is playful (usually) between the services because everyone has a leg to stand on, but when it comes from a third party.... it's annoying at best, and dangerous at worst. And then... when alcohol is involved all bets are off and investigations follow! :eek:
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I say thank you all of the time, not only to the military members I see, but the VFD, and the police.

    9 times out of ten they smile, and 6 our of 10 times they say thank you back to me.

    I didn't do anything in my eyes to deserve a thank you back, but understood why they say it. My little 5 words made them know I respected them doing something I didn't do and all too frequently nobody says thank you. They were thankful I was thankful.

    That is the sad state of our world when people can't accept a thank you for what it is... common kindness, respect and courtesy, no hidden agenda.

    Who knows maybe if we constantly thanked them, instead of putting the little flag or yellow ribbons on the car with we support our troops; believing that proved it to them, they would really feel we meant it, and they would be able to accept it more.

    OBTW we were at our DS Sr Night FB game where the proud parents of fall sports walked their SR children on the field. One Dad coming straight from the Pentagon to be there in time was in his CG uniform. As he walked by everybody, at least around us said Thank you. That's it, we didn't say anything more, it didn't break their stride, you could see the pride in him for his DD, but also the pride in his DD for her father. She "got it" that night why they moved all those times... they showed it to her that night by 2 little words.

    I would also say for kids it means the world. They idolize their parents, but it isn't an easy life to move every 2-3 yrs. Those thank you's in front of them make them proud and it makes them feel like okay they appreciate my parent, thus our family.


    So to the kids of military children. Thank you. You didn't ask to be born in this world, you have paid the price emotionally, and by supporting your parents, accepting the moves or the TDY's, (missing b'days/Holidays,Proms) Thank you for being that great kid, you are our heroes.
     
  6. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Agreed. More than once I've seen things go foul when a civilian makes a derisive remark about a service and then tries to laugh it away by saying "oh, it's cool, my brother/husband/cousin is in the [insert service name here]." No, it's not cool. Knowing someone who's served, no matter how close they may be to you, is not the same and doesn't entitle you to admission into the club.
     
  7. eagleman

    eagleman Candidate

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    Let me first begin by saying that I am not trying to create any enemies on SAF and I am not trying to offend anyone's point of view. Anything that is interpreted in this post is not supposed to be understood as disrespectful.

    Now that I've got that out of the way. I would like to state that I respectfully disagree regarding the view that if you have not served, then you can not argue for one branch versus another.

    At its essence it is fallacious.

    To say that someone can not voice an opinion, purely because they have not had the experience is abusive and not fair.

    Look at this way, just because I have not murdered somone, doesn't mean I can't have the opinion that murder is wrong. To give another example: even though I've never experienced the taste of poop, doesn't mean I don't know it would taste bad.

    Leaders of this country create opinions on issues they have never had to experience. Whether it be war, economics, abortion etc. They mostly make opinions off of what they know or heard. The same goes for those who have not served

    I believe people who have not served can still give an opinion or argue over what branch is the best.

    Now, If you look at my profile, you will see I am still a high school student and have not yet served, and I have not experienced military service but that should not keep me from giving an opinion.

    Let me be clear, I do not go around saying the army is the best because I want to be in the army. But for those that do, they are entitled to their opinion and should not be crucified purely because they have not experienced the service.

    Remember, defending the freedom of an opinion is one of the reasons men and women join the armed forces. Again, I am no way trying to offend anyone, especially those that have served. But I just wanted to make this point.

    I truly thank you to those that I have served and it would be my honor to do the same in the future
     
  8. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    :rolleyes:
     
  9. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Pima reminded me of these posters.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. bugsy

    bugsy Member

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    When i travel in uniform and see another serviceman with his civilian wife or girlfriend standing nearby ill go up to her looking right past him and tell her thank you for your service. Tears, hugs or smiles are always the reaction.

    Spouses dont get the recognition for their service. And those who have served know who the real war heros are.
     
  11. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I 100% agree that you should be able to give your opinion. That's not what I am talking about however. I think a few other people picked up what I was talking about. It's someone telling a "jar head" they're not intelligent. Commenting on the sexuality of a sailor. Calling a Coastie "puddle pirate". Little things service members like to say to service members from another branch to push them.

    I'm not talking about someone saying Army is best or Navy is best...that's fine with me. I like my service the best, that doesn't mean I think everyone else should, whether they serve or they don't.

    More of what I'm talking about is a high school kid lecturing those who have served with "Remember, defending the freedom of an opinion is one of the reasons men and women join the armed forces." True, how could I forget? It's much easier to know MANY of the reasons why someone serves if you've served with them. I certainly put more weight in the opinions of someone who has served in any of the services when they're talking about the military...but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have an opinion, it just means I might not value it as much.

    That is different from trash talking or "playful banter".
     
  12. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Ohhhhhh...... I can see that going the wrong way with the wrong person!!! :biggrin:
     
  13. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Yes, indeed. The lectures from high school students about the purpose of the military is a special treat.
     
  14. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Folks- lectures from anyone is a "special treat". Try to keep this civil. The article managed to convey its point without insulting or casting stones at anyone- lets try and do the same here.
     
  15. eagleman

    eagleman Candidate

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    Lineinthesand and Scout Pilot, again, I am not trying to disrespect you in anyway and I am definitely not trying to give a lecture to those that hold authority over me.

    But I guess my question is this:

    What is the problem, with those that have not served, poking fun at the sterotypes of the different branches. Furthermore, what is wrong with someone who has not served, to give a reason for why people serve in the military.

    Yes, I understand the problem might be that it is disrespectful, but at its essence, what is the problem?

    Because if the problem is that they have no experience, then that goes back to my argument in my first post

    I am truly only trying to understand and learn. If I am misunderstanding something, please correct me.

    Please don't think I am trying to be rude.
     
  16. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I don't think you're trying to be rude at all. I think I'm muddying my explanation. I swear it makes more sense in my head.


    There are two general ways to talk about the branches of the military. The first is in a positive way. "The Army is the best", "Marine Corps is the toughest" etc etc etc. I really have no problem with those kinds of statements. It's all opinion. You're being SUPPORTIVE of a service.

    What I don't like is the other side, someone making fun of a service (maybe in the process of supporting their favorite service). They haven't earned that right.

    What's it like? Maybe someone making fun of your family. You and your sister may go at it. Heck you might even get in physical fights! But someone hitting your sister or making fun of your mother is NOT cool. You keep it in the family.

    The "lecturing" is someone who hasn't served telling someone who has served why people serve. It's preaching to the choir when you're not supposed to be at the pulpit. Telling someone why YOU want to serve is different.

    Hope what I wrote made a little more sense, but I may still be missing my mark.
     
  17. rkrosnar

    rkrosnar Member

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    For Veterans, is 'thank you for your service' enough?

    I want to say thanks to all those will have served and continue to do so, to this day. Also, to those in the ROTC programs and all the service academies. Without all of you, yes each and everyone one. And those who have died in the service of this great country the United States of America. You have and continue to defend freedom, so we can do the thing we do.

    God Bless and God Speed to you all,

    RGK
     
  18. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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  19. Beaz

    Beaz Member

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    -Well said...I always say.." you can't explain a rainbow to a blind man''

    -Tonight in the ER, I had a Nurse who asked me if i got some new combat game that they all play on their computers...I just said, 'no haven't seen that one yet'
     

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