Sure, you’re a vet, but that doesn’t mean you have license to act like a jerk

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by bruno, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/post...sn_t_mean_you_have_license_to_act_like_a_jerk
    I'm sure this will raise a few hackles, but there is more than a whiff of truth to it IMHO. In a lt of ways society does seem to be bending over backwards to be making up for the ugliness of the Vietnam era. It's worth cogitating over. Keep your comments civil:rolleyes:

     
  2. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    I think his connection (if he's even trying to say they are similar) to the Delta video and the "sense of entitlement" isn't a great analogy.

    The problem I had with Delta was that these guys were in transit home from the war zone. Every fee imaginable should be waived for those in transit to/from an active combat zone. I know they will get reimbursed for fees when they turn in a travel claim, but that can take quite a while and depending on the unit's Admin dept they may or may not allow that claim.

    Anyway, on to the real 'guts' of the argument. I don't think it's just veterans who have this sense of entitlement, it's the entire country now and getting worse. "I'm entitled to this because I'm a ______ (insert veteran, welfare recipient, minority, caucasian, Texan, student, etc)"
     
  3. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I agree. The Delta video and entitlement are not one in the same. These guys were still in and returning home, paying out of pocket.... slightly different than "I'm a vet....I want a special deal at my local sporting event.



    There is a great deal of good will towards the military and veterans these days, but that good will isn't always going to be there, and people can go a long way to alienate it.

    I go to Washington Capitals games (season tickets for the past 3 years). When you get there they have a section for service members each game. The tickets are given out by offices at the Pentagon and CGHQ. Everyone gets up and claps or whistles. Next there is the Wounded Warrior recognition, again spotlight goes on the service members, and people claps. Then there is the "service member of the game", random guy or girl generally selected by the same office that handed out the tickets (at least thats how we did it).

    In my opinion, that is overkill. I love recognizing the service members. Doing it three separate times will start to annoy people. I know what you're thinking "These men and women have dedicated their lives, served, and the public doesn't blink an eye, or feel any kind of pain because of 10 years of war." Roger....got it. Understand. It's still annoying, and we're still slamming it down people's throats who don't care. Want to honor troops? Give them money, thank them, go to Arlington National Cemetery and pray for the dead...in DC there are many ways. Clapping at a hockey game is not the biggest measure of it.

    People spend their $99 to watch a game. The service members at the game went because it's free, not because their section is going to pop up on the jumbo tron.

    Is there a sense of entitlement? Sure. Active duty service members get annoying phone calls from entitled veterans ALL THE TIME! At some point it's time to move on.

    I battle with that now. For the last 9 years people asked me what I did, and I said "I'm in the Coast Guard". Now people ask and I'm still trying to figure that out. I can't really say "Well I work at....but I used to be in..."

    When you get out, things DO change. That service will always be a part of you, and I think it's fine to be a huge fan for the rest of your life if you'd like...but you don't wear the uniform, you aren't in the service, and you're no longer serving the nation.
     
  4. sprog

    sprog Member

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    Interesting article.

    I think the lack of conscription in this country really does make for a divide between the military and civilian worlds. I bet it is sharper now than it has ever been.

    When I was in the service, every professional counseling session I ever received was all about doing what was best for my career. That is, it was assumed I wanted to stay for 20 years. I told my squadron leadership I was planning to separate, and they looked at me like I was from Mars. This was in 2003, mind you, and the economy hadn't tanked yet. "How can you give this all up?" and "wow, you sure are brave to try and make it out there" were repeated to me numerous times.

    While I always will value my military service, separating was the best choice I ever made. I'm happy now, and I know I did something for my country, like my dad and grandfather before me. I did get the feeling that "citizen-soldier" wasn't in the vocubulary when I was on active duty. It was more like, "get your 20, then do what you want." Twenty years is a long time, and I think the notion of just doing a "stint" in the Armed Forces should be a more celebrated theme. Maybe it is now, as the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq got a bit more heated in the years since I left active duty.

    At any rate, those who served should be proud; however, I agree that it should never be a license to be an a-hole.
     
  5. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    I do think there is a sense of entitlement from certain veterans.

    The practical person tells me that the soldiers perhaps caused their own problems of having too many bags. No redeployment is same and there are always issues with individual deployers, but my experience coming back from Iraq was given a footlocker to ship personal stuff and certain military items 30days out. So I think I had a rucksack and a duffle bag worth of official stuff to bring back.
     
  6. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    As much as some may want to disagree with me, part of this is generational. I enlisted in the air force in 1978 and retired in 1999. When I first came in, Vietnam was only over totally for about 3 years. The military was not seen as positive by most people as it is today. I still heard things like "baby killer" even in 1978. Luckily for me, I only stayed in the USA for about a year and a half. I went overseas in 1980/81. When I came back in 1985, President Regan had already finished his first term, and the big push for American pride was in full force. It was a lot different response from people who found out I was in the military.

    Also; when I came in, we did our job. MOST of us weren't looking for the commendation or meritorious service medals. We weren't looking for more points to help us get the next promotion. We did our job; worked hard; and let the promotions come at normal pace. "Not saying that there weren't some who only cared about THEIR CAREER". (We all knew people like Capt Hanks "Men of Honor" and Major Powers "Heartbreak Ridge"). But most people then seemed to care more about simply doing their job, than the recognition.

    That is not to say that today's military soldiers/sailors/airmen only care about themselves. Most of them are definitely true patriots who are willing to put service before self. But culturally, the younger generation looks more into what's in it for them. Even today, I usually never even think of asking a retailer if they give a "Military Discount" on something they sell/service. Not saying that there's anything wrong with that. There isn't. Just that during my career, most people in the military didn't seem to care about that. I've seen the commercials where a soldier in uniform is at the airport, and when they're boarding the plain, the airline allows the soldier to board first. They even show an old WWII/Korea aged adult stand up and salute the soldier. "VERY HEART WARMING". In my time, we were offered boarding first. I was offered it when I came back from Saudi and other trips to the AOR when I was in uniform. My response was "Thanks, but why don't you go ahead and board the older people first, and the parents with a handful of kids who are having a hard time keeping them still"?

    Again; nothing wrong with accepting special acknowledgement, discounts, recognition, etc... Just that in the past, it wasn't something we expected or sought. It was there, but we simply wanted to do our job. Recognition for me and my peers was: "Appreciate what we do, by supporting us. Don't let congress underfund us. Don't let Washington D.C. allow the conflicts to be all political and hinder us from doing our job; like what happened to a lot of our brothers/sisters in the Vietnam war". This is/was all the recognition I wanted from the citizens. Unfortunately, because of so much waste in military spending by the military and politicians, we're now forced to confront a new negative opinion of the military. Anyway, I think there's a different culture and personal perception of our country, the military, and serving our country. Maybe with the economy in trouble, and a lot more people coming into the military "For a job and education", there's a different attitude. Maybe there's a difference between someone who goes 20+ years and retires and someone who does 1 or 2 enlistments or ends their commission after the commitment. Anyway; that's my opinion.
     
  7. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Even if they had 50 bags coming back from an active combat zone the "nice" company would say "bring em". I believe their "fourth bag" was in fact their weapons.
     
  8. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    The orders would have said, reimbursement for bagge fee upto 4 bags as the DoD cannot tell a private airline to not charge them baggage fees.
     
  9. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    no disagreement from me.
     
  10. Melosh3

    Melosh3 Member

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    Just being a kid of 17, I don't know how well this will be received, as I have never in fact been in the armed forces

    Delta Airlines is in fact a company, it's cool that they are flying soldiers back, but taking 4 bags for everybody adds up to quite a bit of gas money, and as any of you aviators know, planes, especially big ones like that, guzzle quite a bit of gas.

    In fact Delta normally charges people for every bag, and I understand money is tight for soldiers, but that's just kinda how it has to work

    Sorry if this steps on any toes or is just out of line, just my opinion on the matter
     
  11. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    I think you may have partially misread. The soldiers were returning from a deployment and were told by their command they would be able to have 4 free bags.
     
  12. Melosh3

    Melosh3 Member

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    Ahh, you are correct, I read the article but I missed that, sorry
     
  13. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    As stated before, the DoD does not have authority to tell private airline to charge or not charge for bags. If the command told soldiers that would be able to have 4 free bags, they were saying they will be reimbursed for any baggage charges up to 4 bags.
     
  14. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Actually, all of the airfares and fees charged to servicemen are handled by a master agreement the DoD has with each of the airlines. Delta (or any of the other carriers) are reimbursed for each seat occupied and bag checked. Now whether the contract with Delta covered the 4th (and subsequent bags) and the billing arrangements for such baggage is not detailed by the story.

    We don't know if the gate agents screwed up by not using a the mechanisms in place for billing the bags back to the government or if command screwed up by not telling the fliers that they would have to pony up at the airport and file for the money back for their 4th bag (the contract could be written to require the 4th bag to be paid for at the standard charge for all we know).

    I'm not a big fan of airing these grievences publically on the internet regardless of who didn't get the memo, although I understand that these guys don't necessarily bring a lot of extra cash for such unexpected expenses when coming home from overseas and can sympathize with their plight. It doesn't reflect well on anyone.
     

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