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Subject: 'Thank-You for your service', a question for veterans rss

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mortego
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I'm a vet and I never know how to take this comment because I did not serve in combat or during years when there was a war but that's just me, I always do thank people who say that to me because it's respectful.

In the recent past I have seen where some vets reject this saying and am not sure why, I know we all have our reasons for why we do or don't like things (Lots people love Terraforming Mars & I don't) but on this particular saying I am not understanding why it's rejected by some vets.

Can anyone shed some light on this?
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Andre
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I am not a vet, but I have never heard of any vets I know that rejected appreciation for their service.

That said, I can understand where some Vietnam vets might reject that statement, kind of a case of 'A little to little, and a little too late'.

 
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fightcitymayor
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"Thank you for your service" is a lot like "Thoughts & Prayers" on the meaningless platitudes scale.

Do you know anything about the person you are thanking? Like, do you know what branch of the military they serve in, or when they served, or where they were stationed, or whether they served in a combat or non-combat role? Chances are the answer is No, which turns it into a meaningless platitude meant to inflate the thanker's sense of self-worth just as much as any possible genuine appreciation.

I know people in the military, family & friends, and they have told me on occasion: "Dude, I know some of these folks from my army days... they were worthless lazy slobs who couldn't find real jobs, so they ran to the army for a paycheck and a way to pay for school. Some of these people getting thanked aren't real patriots, they're opportunists who are all too happy to get their egos stroked when they did nothing to deserve it."

There is a rightwing political correctness, and "Thank you for your service" ranks right up there with their idea of sacred cows.
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killerjoe1962 wrote:


Can anyone shed some light on this?


I served during OIF/OEF but spend my time state side in an engineering role. I'm never sure 100% how to take it as I don't want to overstate what I did, but on the other hand I'm proud of my service time.

The key to me is it's the easy out for someone just to say "thank you for your service", as fightcitymayor says it's seem like more of a meaningless platitude to make the speaker feel good, especially now after 15+ years of war.

Rather then just saying thankyou to a vet once a year, make a real sacrifice on your part to support and/or understand them.
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Leo Zappa
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killerjoe1962 wrote:
I'm a vet and I never know how to take this comment because I did not serve in combat or during years when there was a war but that's just me, I always do thank people who say that to me because it's respectful.

In the recent past I have seen where some vets reject this saying and am not sure why, I know we all have our reasons for why we do or don't like things (Lots people love Terraforming Mars & I don't) but on this particular saying I am not understanding why it's rejected by some vets.

Can anyone shed some light on this?


I'm a lot like you, a vet who served stateside during Desert Storm (but served as a family escort officer to a family whose son was killed by a Scud missile strike...not a good time), and I've always felt a little uncomfortable when, upon hearing that I served, people thank me for my service. I suppose it's because while I was in uniform and served, I was never shot at (for which I'm quite thankful!), so I don't really feel as though I'm deserving of that much thanks. Maybe some others feel the same way - it's not so much rejecting the saying as just not feeling comfortable with it.
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mortego
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I was a 02Juliet in the army (aka Army Bandsman - Clarinet)
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killerjoe1962 wrote:
I was a 02Juliet in the army (aka Army Bandsman - Clarinet)


That's so cool! Do you still play?

Myself, I was a 12A, engineer officer, though at the time I got out, I was working on cross qualifying to 92A, quartermaster officer, since there were a lot more slots for QM officers in my neck of the woods than for engineers officers.
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mortego
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desertfox2004 wrote:
killerjoe1962 wrote:
I was a 02Juliet in the army (aka Army Bandsman - Clarinet)


That's so cool! Do you still play?

Myself, I was a 12A, engineer officer, though at the time I got out, I was working on cross qualifying to 92A, quartermaster officer, since there were a lot more slots for QM officers in my neck of the woods than for engineers officers.


I am currently a music educator, I got my degree thanks to the army college fund & G.I. Bill. I did my A.I.T. in Virginia Beach at the Little Creek Navel Base - Army Element School of Music for 6 months of pure fun.

There's a story of trumpet player Doc Severinsen (former band leader of the Johnny Carson's Tonight Show Band), who served in the navy, played the Star-Spangled Banner after Reveille, for the raising of the flag in the morning on that Navel base, played the note where the lyric "free" is and took in up an octave (aka screamed it) and got a day in the stockade for it, LOL! It must've been sweet!

Billy Cobham (post-modern jazz fusion drummer) also attended the school of music there.
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I just nod and say "Ahhh, thank you", but on the inside I'm thinking what a bullshit and shallow expression of faux patriotism. I didn't serve to accommodate 60 something boomer's latent guilt over the treatment of Viet Nam vets who seemed to have found a personal flag waving Jesus after the self absorbed 70-80's.
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Nick E
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Growing up I was taught to always say "You're welcome" when being thanked by someone but "you're welcome" feels really weird to say after being thanked for serving. It usually catches me off-guard too so the only thing I ever think of to say is "Oh, yeah... thanks." Not sarcastic-like, or anything. I'm polite to the person, and am not going to reject what they said to their face. Saying "you're welcome" just feels a bit to me like I am then personally accepting their thanks and I don't feel like I did anything for them to be thankful for.
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fightcitymayor wrote:
"Thank you for your service" is a lot like "Thoughts & Prayers" on the meaningless platitudes scale. [et al.]

Perfectly expressed. I need to get you as my post writer. I'm not sure what the going scale is.
 
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Patrick C.
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As someone critical of US foreign policy, including while I briefly served, this comment bewilders me.

I received an honorable discharge, but I was fortunate because I made it clear I hated the Army and did things to make my point. Won't get into specifics, but I know that there are other vets who would tell me off if I told them my story.

As far as I'm concerned our men and women in uniform are far more likely to be used as pawns that valuable servants who protect us. I thus disagree with most military actions. However, I'm fairly certain that most of the people who tell me "thank you for your service" would not agree with my views. The result is that the person thanking me looks at me as someone who agrees with them when the odds are we are in complete political opposition to each other.

I'd rather just not have these encounters.
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Lee Fisher
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travvller wrote:
As someone critical of US foreign policy, including while I briefly served, this comment bewilders me.

I received an honorable discharge, but I was fortunate because I made it clear I hated the Army and did things to make my point. Won't get into specifics, but I know that there are other vets who would tell me off if I told them my story.

As far as I'm concerned our men and women in uniform are far more likely to be used as pawns that valuable servants who protect us. I thus disagree with most military actions. However, I'm fairly certain that most of the people who tell me "thank you for your service" would not agree with my views. The result is that the person thanking me looks at me as someone who agrees with them when the odds are we are in complete political opposition to each other.

I'd rather just not have these encounters.


How would anyone ever know?
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Christopher Dearlove
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travvller wrote:
As far as I'm concerned our men and women in uniform are far more likely to be used as pawns that valuable servants who protect us.


For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot

Not a new phenomenon.
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A friend of mine shared this yesterday on this topic:
https://www.spreaker.com/user/oregonpublicbroadcasting/thank...

I haven't listened yet though, so no idea what conclusion they come to!
 
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Patrick C.
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lfisher wrote:
travvller wrote:
As someone critical of US foreign policy, including while I briefly served, this comment bewilders me.

I received an honorable discharge, but I was fortunate because I made it clear I hated the Army and did things to make my point. Won't get into specifics, but I know that there are other vets who would tell me off if I told them my story.

As far as I'm concerned our men and women in uniform are far more likely to be used as pawns that valuable servants who protect us. I thus disagree with most military actions. However, I'm fairly certain that most of the people who tell me "thank you for your service" would not agree with my views. The result is that the person thanking me looks at me as someone who agrees with them when the odds are we are in complete political opposition to each other.

I'd rather just not have these encounters.


How would anyone ever know?


Who said it was only about how they viewed me?

The whole encounter feels slimy. They think I'm this super patriot and I think they're full of shit, basically. I'd explain in detail, but it seems as if it's a bit off topic.

These encounters are alienating to me. Before that moment occurs we're just two people minding our own business. Then we're not and now I realize I have probably zero in common with this person and I just want them to go away.

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Patrick C.
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Dearlove wrote:
travvller wrote:
As far as I'm concerned our men and women in uniform are far more likely to be used as pawns that valuable servants who protect us.


For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot

Not a new phenomenon.


Which is why I think the whole thing is so utterly stupid given that it's been happening for hundreds of years, over and over.
 
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Lee Fisher
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travvller wrote:
lfisher wrote:
travvller wrote:
As someone critical of US foreign policy, including while I briefly served, this comment bewilders me.

I received an honorable discharge, but I was fortunate because I made it clear I hated the Army and did things to make my point. Won't get into specifics, but I know that there are other vets who would tell me off if I told them my story.

As far as I'm concerned our men and women in uniform are far more likely to be used as pawns that valuable servants who protect us. I thus disagree with most military actions. However, I'm fairly certain that most of the people who tell me "thank you for your service" would not agree with my views. The result is that the person thanking me looks at me as someone who agrees with them when the odds are we are in complete political opposition to each other.

I'd rather just not have these encounters.


How would anyone ever know?


Who said it was only about how they viewed me?

The whole encounter feels slimy. They think I'm this super patriot and I think they're full of shit, basically. I'd explain in detail, but it seems as if it's a bit off topic.

These encounters are alienating to me. Before that moment occurs we're just two people minding our own business. Then we're not and now I realize I have probably zero in common with this person and I just want them to go away.



Sorry I mean how would anyone ever know you are a veteran, resulting in this encounter?
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J.D. Hall
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You want to thank a veteran? Fix the Veterans' Administration and make sure deserving people who serve get the benefits they were promised. Talking is just bullshit.
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Patrick C.
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lfisher wrote:
travvller wrote:
lfisher wrote:
travvller wrote:
As someone critical of US foreign policy, including while I briefly served, this comment bewilders me.

I received an honorable discharge, but I was fortunate because I made it clear I hated the Army and did things to make my point. Won't get into specifics, but I know that there are other vets who would tell me off if I told them my story.

As far as I'm concerned our men and women in uniform are far more likely to be used as pawns that valuable servants who protect us. I thus disagree with most military actions. However, I'm fairly certain that most of the people who tell me "thank you for your service" would not agree with my views. The result is that the person thanking me looks at me as someone who agrees with them when the odds are we are in complete political opposition to each other.

I'd rather just not have these encounters.


How would anyone ever know?


Who said it was only about how they viewed me?

The whole encounter feels slimy. They think I'm this super patriot and I think they're full of shit, basically. I'd explain in detail, but it seems as if it's a bit off topic.

These encounters are alienating to me. Before that moment occurs we're just two people minding our own business. Then we're not and now I realize I have probably zero in common with this person and I just want them to go away.



Sorry I mean how would anyone ever know you are a veteran, resulting in this encounter?


Ah, I misunderstood.

I sometimes bring it up because what I learned in my brief Army Intel life is now a central part of how I view the world and US foreign policy specifically. The only way these situations wouldn't happen would be if I just kept quiet when people are talking about the news and that's just not who I am. I'm not trying to get people to say "thank you for your service," I'm trying to make people understand that they've been lied to.

When I hear this meaningless phrase it tells me I'm not likely to make much headway and to proceed with caution. In some cases, if it's really obvious we're on different planets, I might try to politely exit the conversation as fast as I can.
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Patrick C.
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remorseless1 wrote:
You want to thank a veteran? Fix the Veterans' Administration and make sure deserving people who serve get the benefits they were promised. Talking is just bullshit.


Another ditto. Absolutely.
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I agree with meaningless of the statement.
When I was stationed at Fort Hood we used to laugh at the local businesses with We support our troops signs. Largely because Fort Hood is the primary employer in the region and source of all the revenue, so they weren't supporting the troops the troops were supporting them. And 93C/15Q ATC
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madmanw wrote:
I agree with meaningless of the statement.
When I was stationed at Fort Hood we used to laugh at the local businesses with We support our troops signs. Largely because Fort Hood is the primary employer in the region and source of all the revenue, so they weren't supporting the troops the troops were supporting them. And 93C/15Q ATC



It's mainly used as a societal small talk band aid, you say the ritual and then you can put that persons experience out of sight and of mind - personal obligigations satisfied.


<-- Some one who has already admitted his military career was based on pragmatic choice given the range of options available.
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John Robinson
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I dont like the idea that we are all hero's and special, I especially dont like it when I see other vets on social media demand to know if someone they are arguing with served and then try and claim to be "more of a patriot" or somehow better than they are.

I enlisted becuase I'd wanted to for as long as I could remember, I went to Iraq/Afghanistan becuase I was told to, Im not a hero, Im not special, Im not better than my countrymen, I dont expect to be thanked for just doing my job.
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J.D. Hall
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jon7167 wrote:
I dont like the idea that we are all hero's and special, I especially dont like it when I see other vets on social media demand to know if someone they are arguing with served and then try and claim to be "more of a patriot" or somehow better than they are.

I enlisted becuase I'd wanted to for as long as I could remember, I went to Iraq/Afghanistan becuase I was told to, Im not a hero, Im not special, Im not better than my countrymen, I dont expect to be thanked for just doing my job.

Totally agree and respect that. I'm certain a significant percentage of American veterans feel exactly the same way.
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