Jump to content

5 Things Not To Say To A Veteran


Square Wheels
 Share

Recommended Posts

Full story

 

1. I can’t understand why anyone would join the military.

2. How could you leave your children?

3. But really — did you kill anyone?

4. Do you have PTSD?

5. Thank you for your service, but …(insert political belief here)

 

 

What to say:

1. Welcome back! What has the transition home been like for you?
2. I’d be interested in hearing about your service, but I am not sure if you would want to talk about it or if this is a good time?
3. What do you think is the hardest stuff for those of us who haven’t served (or don’t have a family member who has served) to understand?
4. What kind of work did you do in the service? How has your job search been going and can I help?
5. Transitions can be hard. Would you like to come over for lunch, join us to watch a game or come with me to the gym? Do you and your spouse want an evening out? I’d be happy to babysit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



 

2. I’d be interested in hearing about your service, but I am not sure if you would want to talk about it or if this is a good time?
 

 

yea, they'll know they're back in the States for sure when they hear somebody talk like that :whistle:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It kinda bothers me when people thank me on Memorial Day.

 

I'm a little weird about the whole "veteran" thing.  Yes, I served in the Armed forces.  Yes, I was in during times when I got a medal for being active at a time of war (or conflict, or whatever the first Gulf War was). 

 

But I never saw any action.  The closest I came was being on a 4 hour standby to be ready to go to Korea and whoop some ass over there if needed.  But luckily for me the call never came.

 

I think veterans are those people who were at Normandy.  Veterans have war stories, real ones.  Veterans saw some nasty things and probably don't want to re-live them. 

 

I got sunburned while running on Okinawa. 

  • Heart 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It kinda bothers me when people thank me on Memorial Day.

 

I'm a little weird about the whole "veteran" thing.  Yes, I served in the Armed forces.  Yes, I was in during times when I got a medal for being active at a time of war (or conflict, or whatever the first Gulf War was). 

 

But I never saw any action.  The closest I came was being on a 4 hour standby to be ready to go to Korea and whoop some ass over there if needed.  But luckily for me the call never came.

 

I think veterans are those people who were at Normandy.  Veterans have war stories, real ones.  Veterans saw some nasty things and probably don't want to re-live them. 

 

I got sunburned while running on Okinawa. 

 

Same for me. What I experienced was nothing compared to our guys in the recent conflicts, so I don't consider myself as having done anything worth thanking for. It was a job, I got paid, and college money on top of that. Yes, you technically put yourself in harm's way just by joining, but since even my brief deployment was all of a few weeks, it doesn't compare to some other grunt's back to back 18 month grueling slugfest through hundreds of miles of IED infested roads, snipers, and random mortar attacks, not to mention all the direct combat, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Same for me. What I experienced was nothing compared to our guys in the recent conflicts, so I don't consider myself as having done anything worth thanking for. It was a job, I got paid, and college money on top of that. Yes, you technically put yourself in harm's way just by joining, but since even my brief deployment was all of a few weeks, it doesn't compare to some other grunt's back to back 18 month grueling slugfest through hundreds of miles of IED infested roads, snipers, and random mortar attacks, not to mention all the direct combat, etc.

+2. A lot of people saw more action in their first 2 years in than I did in 24 years. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rather than any of the statements in either list, I'd prefer to let a veteran talk about what's on his or her mind. I've known a number who experienced active duty and will not talk about their service. I'm not going to bring up the topic and force them into a conversation they'd rather avoid.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whenever my sons and I see members of the armed forces past or present, we try to tell them thank you for serving.  That is it.

 

Have had some good conversations based on these attempts, and have never once felt like we had done the wrong thing.  Have gotten smiles, tears, hand shakes, service coins and some great stories.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It kinda bothers me when people thank me on Memorial Day.

 

I'm a little weird about the whole "veteran" thing.  Yes, I served in the Armed forces.  Yes, I was in during times when I got a medal for being active at a time of war (or conflict, or whatever the first Gulf War was). 

 

But I never saw any action.  The closest I came was being on a 4 hour standby to be ready to go to Korea and whoop some ass over there if needed.  But luckily for me the call never came.

 

I think veterans are those people who were at Normandy.  Veterans have war stories, real ones.  Veterans saw some nasty things and probably don't want to re-live them. 

 

I got sunburned while running on Okinawa. 

 

A veteran is anyone who volunteered for the duty, in my opinion.  Whether they got sent to "get yer ass killed" country or not.  You went in with the possibility that it might happen, even if it didn't.

 

I have great respect for anyone who served honorably in our Armed Forces.  I think it has become harder to do as more people have the potential to get sent to do dangerous things in support of a cause they might question, for a nation whose governing body that may be out of touch with what it really means to serve. 

 

And yet to do it anyway, knowing that we *do* need people to serve --that commands my respect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whenever my sons and I see members of the armed forces past or present, we try to tell them thank you for serving.  That is it.

 

Have had some good conversations based on these attempts, and have never once felt like we had done the wrong thing.  Have gotten smiles, tears, hand shakes, service coins and some great stories.

 

That statement, thanking a veteran for serving, would feel uncomfortable to me. Those I know who have been in military service tend to say little about it, as if they are trying to forget.

 

If you are able to thank someone for serving, in a gentle and non-intrusive manner, I am impressed. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...