Vets Help Me understand

Discussion in 'Politics and other "Messy" Stuff' started by N2MINI, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. N2MINI

    N2MINI MINI of the Month

    Dec 4, 2009
    3,349
    575
    113
    Sign Maker
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Ratings:
    +594 / 0 / -0
    Please Don


    Very interesting article on some NOT ALL vets way of thinking now that they are out of service. I have never been in the service even though I tried to join. Medical condition ( Von Willibrands = Free Bleeder ) So I have no way of remotely understanding this group of vets way of thinking.. So I asked my dad who did serve thru the draft back in the day and he doesn't get it either. He just says they are spoiled brats. They should try coming back when people spit on you, shunned you, etc for being a vet... Granted there is the whole 3-4 generation gap there.. For most of the general public there is no way to fully show our gratitude for what the military does but to say Thanks. There are companies an organizations that try to hire vets when all possible, they have way more assistance programs then any other generation of Vets before them. What more do they want.. If we the public did not say thanks, have parades, assistance programs etc, they would be the same ones saying we are ungrateful...So I'd like to hear from some vets opinions on this..
     
  2. rum4

    rum4 Club Coordinator
    Lifetime Supporter

    Aug 17, 2011
    4,568
    1,475
    0
    SC
    Ratings:
    +1,478 / 0 / -0
    I am a vet and I read this article. I'm not sure what the issue is with someone saying thanks. I
     
  3. Friskie

    Friskie Well-Known Member

    Jul 20, 2009
    1,650
    1,332
    113
    Highly motivated retiree
    In the here and now, for now.
    Ratings:
    +1,338 / 0 / -0
    I think I can understand it just a little. The words 'Thank you for your service', can begin to sound trite and hollow, kind of like 'have a nice day'. Automatic reflex expressions do become annoying and over the past few years, this one has even though it is said sincerely. One has to ask, is it a guilty reaction to the way returning vets were treated back in '69. I remember hearing a commentator remark about that and the difference in the way soldiers were greeted when they returned from the confrontations with Noriega in Panama and the Grenada expedition. I'm a member of the Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club and consider myself a veteran only by virtue of being in a combat zone and having the luxury of free postage.
     
  4. rum4

    rum4 Club Coordinator
    Lifetime Supporter

    Aug 17, 2011
    4,568
    1,475
    0
    SC
    Ratings:
    +1,478 / 0 / -0
    I see your point but a lot of the younger generation have thanked me for my service so they had nothing to do with how NAM vets were treated. Most times it is another vet saying thanks which carries more weight to me cause they get it!
     
  5. cct1

    cct1 Well-Known Member
    Lifetime Supporter

    May 5, 2009
    3,378
    3,368
    113
    Ratings:
    +3,369 / 0 / -0
    Good article, it is thought provoking. I've never served, but I've always had a tremendous respect and admiration for those who have, and I've been fortunate enough to have befriended a number of veterans of various ages who have had various degrees of exposure to combat--from none, to seriously wounded. I get where he's coming from, although I don't agree with it. He's totally 100% entitled to feel that way--he experienced it, we didn't. I'm certainly not going to pass judgement, it's not my place.

    I think where he's coming from is the "thank you" comes across like someone who hasn't experienced something saying "I know" to someone who actually has--no, you don't know, you are trying to be sympathetic by saying that, and it rubs wrong sometimes. And maybe he's right; there are probably many people who are saying "thank you" to make themselves feel better rather than honoring a soldier.

    However, if you've ever been in an airport, and seen a group of soldiers exit a plane, and see everyone stop what they're doing and applaud, it's a fairly powerful, and very genuine act.
     
  6. minirab

    minirab Well-Known Member

    May 6, 2009
    3,243
    776
    113
    Hagerstown, Md.
    Ratings:
    +850 / 0 / -0
    I left Nam and the Army in 2-71. I never once heard it until when my son

    first left for college in 1999. I will still remember this til the day I die. We

    were sitting in front of one of the college building waiting for an orientation

    to start when it somehow came up that I had been in Nam. This kid we had

    just met said thanks for serving and that I must hear that a lot. To say that

    I was speechless was an understatement. I told him that he was the first

    person that had ever said that to me; then he was speechless. It was some-

    thing that I will never forget.
     
  7. Steve

    Steve Administrator
    Staff Member Articles Moderator

    Apr 23, 2009
    12,156
    3,162
    113
    Maryland, USA
    Ratings:
    +3,164 / 0 / -0
    I'm a vet and I'd point out that they're covering a lot of ground in that article...and I'm about to pile on...sorry for that. My impression is someone is trying really hard to think of every possible reason someone might struggle with accepting gratitude. I don't think these are attitudes felt by most and it's possible there are deeper issues these guys either don't understand yet or they understand but don't want to admit (my attempt to give them the benefit of doubt).

    I have a bit of an internal struggle with it myself but I think for many of us it's just a result of humility.

    But there's yet another side that also seems a bit less self-centered than anything I read in that article. For some, it's hard to accept praise when you feel guilty. Imagine if you walked away, relatively unharmed physically from a situation (or situations) like that guy in the "Battle of the Unmarked Compound". You know people who were much less lucky. You may have even watched them being killed despite your best efforts. I wish I didn't feel the need to invoke the "you don't know, man, you weren't there" mentality but it's hard to explain how that feels. Even harder to explain how close and tight you may have been with those you couldn't help, it can be a real brothers in arms thing and that, also, is hard to understand. Imagine the potential guilt of being the survivor. Now can you imagine how it might feel when someone treats you like you're the hero? Oddly enough, your brain can make that leap when someone does something as innocuous as thanking you for your service.

    It's not necessarily that dramatic, though. If you're just trying to live a simple life and move on, even simple praise can be hard to take if it's a reminder of things you'd rather forget. And there are still others who are angry about their service for one reason or another and don't want to be associated with anything other than military or military service bashing.

    Leaving that last example behind, it does seem strangely ironic (there's probably a better word) that someone would feel less than grateful to someone else who's simply expressing gratitude for their service. And here's hoping those who feel like verbal expressions of gratitude aren't enough are the overwhelming minority.

    I decided long ago that the right thing to do is to assume anyone who thanks me actually means it and isn't just saying it because they think it's what they're expected to do these days. I think it's a safe assumption, most of the time. So just take it at face value and move on.
     
  8. minirab

    minirab Well-Known Member

    May 6, 2009
    3,243
    776
    113
    Hagerstown, Md.
    Ratings:
    +850 / 0 / -0
    You are so right, I just wish that I had the ability to say it like you just did.
     
  9. cct1

    cct1 Well-Known Member
    Lifetime Supporter

    May 5, 2009
    3,378
    3,368
    113
    Ratings:
    +3,369 / 0 / -0
    #9 cct1, Feb 22, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2015
    Wow Steve, great post. Brought in some good points I never considered before.
     
  10. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
    Lifetime Supporter

    May 4, 2009
    25,023
    13,491
    113
    Burbs of Philly, PA
    Ratings:
    +14,638 / 10 / -4
    I thank ALL veterans of ALL generations because all (4) of my brothers and my Father are veterans and they all made it back home.

    "They" All those that were drafted or chose to enlist to put their life on the line for our country and what we the USA stand for we should all be eternally grateful. I know I am.

    I cannot fix how other vetrerians were treated when they came home long ago but I can show them honor and thankfulness for their service today.
     
  11. mrntd

    mrntd Well-Known Member
    Supporting Member

    Sep 30, 2011
    5,083
    1,762
    113
    Male
    Sales and Marketing manager
    Hilliard, Ohio
    Ratings:
    +1,763 / 0 / -0
    I have known a number of vets, friends and family, over a lot of different wars, WWII on up, and they all appreciated the thanks. But some might add that "they did their job", or they "did what was needed to be done". Some I was closer with did say they had a little guilt but mostly for not being able to do more.

    I thank all vets and I do it with sincerity, a hand shank and look in the eye.
     
  12. Gramps

    Gramps Active Member

    Oct 25, 2012
    113
    90
    28
    US Army Civilian at Fort Sam Houston
    Boerne, Texas
    Ratings:
    +90 / 0 / -0
    A "thank you for service", if offered sincerely, should be fine for most vets. However, there are some who are still dealing with anger, loss, guilt, etc. Sometimes it is diagnosed as PTSD, sometimes not.

    I first put on the uniform in 1972 and am still serving as I sit here at Fort Sam Houston. I have worked with a number of soldiers the last few years who are still dealing with issues related to their deployments. For those few, a "thank you" may remind them of something they are still having difficulty dealing with. But, for the majority acknowledgement of their service and sacrifice is appreciated.
     
  13. N2MINI

    N2MINI MINI of the Month

    Dec 4, 2009
    3,349
    575
    113
    Sign Maker
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Ratings:
    +594 / 0 / -0
    I agree with you and most of the others, but the guy in the article comes across as if he is saying I'm a puss for not being there and or took the easy way out by just saying Thank You.. He really would rather I not acknowledge his service at all it seems like.. Especially when the writer mentioned that some of them joke amongst themselves of that very statement. "Thank you for your service"... which makes me wonder why did they join up to start with. I know it wasn't to get my thanks of course but still..
     
  14. Gramps

    Gramps Active Member

    Oct 25, 2012
    113
    90
    28
    US Army Civilian at Fort Sam Houston
    Boerne, Texas
    Ratings:
    +90 / 0 / -0
    I'm with soldiers everyday and most do appreciate recognition/gratitude. There are a few still dealing with issues that may cause a bit of a "chip on the shoulder" attitude. I agree that it does cause you to wonder about their motivation or why they may be cynical and/or angry. They are the minority and still warrant compassion and respect even if they are not very gracious in their response. Some of the stories and events that have been shared with me give a whole new perspective....
     
  15. B.A.D.

    B.A.D. Club Coordinator

    Dec 6, 2009
    2,283
    930
    113
    Ratings:
    +933 / 0 / -0
    I wonder if there is an increase of "Thanks for your service" when movies like American Sniper are in the theater and if it dies off after those movies are out of the theater. If so, I could understood the questioning of the sincerity of these types of "Thank yous".

    Related question for all of you that do this (and I do not doubt any of your sincerity), do you also thank firefighters, LEOs, EMTs, or ER staff?
     
  16. N2MINI

    N2MINI MINI of the Month

    Dec 4, 2009
    3,349
    575
    113
    Sign Maker
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Ratings:
    +594 / 0 / -0
    I don't and fortunately I don't often run into those people.. Same as I don't usually run into a service man in uniform in order for me to know they are or have been in the military.. The only way I'd know is if they bring it up some how..
     
  17. Steve

    Steve Administrator
    Staff Member Articles Moderator

    Apr 23, 2009
    12,156
    3,162
    113
    Maryland, USA
    Ratings:
    +3,164 / 0 / -0
    I don't usually thank any of them, and that includes military, unless I witness something to thank them for. But I am always more friendly and respectful to all of them than I am to most others who are strangers to me. Why no overt thank you? Because that's what I would prefer, simple, respectful acknowledgement.
     
  18. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

    Jun 4, 2009
    19,275
    9,820
    113
    Retired old fart
    Hooterville Ohio USA
    Ratings:
    +11,312 / 2 / -0
    When I have occasion to speak with those folks I always say thanks.
     
  19. Firebro17

    Firebro17 Dazed, but not Confused
    Lifetime Supporter

    Sep 18, 2010
    7,820
    3,327
    113
    Retired CAL FIRE Battalion Chief
    The Great Irrigated Desert of Central CA
    Ratings:
    +3,328 / 0 / -0
    I'd like to speak to the second paragraph if I may. Having spent the greater part of 33 years in the fire service, and having interacted rather closely with the other three service provider professionals you listed, for those same years, I came to a conclusion years ago regarding receiving praise for doing a job to help someone in need.

    I believe, and I do believe I'm not alone in this thought process, that the general public for whom we serve(d) are recipient to the service at an extremely stressful point in their lives. Whether it be fire, police or medical related, most folks don't often experience a personal emergency of a magnitude requiring a response or treatment of this nature. Moreover, those same folks (unless they are in one of the aforementioned fields) really do not understand what the jobs entail, nor do they really understand that the professionals providing the services are really just like them. The difference is that we chose to specialize in caring for others by providing emergency services, whatever be the chosen field.

    People express their sincere gratitude (in most all cases) at the moment they feel a relief from their stressors, typically as the emergency winds to a conclusion. A first responder accepts the thanks with grace and goes about their day, preparing for the next call for service. This seems a bit simplified I'm guessing. But, it is a simple process for most emergency workers. It is because it is what we do. It's what we've been trained to do. It's what we love to do... The thank yous (and hugs in many cases), though unnecessary, are very much appreciated by everyone. It is not, nor has it (or will it) ever be an expectation. The view of the worker is simply; "I'm just doing my job and I love doing it. I'm glad we could be of some help."

    Now, for the down side... The services an emergency worker provides are not without their own stresses though. Many individuals, including myself, have and do reach levels of overload. Many times these overloads result in a breakdown. Some are cured through a series of joking with fellow workers, while others are filled with tears. Further, some workers resort to alcohol and drug use to mask the real issue at the root of their problems. Still others deal with their stress through expressing anger and rage, as well as domestic violence. To effectively deal with the stresses emergency workers carry, an extensive Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) program has been developed. Sessions are provided for those folks who have suffered through incident trauma and are carrying with them the extra baggage that needs to be brought to the forefront. Having received the training as a peer counselor and having sat in at least five sessions, I believe in this as a means for someone to be able to shed their demons in a controlled and professional environment.

    Whether it be an emergency worker as was originally mentioned in the question, or a current and/or former military service man or woman, it is extremely important, in my humble opinion, to acknowledge their service with sincerity. Whether or not the recipient of the praise and thanks accepts the gesture is entirely up to them. In my heart, I believe every body appreciates that someone took the time to just say "Thanks."
     
  20. vetsvette

    vetsvette MINI Alliance Ambassador

    Nov 9, 2013
    2,181
    1,781
    113
    South Central Virginia
    Ratings:
    +1,936 / 0 / -0
    I retired in '88 and don't remember anyone thanking me until the last 10-12 years. It still happens so seldom that it always catches me by surprise and I'm usually a little embarrassed because the first thing that runs through my head is "for what?"
    Doesn't really bother me, and definitely is better than some of the remarks/comments/epithets that were directed at me when traveling in uniform in the late 60's and early 70's.
     

Share This Page