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Old 02-22-2015, 07:27 AM
5,479 posts, read 2,251,369 times
Reputation: 5168


Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
I'm 52. Don't think that's going to work. Saying thanks is at least an appreciation of what they're doing.

But, it's turned into this big...thing...this thing that's not sincere and quite obligatory.
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Old 02-22-2015, 07:40 AM
Location: Home, Home on the Front Range
21,026 posts, read 15,229,299 times
Reputation: 11768
Originally Posted by Adrian71 View Post
Yeah, that's the problem I have with it. We've gotten to the point of de facto worship of the military, so that if you happen to be critical of our foreign policy and that our current military actions might hurt more than they help, you're met with outright hatred and vitriol.

But yeah, I'm sure "thank you for your service" does feel empty and trite to these guys, much like "I'm sorry for your loss" sounds vacuous to anyone who's lost a loved one. It makes the person saying it feel better while doing nothing for the recipient. We're good at patting ourselves on the back in this country without doing much to back up our words.

Regardless of my own feelings on our military actions and foreign policy, I think I'd also feel insulted having all these people thank me for my service when we have a system that chews these guys up and spits them out when they come back home. If you're really thankful for their service, then fight for better veterans services. Advocate for veterans who are battling mental illness and sitting out on the street. Work for more intervention for PTSD problems in hopes of reducing veteran suicide rates. See that they have more opportunities for jobs when they come home and have an easier time integrating back into society.

Or, perhaps best of all, push our elected leaders to re-examine our insane foreign policy that keeps sending these guys overseas in the first place. Push back against the recruiters who prey on poor kids who see no other options when they finish school but to join the military. Educate the public on why these guys are making themselves unwitting pawns of the military-industrial complex and falling for nationalist propaganda that serves the wealthy and powerful. Teach them that there is no glory in war.

All of those things would be better than simply spouting off "thank you for your service" and acting like we've done something constructive.

I will add that I am surprised and confused by the people that seem so defensive about this article.
This man has a right to feel the way that he does. Why are people taking it as a personal attack?
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Old 02-22-2015, 07:41 AM
Location: Type 0.7 Kardashev
10,577 posts, read 6,823,128 times
Reputation: 37337
I don't get irritated at such thanks, but they do make me uncomfortable.

Interestingly, the only place I get thanked is in the professional world, and only by those colleagues who are casual acquaintances, and only what it's fashionable (ie, on Veteran's Day).

I enlisted in the Minnesota ARNG in 1988, with an NBC Ops MOS and a place at a chemical company. Later, I moved onto and was slotted as an NBC NCO (I was a Spec-4 but the position was vacant, so in my brief time there I ran it) in an armor battalion.

I was not activated for Desert Shield/Storm. I was never activated to assist with floods or any other local crisis. I did my weekend/month and my two weeks/summer for the required 6 (+2 inactive) years.

I'll be real blunt:
*I enlisted for the money and college benefits.
*I did not enlist out of any notions of duty or service. I did my job, but it was because I do whatever job I have.
*I did not particularly like it - training was almost always boring, and the people I worked with are like a collection of group in any profession, even the corporate world in which I now work. There's the good, the bad, and the ugly. The intelligent and innovative people who do their job and far more on one hand, and the idiots and the slackers and the wastes of a uniform or suit on the other hand. In between, there's the average soldier/worker.

I saw enough of serving in the field to have developed a sense of the privations of those who find themselves deployed, with the knowledge that my experience of being in the field at a stateside base - for however boring and unpleasant I found it - can certainly not compare to doing a year in a place such as a foreign desert combat zone. I don't know their sacrifice, but I do know that it is beyond my actual understanding.

Me? I simply never did anything that warrants thanking me. That's not self-denigration - it's merely an accurate observation.

In my opinion, it's lazy to assume that merely taking a job in the military means one warrants thanks - to say nothing of respect and the adulation that some people give anyone who wears a uniform. The military has a great many outstanding, patriotic individuals who are their to serve their country and do so greatly. But it has even more people who just want a job, and like anyplace it has its incompetents and its takers who are doing no one but themselves a service by being there.

To treat them all the same is to diminish the contributions of those who really deserve that thanks.

And I think as often as not, it's done mechanically (I would say that to fawn on veterans is an act of political correctness, except that the sort of people who toss around the term political correctness invariably define it self-servingly as social codes of behavior - but only those social codes of behavior that they happen to dislike).

When I thank someone, I know for what I am thanking them.

Last edited by Unsettomati; 02-22-2015 at 08:32 AM..
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Old 02-22-2015, 08:06 AM
Location: Pittsburgh
16,933 posts, read 17,174,761 times
Reputation: 10786
Originally Posted by ks5692 View Post
The guy's a jerk. Anyone who gets pissed off by someone's thoughtful comment is a jerk.
This about sums it up. Goodness, people can't even be nice and say "thanks"? I guess there are some people that are offended no matter what you say. Maybe in 20 years we won't speak at all, because we may offend someone. Looking forward to it, I guess.
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Old 02-22-2015, 08:33 AM
Location: New Market, MD
2,003 posts, read 2,449,358 times
Reputation: 2503
Originally Posted by gg View Post
This about sums it up. Goodness, people can't even be nice and say "thanks"? I guess there are some people that are offended no matter what you say. Maybe in 20 years we won't speak at all, because we may offend someone. Looking forward to it, I guess.
I totally agree. Why would someone be offended with thank you? If you are not fond of it it's easy to ignore or not pay any attention. I bet more people will be offended (?) if you say nothing so we can safely ignore this fool.
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Old 02-22-2015, 08:39 AM
399 posts, read 509,919 times
Reputation: 701
The guy in the article seemed upset that the rest of us don't join the military- annoyed that there aren't drafts. I got that he wanted others to share in his suffering- that what would make him feel better is if we walked in his shoes and knew what he felt. When a girl is raped, do we rape the rest of the girls in the country? NO. That would be harmful and we don't need more people with psychological distress, as this vet obviously has. We are not all meant to have the same life experiences or purposes in life. Read 1 Corinthians 12.
My husband and I have gone through our own living h*** in the last 5 years, but nobody can truly understand what we went through. If someone reacts negatively, we just don't have them in our life. If they withhold judgement and are supportive, well that's who our friends are. We don't bother explaining to anyone our grief- it is boxed up, tied shut, and put away.
This guy needs to get over that not everyone is feeling his feelings for him. He says he is annoyed when people thank him because he feels they are self serving and implying that he did it for them. Well, wtf did he do it for? His country, right? WE are his country. So I say-

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE. As I thank the pastors for their service. And the farmers for feeding us. And the road workers for paving roads. And the garbage man. And the doctors. And the police. And........

Last edited by purplepeach; 02-22-2015 at 08:41 AM.. Reason: missed a word
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Old 02-22-2015, 08:52 AM
3,720 posts, read 4,438,510 times
Reputation: 4741
The fact is, many of his fellow Americans gladly sent him off to war for no reason and shouted the rest of us down who questioned it and argued against it and now his and many other soldiers lives are in tatters. I never blame soldiers for wars and only expect them to serve honorably, but it is the job of American politicians and their constituents (us voters) to make sure that we don't just go to war for made up reasons that hurt our soldiers (who are sons and daughters, fathers and mothers). Then we thank them for going instead of us so that we could have our cushy jobs and make lots of money and buy houses and cars while they now have mental issues. Anyone who was around for the weapons of mass destruction bs and all the gung-ho Americans who were ready to fight (not them of course) know what I mean. War is not a football game.
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Old 02-22-2015, 08:56 AM
Location: Los Angeles County
11,062 posts, read 8,980,576 times
Reputation: 28987
Whether or not it sincere is a moot point. Being a jerk about people who say it to you is a worse action that saying thank you insincerely in my opinion.
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Old 02-22-2015, 08:58 AM
Location: Georgia
4,514 posts, read 3,772,562 times
Reputation: 15511
Originally Posted by Rainbow Demon View Post
He volunteered. It was his choice to serve...for whatever reason. He was paid for his time. We owe him nothing more and he need not be special/above anyone else.

I am happy to ignore him if that is his desire. I would rather remember my grandfather who served proudly and never missed an opportunity to talk about his service with a gleam in his eye.

RIP Grandpa Floyd.
So -- a fireman who is injured trying to save your house when it's struck by lightening doesn't require a "thank you" because "it's just his job."?

A policeman who works to recover your stolen car doesn't deserve a "thank you" because "it's just his job"?

A lifeguard who dives into the ocean to rescue your child who got caught by a riptide doesn't deserve a "thank you" because "it's just his job"?

A simple thank you to a serviceman or woman is an acknowledgement that they are doing an often difficult job under unpleasant and dangerous circumstances. The fact that they are trained to do it doesn't negate the kindness of a "thank you". Heck, I tell my server in a restaurant "thank you" when he brings me my drink. Why wouldn't I thank a person who put himself in harm's way for my country? Thanking someone doesn't make them "special" -- it's a human-to-human expression of thanks and appreciation.
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Old 02-22-2015, 09:04 AM
3,299 posts, read 1,717,175 times
Reputation: 5455
Meh. Experiences in uniform aren't all uniform. This vet spoke for themselves and not all vets; I wouldn't get too spun up over it.

If "thanks for your service" is considered trite by some, just say "welcome back".
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