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Old 07-04-2017, 11:22 PM
 
Location: Retired in Malibu/La Quinta/Flagstaff
1,025 posts, read 1,029,943 times
Reputation: 2815

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I've never voluntarily called myself a "combat veteran". I served my country, as did millions of other men and women. It never mattered to me, one way or the other, whether anyone in the military ever heard a "shot fired in anger." We served, no matter the branch, and that's all that matters. Those who served should be proud that they did.

 
Old 07-04-2017, 11:30 PM
 
Location: Midwest
2,603 posts, read 6,060,318 times
Reputation: 2751
Quote:
Originally Posted by LBTRS View Post
What is your definition of "combat veteran"? I served on a ship in the Persian Gulf during Desert Storm and we fought the enemy. I didn't have bullets flying over my head but we were fighting an enemy and they wanted to kill us. Is that "combat"? Many of my shipmates were injured and two of them killed during our preparation to fight the enemy. Many others were injured while conducting combat operations even though the injuries were not directly caused by the enemy.

Or do you feel that ground combat is what constitutes "combat veterans"?

The military is a combat occupation regardless of what you do in the military. You can be ordered at any moment to combat and most in the military serve in dangerous positions regardless of what your job is.
The military will tell you if you're in a "combat zone." You will get hazardous duty pay or combat pay or whatever they call it now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoNewk View Post
Well, I've always felt a little like some of the non-combat vets, that I didn't do much to earn VA benefits. I did, however, use my school bennies, since I donated 4 years of my life to the cause instead of running off to college. I'm a Vietnam era vet, but I spent my "overseas" duty in beautiful Anchorage, AK, sitting at a desk writing histories and puff pieces or at a table playing cards.

I could have volunteered for a tour in Nam, but I didn't. Those who went to there, especially those who actually fought there, deserve whatever the the VA can do for them. I know. I served. I gave a few years. But I had a pretty soft job, too.
We all paid in time and stress. We all pay taxes to support the VA. I have no issue of anyone who's an actual veteran going to the VA, whether you're Sergeant Rock or Specialist Clerk. It is a benefit of service. Period.

As for taking someone else's place, I've debated that for years. The system is the system. They will make space. That's what schedules are for.

For the people they sandbagged, I suspect those guys got black marks for having difficult injuries to treat, or were complex cases, and Upstairs put the kabosh on their treatment plan.

Whoever did that, enjoy your time in hell, you'll be there a while.
 
Old 07-05-2017, 08:36 AM
 
871 posts, read 1,103,538 times
Reputation: 1504
I'm going to dissent from the group a bit and say that there is a difference.


The VA went through the trouble of categorizing veterans by priority (see earlier post), but they don't use it. Why shouldn't a priority 1 (service connected combat vet) get preferential treatment for appointment date, etc.? Currently everyone waits in line with everyone else. I'm not sure that's the way it should work.


As the system currently stands, if a service connected, wounded combat veteran with no private insurance requests an appointment at the same time as a non-service connected, non-combat veteran with private insurance who would just rather come to the VA (or worse, goes to both the VA and the private sector), they will both wait the same amount of time. There is something wrong with that in my opinion.
 
Old 07-05-2017, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Columbia SC
6,804 posts, read 5,345,241 times
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The problem I see with the VA are veterans with no military related issues wanting service. I say the VA is for retired military and those with a service related injury.

I have a brother-in-law who was in the army for 2 years driving a truck in Germany. 50 years later he is looking for VA care. This is disgraceful.

PS
I spent 6 years in the US Navy and I have never been near the VA.
 
Old 07-05-2017, 09:54 AM
 
4,316 posts, read 1,585,294 times
Reputation: 7490
Quote:
Originally Posted by johngolf View Post
The problem I see with the VA are veterans with no military related issues wanting service. I say the VA is for retired military and those with a service related injury.

I have a brother-in-law who was in the army for 2 years driving a truck in Germany. 50 years later he is looking for VA care. This is disgraceful.

PS
I spent 6 years in the US Navy and I have never been near the VA.


(2nd sentence )


Makes no difference what you say or what you call "disgraceful "

When I got my draft notice at 20 years, 2 months old.........I was living with my 75 year old father on a run down farm and already had 2 years seniority at a UNION packing plant where I lugged beef quarters .
In my off time I kept the farm going so my father could keep his dream of living there until he died.


Despite neighbors urging me to get a deferment due to my parents needing me, I never considered it.
I sold my car, made plans with my sisters and brother-in-laws to try to take care of my parents and answered the call.
Running away to Canada never entered my mind !


Upon my 2 years in the Navy, I returned to pick up my life.
Eventually bought the run down farm and made improvements.........returned to UNION job......bought a different new car.


My father did live to age 82 on that farm .


I regret I didn't use the GI Bill for vo-tech or college and never used a VA loan.
However, if I am eligible for any health care benefits I sure will use them despite the fact an anonymous poster thinks doing so is..........."disgraceful "
 
Old 07-05-2017, 10:02 AM
 
462 posts, read 134,829 times
Reputation: 667
I didn't serve in combat, and I feel less than. As I should. I was a machine gunner and I have friends who were killed in theater. I certainly don't feel like I should have been there to "save" them, I'm the farthest thing from a hero. But to my dying day I'll regret not serving in combat. It's why I don't have any remnants of my service. Just honorable discharge certificates somewhere in a box downstairs with my college degrees. The only ribbon/medal that mattered to me was the CAR or anything combat related. I'm happy for those that are proud of their peacetime service. I'm not.


I use the VA for my healthcare too. And at times feel guilty about that.
 
Old 07-05-2017, 10:15 AM
 
15,406 posts, read 7,804,898 times
Reputation: 14411
Quote:
Originally Posted by LBTRS View Post
What is your definition of "combat veteran"? I served on a ship in the Persian Gulf during Desert Storm and we fought the enemy. I didn't have bullets flying over my head but we were fighting an enemy and they wanted to kill us. Is that "combat"? Many of my shipmates were injured and two of them killed during our preparation to fight the enemy. Many others were injured while conducting combat operations even though the injuries were not directly caused by the enemy.

Or do you feel that ground combat is what constitutes "combat veterans"?

The military is a combat occupation regardless of what you do in the military. You can be ordered at any moment to combat and most in the military serve in dangerous positions regardless of what your job is.
Yes.


Aircraft mechanics doused with hydrazine...combat or not?


Any "Line of Duty" injury does and ought to qualify.
 
Old 07-05-2017, 10:20 AM
 
15,406 posts, read 7,804,898 times
Reputation: 14411
Quote:
Originally Posted by LesserSeneca View Post
I didn't serve in combat, and I feel less than. As I should. I was a machine gunner and I have friends who were killed in theater. I certainly don't feel like I should have been there to "save" them, I'm the farthest thing from a hero. But to my dying day I'll regret not serving in combat. It's why I don't have any remnants of my service. Just honorable discharge certificates somewhere in a box downstairs with my college degrees. The only ribbon/medal that mattered to me was the CAR or anything combat related. I'm happy for those that are proud of their peacetime service. I'm not.


I use the VA for my healthcare too. And at times feel guilty about that.
If it was never hard for your supervisor to write up a decoration for you, it's silly to be ashamed of your service.


There are around 5,000 sailors on a carrier. Of those 5,000, only about 75 are likely to be in the sights of the enemy. But every one of them has a job to do that is vital to the mission.


If you asked the skipper who he'd be willing to eliminate, he'd say, "Nobody." Some of them may never do anything on the ship but laundry, but when a ship is floating in the Arabian Sea for six months, clean sheets become critical.
 
Old 07-05-2017, 10:25 AM
 
4,316 posts, read 1,585,294 times
Reputation: 7490
Two fine veterans organizations do draw a distinction between " vet" and " combat vet"


American Legion and VFW
 
Old 07-05-2017, 10:33 AM
 
15,406 posts, read 7,804,898 times
Reputation: 14411
While I was at Pearl Harbor, I had the interesting experience of being an Air Force senior NCO serving on a Navy ranking board.


My initial reaction to "ranking board" was negative--seemed primitive and obscene. But after the experience, I think it's actually a very good thing.


One of the interesting parts was having to compare sailors of different ratings who were competing for a limited number of promotion recommendations from the commanding officer.


We had to make sure to avoid the allure of the "sexy job." We were making decisions that would determine who would become leaders.


If we had a SEAL competing against a yeoman, we could not let the SEAL's sexier job description obscure the fact that among SEALs he might be mediocre and not a good person to make a leader of SEALs, but OTOH that yeoman might be a firecracker among yeoman, well deserving to be a leader of yeomen.
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