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Veterans in Scouting

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1 hour ago, qwazse said:

It doesn't sound like you vets are alone. Congressman elect Dan Crenshaw brought that point home in a conversation with Pete Davidson on Saturday Night Live. Crenshaw said he didn't like "Thank you for your service." and suggested the following:

So, vets. Never forget.

Does that come across better?

I watched that, and it does, a little. Again, it might be me being a curmudgeon but civilians actually forget all the time. There is almost no national awareness that troops are still dying in active hostile engagements in various conflicts. Some stranger telling me to "never forget" still begs the question a bit. I lived it; of course I will never forget. Perhaps if they said instead said "[I will] never forget." I didn't get that implication when I watched it live but perhaps I missed it.

 

I might have to think on this a bit. I've long known that I didn't care for the practice but I hadn't put enough thought into it to have a well formed opinion or a recommended solution.

[Conscious stream of thought to follow...] I was never in REAL harms way. I was in the infantry and I was deployed overseas but never in a really hostile situation (missed Desert Shield by a week). Why should someone thank me or even acknowledge me any more than they would acknowledge the social worker or the parole officer that might work in a dangerous environment all the time? If I had joined the military to be a legal clerk and I was station in Hawaii for 5 years, did I really do something that deserves special recognition? MANY do deserve recognition and appreciate for their sacrifices but thanking a random vet when you don't know what they/we did? Even telling us they will never forget - forget what? That my "sacrifice" was to deliver mail for six months while I was deployed to Egypt (true story)?

*Shrug...*

Still considering...

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1 hour ago, Hawkwin said:

... If I had joined the military to be a legal clerk and I was station in Hawaii for 5 years, did I really do something that deserves special recognition? ... my "sacrifice" was to deliver mail for six months while I was deployed to Egypt ...

My dad did a tour with the national guard in Hawaii, one of my brothers was born at the time. (I hope one of us still has the telegram from Mom announcing the birth.) A bit of a hardship, but not much. He returned state-side no worse for the wear. Cushy assignment ... check. He would have recommended it to anyone. About month later (I think) Pearl harbor was bombed.

So, all of us know (or should know) that most of our vets aren't going to literally take flak. But, for five years, the odds are a good bit higher against you than most civilians. That's the whole point of a war machine ... just few are the blade's edge, while the rest provide the heft to drive it home.

We are right to be grateful. But I also can respect the discomfort implied by the standard greeting. So, keep considering ... please.

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18 hours ago, Hawkwin said:

If I had joined the military to be a legal clerk and I was station in Hawaii for 5 years, did I really do something that deserves special recognition? MANY do deserve recognition and appreciate for their sacrifices but thanking a random vet when you don't know what they/we did? Even telling us they will never forget - forget what? That my "sacrifice" was to deliver mail for six months while I was deployed to Egypt (true story)?

I wonder if there's not a couple of things going on these days.  First, I think there are a lot of folks that knew or remember how the Vietnam vets were treated when they came home.  There's some desire, at least in some parts of society, to make up for that societal disgrace.  It can't be taken back, but, a different attitude can be shown moving forward.  I think the second thing that's happening is we're now what 40 years into the all volunteer force.  There are two generations of citizens that realize they didn't even have to consider serving.  I wonder if some folks are coming to terms with that reality.  OEF/OIF are the first sustained, on-tv-every-night operations in a generation.  The idea of military service is in their living rooms again. 

I figure when people say thanks for your service, they aren't talking to me, I'm just a guy that represents all vets, at that moment, to that person.  It's uncomfortable because I know where I belong in hierarchy.  But, I try to be gracious and then take a few minutes to remember and be grateful myself.

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