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RememberSchiff

Veterans in Scouting

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I don't know how many veterans continue to serve as Scout leaders. They usually do not  mention their prior service until the troop attends a Veteran's Day service or at a Scout gathering when veterans are asked to stand and be recognized...briefly.

The BSA Adult Application does not ask Are you a Veteran?  Perhaps it should.  Maybe a new right sleeve strip VETERAN to be worn under the US flag or Veterans wear their scout uniform with the US flag blue stars forward? Wasn't there a VETERAN strip ?

A more immediate and continuous recognition?

My $0.01 this Veteran's Day, 

 

Edited by RememberSchiff

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Good morning to you. As a current member of the Army and an active Scouter trying to maneuver his children through the great program that is Scouts, I would prefer to leave the achievements to the scouts.

As an Eagle Scout I get to where my square knot, and there is already a Military Affinity for NESA Military members.

I don't know. I just prefer the recognition go to the scouts. Great thought though. Id love to hear more input from the field.

 

Rob

 

 

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Most of our veterans, by the time they are scout leaders prefer to shine the light on other veterans who they admire. If a scout comes to me wondering who to interview for communications MB, I often point him to a veteran. (Although every scouter has an interesting story to tell, and at the right times, boys love to hear those stories.)

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RememberSchiff, I like your recommendation.  I don't think I'd wear the vet patch myself, but I think it is a nice option to have available.    The Tribe of Mic-o-Say has a red/white/blue bead for vets to wear with their claws, if memory serves.

Verification of service would be necessary.  Every so often, I run across a real "Baloney Sandwich" artist, a scouter who claims to have been Special Forces, door gunner on the Space Shuttle, etc.   And it's painfully obvious they weren't anything close to that, if they were in the military at all.  I suppose vets could bring in their DD214 to the council office to confirm their service status.

Uniform options aside, vets usually stand out in subtle ways.  Shiny old P38 on their key ring, getting their hair cut every 10 days whether they need it or not, morning coffee from a canteen cup, lingo such as "SPL, organize a detail to clean the latrine," standing at attention during flag ceremonies as taught in basic training X years/Y decades ago, etc.  And as @qwazse pointed out, vets love to "wax eloquent."  Story telling and shooting the breeze are fine military traditions.

 

Edited by desertrat77

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I'm curious if any Veterans confound their Scouts by saluting in civilian clothing?

Sailors don't salute unless covered, and they're not covered indoors unless standing watch (or at Quarters), so this is what I continue to do. And I've yet to be outdoors around my Cubs, in civvies, during a flag ceremony, so I've never had to think about it.

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I follow the BSA guidelines and hold my hand over my heart if I'm out of uniform. As a veteran I could hand salute, but if I'm around scouts I follow the guideline. 

As a Marine, I find some scout flag ceremonies to be confusing. At summer camp one year we were asked to remove our head gear, outside, to salute the flag. I dunno. Mot scouts still recite the Pledge of Allegiance wrong. it's "One Nation Under God" not 'One Nation (pause) under God." It's peeve of mine. About indoor ceremonies... scouts pivoting as the flag goes by from the rear of an auditorium to the front is odd.

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16 minutes ago, Scoutmaster Teddy said:

I follow the BSA guidelines and hold my hand over my heart if I'm out of uniform. As a veteran I could hand salute, but if I'm around scouts I follow the guideline. 

As a Marine, I find some scout flag ceremonies to be confusing. At summer camp one year we were asked to remove our head gear, outside, to salute the flag. I dunno. Mot scouts still recite the Pledge of Allegiance wrong. it's "One Nation Under God" not 'One Nation (pause) under God." It's peeve of mine. About indoor ceremonies... scouts pivoting as the flag goes by from the rear of an auditorium to the front is odd.

I'm always happy for veterans who salute.

Regarding the Pledge, my SM let us slide until one day we were asked to do the flag ceremony for the county court. Then he explained how we were expected to say it. I didn't make it to that ceremony, but from then on, I removed the imaginary comma from my recitation!

Edited by qwazse

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1 hour ago, desertrat77 said:

RememberSchiff, I like your recommendation.  I don't think I'd wear the vet patch myself, but I think it is a nice option to have available.    The Tribe of Mic-o-Say has a red/white/blue bead for vets to wear with their claws, if memory serves.

I agree.  I'm not sure I'd wear the patch but it would be a nice option.  My OA lodge as a youth was a spin-off of Mic-O-Say.  We absolutely had the red, white, and blue beads for our claws.  I still have mine with the beads.

31 minutes ago, WonderBoy said:

I'm curious if any Veterans confound their Scouts by saluting in civilian clothing?

Sailors don't salute unless covered, and they're not covered indoors unless standing watch (or at Quarters), so this is what I continue to do. And I've yet to be outdoors around my Cubs, in civvies, during a flag ceremony, so I've never had to think about it.

I normally don't salute while in civilian clothes.  I suppose there might be times I'd consider it.  I am fine with saluting in field or activity uniform however.  It's taken a while to get used to the uncovered bit though.

21 minutes ago, Scoutmaster Teddy said:

At summer camp one year we were asked to remove our head gear, outside, to salute the flag. I dunno. 

If I'm wearing a BSA cap (basically anything with a BSA fleur-de-lis), I roundly ignore this request.  If my unit had a uniform cap and all were wearing it at flags, I'd likely tell them to ignore it as well.  But, units with a haphazard collection of caps, I'm ok with telling them to remove them.

 

I do indulge at scout activities and simply give the full hand salute regardless of which unit or role I'm playing.  I'm not a fan of the two and three-finger salutes and my pinky doesn't bend like it used to....

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In my Council, I am one of the few Scouters who is NOT a veteran.  One of them is a former POW who served a tour of duty in the Hanoi Hilton with John McCain and received the Navy Cross.  It was 10 years before I knew...seemed like a regular fella.  Most vets I know are pretty low-key about it.

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4 hours ago, Scoutmaster Teddy said:

Mot scouts still recite the Pledge of Allegiance wrong. it's "One Nation Under God" not 'One Nation (pause) under God." It's peeve of mine.

(Light chuckle) To my ears, saying it as currently written without the pause sounds funny. Maybe I'm old enough to have originally learned it from people who had not yet retrained themselves to the addition of the "under God" line...

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As a veteran, I'd rather not tell people.  I don't want/need the recognition.  Its always awkward when the cashier at Lowe's thanks me for my service (they know since it gets me 10% OFF).

Scouting is for these scouts who are working hard to earn Eagle.  I was never a scout, but as a scoutmaster, and a veteran, I will do anything to keep them safe, and that's about as far as I take it these days.

 

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I don't know if I am atypical in this but I don't even liked to be thanked for my service. 1. It is rote and meaningless in most cases. 2. I didn't really do it for them. 3. I don't feel like I actually did anything that was of service to the person making the comment. 4. I feel like it obligates me to respond somewhat in kind like with "you're welcome" which compounds my weird feelings on this practice.

Maybe I am too much of a curmudgeon when it comes to this topic.

 

Tangent: I don't say "[God] bless you" when people sneeze either. What a weird practice considering the fact that we are using a pagan ritual and belief to wish the blessing of a deity on someone because they had something in their nose.

Edited by Hawkwin
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18 hours ago, arronisoutside said:

As a veteran, I'd rather not tell people.  I don't want/need the recognition.  Its always awkward when the cashier at Lowe's thanks me for my service (they know since it gets me 10% OFF).

Scouting is for these scouts who are working hard to earn Eagle.  I was never a scout, but as a scoutmaster, and a veteran, I will do anything to keep them safe, and that's about as far as I take it these days.

 

I agree. The minute you make it about the Adults, the program is going to suffer. Thank you for what you do.

29 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

I don't know if I am atypical in this but I don't even liked to be thanked for my service. 1. It is rote and meaningless in most cases. 2. I didn't really do it for them. 3. I don't feel like I actually did anything that was of service to the person making the comment. 4. I feel like it obligates me to respond somewhat in kind like with "you're welcome" which compounds my weird feelings on this practice.

Maybe I am too much of a curmudgeon when it comes to this topic.

 

Tangent: I don't say "[God] bless you" when people sneeze either. What a weird practice considering the fact that we are using a pagan ritual and belief to wish the blessing of a deity on someone because they had something in their nose.

I don't mind telling people, I'm still active so when I'm in uniform its hard to hide it. But when I do get the Unstoppable "thank you for your service" I always try and say "thank you for your support" but it usually comes out awkward. Maybe after I retire Ill get it right.

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39 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

I don't know if I am atypical in this but I don't even liked to be thanked for my service. 1. It is rote and meaningless in most cases. 2. I didn't really do it for them. 3. I don't feel like I actually did anything that was of service to the person making the comment. 4. I feel like it obligates me to respond somewhat in kind like with "you're welcome" which compounds my weird feelings on this practice.

Maybe I am too much of a curmudgeon when it comes to this topic. ...

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:

Quote

"When you say 'never forget' to a veteran, you're implying that as an American, you are in it with them, ... Not separated by some imaginary barrier between civilians and veterans, but connected together as grateful, fellow Americans. We'll never forget the sacrifices made by veterans past and present, and never forget those we lost on 9/11 — heroes like Pete's father," Scott Davidson, a New York firefighter who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. "

So, vets. Never forget.

Does that come across better?

Edited by qwazse
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