Stop Thanking Veterans For Their Service

It’s heard a million times a day.  Maybe it’s accompanied by a handshake, or a hug, or a cup of coffee.  While the sentiment is always appreciated, it has been uttered so many times that “Thank you for your service” often carries no more meaning than a passing nod or a courteous “hello.”

In a recent article in The AtlanticIraq war veteran Alex Horton argues that the nation has done a disservice to veterans by constantly putting us on a pedestal.  The obligated sentiments of thanks, the forced imagery of heroics, the patriotic necessity of venerating those who wear the uniform have all contributed to the fact that veterans are seen as some one-dimensional homogenous entity.  The simplicity and sterility of “thank you for your service” allows veterans to remain faceless and sterile.  And for the public to keep us at arms length from what really matters.  It allows the civilian world to go back to their daily lives feeling like a good American because they thanked a veteran today, without taking any ownership of their sentiments.

The fact of the matter is that veterans ought to be thanked, but not for their service.  Because, quite frankly, what we did isn’t about us.  The All Volunteer Force in place in the U.S. today relies on men and women to step up and volunteer.  Without volunteers, the system would cease to function and the U.S. would have to rely on a conscription service, denying young men and women the choice of whether or not they serve in the military.  When choosing to volunteer, service members do much more than march off to war to be a hero.  We give up their personal autonomy on where we live.  We sacrifice holidays, birthdays, family milestones for the greater good.  We postpone educational pursuits and professional careers.  We strain relationships, push loved ones to the breaking point, and leave memories behind every few years as our lives our upheaved and moved again.  We forego our personal passions and hobbies for the long hours necessary to ensure that the United States is the most professional and successful fighting force on the planet.  And we have all volunteered willingly to do all of this.  Less than 1% of the population of the U.S. serves in the military.  So for every 1 of us who serves, more than 100 don’t have to.

boots on ground

Rather than writing off the decision to serve with a sterile “thank you for your service” this year, own the sentiment and make it personal.

Thank a veteran that you knew you would be present for the birth of all your children.

Thank a veteran that you have pursued your educational goals safely and uninterrupted.

Thank a veteran that your biggest stress is not getting your training ride, workout, spin class, yoga, pilates, or run in for the day.

Thank a veteran that you can sit home nights and write.

Thank a veteran that you have pursued a successful professional career and living the high life.

Thank a veteran that you have the security to be a stay at home parent.

Thank a veteran that you have chosen to make your home close to your, or far form your family, close to the ocean or deep in the mountain… but you choose it.

Thank a veteran that you were able to attend every one of your child’s sporting events, music recitals, spelling bees and parent-teacher conferences.

Thank a veteran that your spouse or partner comes home predictably every day.

Thank a veteran that you have your weekends free.

Thank a veteran that you pursued your passion as an actor, professional athlete, model, musician, or under water basket weaver.

 

Thank a veteran that you don’t have to be one.

 

This Veterans’ Day, remember the choice today’s Veterans made when the volunteered to serve.   And realize what their choice to serve as allowed you to do.

  • http://getBRANDWISE.com Brandwise

    Wow, this is a great article. I get so suck of seeing facebook posts of people thanking veterans for their service. Yes, I appreciate all the vets do to make my life what it is. I DO thank them for stepping up so I do not have to. I am thankful they follow suite with the legions of vets that went before them including my father, grandfather and many other family members.

    I do however get sick of the mindless thanking of vets or anything that floats around the social sites. The very least you can do is put some heart and some thought into your statements. I love the ideas you share about better ways to thank the vets. Good for you.

    I’m not sure I buy into the government/leaders ideas of war and when and why we should be in any war/fight/battle, but I do appreciate the soldiers that end up doing all the heavy lifting and dying for our country. It is the ultimate sacrifice and it takes a big man and a strong woman to sign up and put their life on the line for us. For those brave men and women, I am thankful. They deserve to get recognized but a single mindless facebook post once a year might not be enough or the best way to do it. So for that, I am also thankful for you Ky and this article bringing it to other people attention a better way to honor vets. Much Respect!

    • Janet Aldrich

      How do you know it’s mindless? We’re civilians so naturally we just spout off without meaning it? Talk about judging someone without knowing where they’re coming from?

  • Rob Pierce

    Ky, allow me to thank you for a thought provoking article. We all need to be stirred from the things that undeservedly make us feel good about ourselves.

  • Jonathon Custer

    to be honest I was expecting to be offended by this article, and I thank you for writing it in a way that I wasn’t.
    Thing is I thank them for the service I couldn’t do as I had spinal cord damage when I was 17 and could not enlist. When I thank them it is for the things you listed. Its never dry or sterile for me, I am genuinely grateful for what they have done. I worked with vets for years at a VA home here in WV. I normally say “thank you for doing what I couldn’t do”

    • Joshua Bustamante

      Although I do agree with you about expecting to be offended, I disagree with the article at the beginning. I never get tired of hearing “Thank you for your service” and I hope it doesn’t stop. It’s nice to feel appreciated and I feel that goes a longer way than just a simple nod or hello. The end of the article was very surprising and I couldn’t agree with it more. No matter the veteran or service member, it’s great to feel connected with the people you know you are fighting for.

      • Jodi Sharp

        Thank you for allowing me to teach my children to respect those who were and are in the military. Yes, you volunteered and signed on the dotted line willingly. But it is because of people like you, that protects us from harms way! No, I don’t put veterans and the military on a pedestal. I was just taught by my dad (US Marine Vietnam Vet) to always give thanks and honor when it’s due.

      • Andy Honeycutt

        I agree Josh….I never get tired of hearing it – better than nothing at all, or what some returning were ever offered….the article ended better than it began for sure….

      • Aquaria

        Empty words DO absolutely NOTHING for veterans who knows what’s really important.

        If civilians want to thank me for my service, make sure that veterans are taken care of. Help homeless veterans. Help disabled veterans learn new skills and get the care they need. Make sure every combat veteran can have access to psychological services. Make sure every veteran can get the chance to learn skills that will serve them in the civilian world.

        And so on.

        A bunch of words does nothing to SHOW thanks for our service.

        • Janet Aldrich

          I can’t change all the things that are wrong with the way that veterans were and are treated. By saying “thank you” whatever form it takes, I am offering what I have. Sorry if that’s not enough.

          • Dave

            Janet, I am a Vietnam veteran who is service connected disabled. If you say “thank you” I appreciate it and while you may think that is all you have you are probably selling yourself short. What people have are their thoughts concerning veterans….is it ok for them to have to fight with the VA to get medicines for their service connected conditions? Is is ok for the VA to sit on a disability appeal for over a year and a half with no idea how long it will be? How do you want our government to treat veterans after they have served? You vote, you talk with people…yes you have more to offer than you think……but thank you for saying “thank you” it does mean a lot to us that you make the effort to say anything.

        • Jeff

          What makes a disabled or homeless vet anymore special than any other homeless or disabled person? You made the choice not forced to serve. I personally never get tired of hearing thank you or saying your welcome. You seem to be putting yourself on the pedestal.

          • Dave

            Because they were made a promise by our government that if they served and were disabled because of it that they would be given care….and it does not always happen. They already paid the price or the premium for the care by being paid $87.50 a month, for agreeing to be somewhere they were shot at, by being put in high risk situations, being expected to make sacrifices that they had no choice in….and much more. Yes all disabled should be taken care of, but veterans have paid a special “premium” and were made many promises that are not always kept, but they should be. I am a service connected Vietnam veteran. I am fighting with the VA to get them to provide medicine for a service connected physical disability and have an appeal for a disability claim that the VA has had since August, 2012 and I have no idea how much longer it will be before they make a decision on it. This is stuff that veterans who have earned the right…..because it was promised to them…..to be taken care of by the VA, should not have to deal with. Like I said, all disabled should be taken care of but I feel veterans have paid a special price for the care that they often have a lot of difficulty getting.

        • Bonnie Franklin

          How do you know that the person who says thank you for your service hasn’t donated their time, or money to help veterans, or is involved with their company’s hiring veterans program. i am a daughter of, and a spouse of a veteran, and 1 son currently serving. today while coming out of the grocery store, a uniformed serviceman saw my car sticker and said hello to me… i was looking at his hat trying to decide if he was air force, and i wanted to say “thank you for your service” but only managed to say hello back. i felt bad about that because i have great respect for all our military men & women.

      • EMily Melanephy AdaMs-Melaneph

        I very rarely hear anyone thanking me for my service. That would be enough for me if it happened. My husband (ex now) was always thanked, and so are other male Veterans I am with, not me though. I don’t care, whatever, but I see no harm in saying “thank you for your service.” I see his point here, but I fail to understand how changing the wording of the well-wish takes the Vets off of the pedestal. Every servicemember who has served by choice undertook the task by that — choice, just like a doctor makes the choice to be a doctor, or a cashier makes the choice to be a cashier. We serve because we want to (or have to due to life circumstances, but it’s still a choice), not because we want someone else NOT to. The Vietnam vets had it worse, being dragged into that shit by anything but choice.

        • Michael Brian Woywood

          Thank you, Emily, for bearing up under the indignity of your service being ignored. My wife and I are both veterans, and I have been guilty of ignoring her service in favor of mine (she served 3 years in the Reserves, I did 9 on Active Duty.) Her sacrifice was no less than mine was, both as a Soldier and as a military spouse.

          Some of my best friends and most constant battle buddies were women. Thank you for your service, and for continuing to be proud of it.

        • Prince Charles

          Thank you for all that you have done Emily from one servicemen to another.

        • Joe DeLory

          All of our service member deserved to have their service recognized and appreciate In my family all of the men have served but so did my mom, one of my daughters (the other one is a cop), my ex-wife and most of my aunts. Also as far as I’m concerned any one who took the oath and donned a uniform is a vet. It doesn’t matter if the were never deployed they made that commitment to go where they were sent.

        • Karen

          I completely understand and agree Emily. My father was a Korean War
          Veteran who was horribly mangled in action. I was in Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Every year I would take
          him to Golden Corral on Veteran’s Day for “his” free dinner. When I
          told them, in his presence, that I was a veteran also..he gave me the
          weirdest look. I never left Stateside, I didn’t actively fight in the
          war..I was a Dental Assistant Specialist and female. To him females
          are WACS. He actually took me around to all his old war buddies when I
          came home on leave and introduced me as his daughter the WAC. I told
          him.. I am an Airman just like all the other Airmen. He couldn’t or
          wouldn’t understand that. Yes, being in Korea and/or Vietnam OR even
          Iraq or Afghanistan and being shot at is different.. but I still was
          there and filled a needed position for 2 years. To look at me 20 years
          later you would never know I was a veteran. Oh well.. I did it and I
          am proud of it.

          • EMily Melanephy AdaMs-Melaneph

            Your OWN father?! Whoa, how frustrating. Your story made me laugh because I relate. I was laughing out loud.

          • Dave Pickering

            I am sorry that people don’t realize that Once you don the Uniform , whatever your specialization you are a soldier first and a specialist after. A dental tech helping to repair a front line soldiers teeth after an IED could easily become the frontline soldier due to battle conditions or casualty replacement. Service and the requirement to place your life on the line for your country is the at the root of the term veteran.

        • Dan Cotton

          Emily, Thank you for your service and for making the choice to serve. No matter what the reason is you chose to serve it is people like you that make this country great and keeps us feeling very protected. No matter how many thanks you get or don’t get it will seem like a thankless job at times but just be thankful your not a Politician, now THAT’S a thankless job and rightly so! ;) Thanks again!

      • Raymond

        Do what I do, as an active duty veteran, I pay it forward and never miss the chance to thank a Vietnam, WWII, Korean war veteran for their service.

        • John

          You’re welcome!

    • Robert Moore

      thank you Jonathon. Your heart is in the right place. Bob,, Nam Vet

    • Evan Laird

      Seriously, I was like who is this guy?! Great read, cheers!

    • Captan Morgan

      That is one of the most honest and sincere thank you’s I have heard.

    • Franky Hernandez

      I’ve been a Soldier for 13 years and I came into this article with an open mind. As I always like to tell people “I fight for your freedom, what you do with it is up to you.” (Even if it includes disagreeing with what I do). But I must say, for as generic as “thank you for your service” may seem; it is a whole lot more than my father got (Drafted-drill sergeant/ 3 tours in Vietnam-3 Purple hearts to prove it…), he came home to hate, disregard, and protest.

      My father did not get a generic”thank you”; people spit in his face, called him a baby killer, had no real support or benefits from his government, and all for what?.. A war he was drafted and FORCED to fight in. Service members of today come home to a much softer climate. So do you know who I thank? WWII veterans… Men who against certain odds faced certain death purely out of love for their country. Korean War Veterans… Or as we call “The forgotten ones” and of course Vietnam Vets… Men who were forced out of their homes, to face pointless terror, all to be hated when they came home for it. That’s my bit, Thanks for reading if you did.

      • Jayme Mack

        Frank I agree 100% my brother in law came home with those same stories I still cry today just has since passed with a heart attack. 1968 I’ll never forget when he finally come home I was in the 4th grade ……

      • Terri Bernard

        Thank you Franky, I thought this article would be offensive at first because the person who shared with me was sort of a free spirit. I agree with you and thank you for standing up for the Veterans before you.

      • Joe DeLory

        Franky, like your dad, I am a Vietnam veteran with multiple tours (5). I too experienced the crap that your dad did. When I thank a service man or women for their service I mean it sincerely and personally because don’t want and current soldier, sailor, marine or airman to experience what your dad and I did. BTW I have nephew currently in the service, my mom, dad, brother and wife were also in the service My son and one of my daughters are veterans ( my other daughter chose to go into law enforcement. As far as I am concerned she is in the service too)

        • Jay Thomas

          My father is a Vietnam vet as well. Thank you for your service, and I thank you for thanking the current war vets such as myself.

        • Josh Dennis

          I completely agree about the law enforcement thing. It’s all volunteer as well and without them who knows what chaos we would have on the streets while the soldiers were away out of country. I work with the local sheriffs department doing the vehicle repairs and maintenance and thank them all the time.

        • SteadyFed

          Trust me, it’s a different animal when of our own thanks us. We know you mean it. We know you understand all that the “service” we rendered implies, and it is always received with the deepest honor.

      • Paul Allen

        As a soldier with 2 tours in Iraq and still active duty, I do realize that I am doing a service for my country. However I don’t feel like a veteran. Especially compared to the WW2 and Vietnam Vets. Those dudes saw some stuff. I luckily have not lost any of my buddies over there. Those guys saw people die on a daily basis. I will never feel like I am anywhere near to those guys.

        • Dan Cotton

          Paul. I want to start off by saying Thank you for your service! ;) and don’t discount yourself or anyone else that has served in Iraq or afghanistan. My dad served in Korea and in Vietnam and even though he died in 1995 I know that he would have been proud of you guys for doing what you do. It’s a different kind of war nowadays but no less of a sacrifice and no less heroic just for being willing to put your life on the line for your Country or even your buddy next to you. Thanks again and remember that History books will tell the story of this generation as well and the future soldiers may look at you guys and think the same thing you are thinking about the old Vets.

        • Josh Dennis

          It’s still a choice that we made. I felt like that after my first tour because I was just a motor pool grease monkey, but consider this. I personally worked on vehicles that went outside the wire everyday and kept them running so that when they got into a firefight or had an ied hit the convoy they could rely on that vehicle to get them out of harms way and back to the fob safe. I don’t know what your mos is but it does make a direct impact. I had two tours and after six years I decided I was done. I wanted out to start a family and now my wife and I have a beautiful six week old daughter. Thank you for your continued service so I could get out and be a father and husband that can come home every night.

        • michael

          Paul, I will never forget my fellow soldier who lost his life in Afghanistan..just a weeks before he was KIA he said to me “It’s not like it’s Vietnam out here, it’s not so bad.” That next week he was killed instantly by an IED..It depends on your experience and what you did during employment..I would never say one war had it worse than the other, or vise versa..I’m sure you didn’t mean it like that, but some people may take your comments the wrong way and get offended.

        • Dave Pickering

          I feel as you do….especially with the large number of vets that have been right in the shit. After 20 years service. I ached that others had to suffer while I sat safe at home having retired with out any “real” action.. I was proud to serve to keep the wolf away…

      • Daniel Alaniz

        My grandfather served in the 2nd Infantry Div. in WWII. He landed at Omaha Beach D-Day+2. As a scout he was injured just outside of St.Lo, France. A mortar barrage killed his Sgt, and 2nd Scout. He was able to return stateside and had 6 children. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him. The fact that he made it back? Is the only reason I’m typing on this keyboard right now. I don’t think a THANK YOU for any veteran could be STERILE. When it comes down to it? Every single thank you that is ever and will ever be given? Is anything but STERILE. If I had the opportunity? I would thank every veteran that exists everyday. So that I can live as a free human and not live in some dictatorship and nod obediently to a leader who didn’t do anything but force his way into power. I will always be thankful for what my grandfather did to STOMP OUT Tyranny and Oppression. He will always hold a VALID place in my memory as a hero

      • Nancy Hasert

        I know what you are saying Franky Hernandez, My dad was a Korean war Vet, 3 of my Dad’s brothers were in Vietnam all at the same time,thank GOD they made it back home .I appreciate every one of our vets,and I thank you all for your service that I might have the Freedoms that I have..You all have given up so much for Your Country and her People I THANK YOU..! GOD BLESS !

      • Sentinelred

        Telling people that it’s up to them what they do with the freedom you’ve earned for them is a little off putting and also misleading as well as inaccurate. Iraq and Afghanistan had nothing to do with our freedom as Americans. If you’re not a WW2 veteran, you haven’t actually fought for America’s freedom.

        • iknoweverything

          Enlisting has EVERYTHING to do with your freedom. If you agree with the Wars our government has entered us into is irrelevant.

      • Dave

        I am a Vietnam veteran and I want to thank you for what you wrote and I want to say thank you for your father’s service and say welcome home….a phrase I never heard until about six years ago. I thought “wow, I never realized I had never been welcomed home until now”. The reception we got when we came home back then was anything but welcome home so I do thank veterans for their service, which includes the sacrifices they make (by the way, thank you for your service, the sacrifices you have made and what you continue to do) and if it is a Vietnam veteran I also say “welcome home” to them.

      • madabula

        Amen Franky: I’m of your Dad’s era and went in with a sense of pride and honor to follow the vets of WW and Korea.
        I thank young Vets now because I know what it is like to not be openly appreciated and often disdained. I thank their families too because I know the equal and sometimes more agonizing service and sacrifices they too render.

        I hope that my message is not taken lightly and certainly not offensively, but if it is I hope it can be written off as coming from an old guy that’s not in sync anymore.

        I also hope that it is not seen as not sincere or not enough because todays vets are held up as special or heroic and thus get a bit heady and judgemental about us less recognizeable Americans.

      • Jack

        And if the guy who wrote this knew his history, he’d understand why we thank them for their service. It’s our way of saying, “We’ll never forget how post-Vietnam went down. And we won’t ever again ‘blame’ the service men and women for the decisions of the megalomaniac politicians.”

      • Jeff

        the draft is what happens to people who are born with a penis and testes are forced to serve which i believe is wrong. when women get the same rights as men they should also be forced to serve by being forced to sign up for the draft . GOD BLESS YOUR FATHER FOR NOT BEING A COWARD AND PUTTING SHIT UP WITH SCUM that hate the armed forces .

      • http://www.linkedin.com/pub/kevin-metcalfe/3b/8b3/904 DarkMidnight

        My father was also called a baby killer when he came back from Vietnam. Hearing that story be told, knowing that man has a heart of absolute gold kills me. I thank him for his service simply so he knows that he is appreciated.

        I understand though where an article is coming from. It sounds like some people say it because they feel it is the ‘right thing to do’ without necessarily meaning what they are saying.

        Just be honest, be true and mean what you say from your heart.

      • Randy

        I agree with you. I had several friends and relatives that came home from Vietnam and were spit on and cursed at and an assortment of other things and most of the ones that went to Vietnam wont even talk about it. I was in a park a few months back with my Army Veteran cap on. A young man about 6 years old came up to me and held out his hand and looked me in the eye and said “Thank you Sir”. At first it didnt dawn on me what he was thanking me for then when it did, I was speachless, but commented “Thank you” as I shook his hand. His was not generic, it was heart felt and I appreciated it.

      • Ken Hicks

        I was one of those Vietnam veteran’s, But I was also an Oakland Police Officer, and whenever a bus load of military men arrived at the Oakland Induction Center to process out of the military, I was always there to stop the idiots from Berkeley spiting on them. Some times I would “swat” fly’s and “accidentally” hit some hippy in the nose with my elbow. Sure loved to see the blood flow.

    • CoryKent

      To all of you who replied in this thread who are veterans, and all those who read this and feel the same way, it shows even more, the content of your character to say you still never tire of it.

      The article is right, it very well might often be empty words. The thing is that most people don’t realize all those sacrifices that are made. You probably eve know that. But you have so much character that you don’t even really expect more, and appreciate what you get from people.

      That alone increased my admiration and gratitude even more. And my Dad is a veteran who was away in every UN mission, in every single arena from the Suez Canal crisis in Egypt, all the ones in the Middle East and Africa, Europe and Haiti. I know what you willingly gave up, and now you’ve shown me something more.

    • Michael Flint

      And for that simple last statement I as a vet am grateful.

    • lazybumranch

      Frank- You are correct. I grew up wondering how haters could hate our soldiers. Even disagreeing with the war, as a kid I knew that they were doing what they did for their country.

      And I would like to thank your Dad for his service. Vietnam vets got the dirty end of the stick on both ends. I think the reason we thank vets the way that we do is we are embarrassed for the generation that spit on the Vietnam vet, and have said “never again”.

  • John R Filleau III

    Just like funerals aren’t for the dead, thanking a veteran isn’t for the veteran. It’s a ritual that means something to the person saying it.

    I did my six years, but I only benefited from my service. I went from no options before joining to having the world as my mollusk after separating. School is paid for, I’m getting my PhD in engineering right now, I don’t procrastinate (well, not as much at least), I have respect for everybody and myself, and it’s all because the military made me a better person.

    Make no mistake, I’m not saying *don’t* be thankful to a veteran, and I’m not saying that *nobody* who joins the armed forces has to sacrifice. I’m just saying what my personal story is. Painting all veterans as noble sacrificial saints does the same thing this prose condemns: placing veterans on a pedestal and making them faceless and sterile.

    How about instead of replacing old assumptions with new assumptions, you tell people to ask their favorite veteran what their story is.

    • David Lewis

      I’m right there with you. I feel that sometimes I get too much appreciation for my service when my service is good to me. I should be thanking them (the taxpayer) for allowing me to receive my monthly checks, healthcare, and free education. I love serving, and I don’t view it as “volunteer” because I get so much benefit from it. I think of volunteering as sacrificing. I’ve served 8 years and have deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. Although for about 6 years I was away form my wife more than with her, I still view the service as a great opportunity. So for any non-government people who might read this, thank you for paying taxes.

      • BOOMsk1

        Dude, you probably make less than $25,000 a year.. Whats to thank for that? Risk your life for shit pay and a power hungry government that doesn’t care about you, or America. They care about how many 3rd world countries we can rape and invade, and steal all their resources. I served 5 years and getting out was the best thing of my life. And no I NEVER look for a thank you. The mindset of a soldier I will Always and forever respect, The idea that you really are defending your country and doing whats right.. Unfortunately the reality is we do far from that. I advise anyone looking to future Military service be well Educated(NOT A PUBLIC MEDIA EDUCATION) But a thorough, and thoughtful insight on what America and their troops are really doing to the world.

        • David Lewis

          I understand your point completely and I do often wonder how my life would be if I was not in the service. The problem with the service is that sometimes you get sucked in to the security of the monthly checks and retirement promise and you are too scared to get out (kinda my case). My perspective of what the service did for me is quite good though. I was working in a factory making about $10 an hour with a monotonous job, no healthcare, no good retirement, etc. Since joining, I make more money, I am just a few classes away from receiving my bachelors in accounting, and I have a lot more direction in my life. I again believe the military has done me right and millions of others. When I get out at 40, I will receive my retirement payments and that is when I will do what I personally want to do. Many people believe that military retirement is not enough to live on, but when you come from extremely humble beginnings like me, it is definitely enough.

        • Davin Evans

          So when you add in the full benefits package of a serving military member, the pay goes up to around 68k for an e3. You forget the little things like BAH, Separate Ration/Chow Hall, Dental and Medical and clothing allowances. This is not including the free education and work experience that is sought after by many employers.

          Can you name another career that would pay a high school dropout that to start? Can you name another social welfare program that is that successful?

          • Isay Hooah

            Not sure where you are getting 68k for an E3, but no not even close…

          • Davin Evans

            42046.19 Base pay (housing, rations and clothing allowance)
            Now you have to add in the medical benefits:
            No copay Dental: 127 x 26 weeks
            No copay Medical: 342 x 26 weeks
            This is not including Haz duty, Separation or Sea pay and also not including Tuition Assistance.
            This is also not including any enlistment or re-enlistment bonuses.
            Do the math and let me know how far off I am.

          • Kelly Mashburn

            Ridiculous. My husband is a Staff Sgt, and we have a family of 5. With everything included, we don’t even make 68k.

          • RandomSoldier

            Kelly, you didn’t say which service so staff sgt in USAF is just an E-5 whereas USMC/USA are E-6. Until you clarify I’ll just go with the E-6 example. Depending on years of service, and I’ll go with the average E-6, which is 10 yrs in, even without the healthcare and dental which would be appreciable for a family of 5, your family’s regular military compensation would be $70,079 per year. How did I get there? I used the zip code for Auburn, CA (BAH varies by zip code/cost of living). Your husband at 10 yrs of service makes $39,582 in basic pay, $23,220 in BAH, $4227 for food, The last two items are non-taxable income. If married filing jointly you are entitled to 5 personal exemptions for tax which gives $19,500, and a standard deduction of $12,200 giving you total tax deductions this year of $31,700. Subtract that from the basic pay and that leaves a taxable income of only 7,882. At a tax rate of 10% that saves you just over $3,000 a year in taxes you have to pay. Your total compensation is the basic pay, plus BAH, plus food, plus the tax advantage. That adds up to $70,079. That does not include any healthcare/dental care savings from no/reduced copays, military discounts, PX advantage, commissary advantage or any other items you might also use that are provided for you. So in fact your standard of living is higher than someone that makes a taxable $68K. How much health care is worth depends on your insurance cost and deductible etc. The numbers Davin cited are lower than a typical family of four would even pay. What is ridiculous is that you somehow don’t even know what you receive in compensation every year. I will grant you that if your staff sgt is an E-5 with only 5 yrs in the USAF, the compensation is only $61K plus health and dental, but that should easily push the total back over 70 for a family of 5.

          • Christopher Coulson

            When you put in the time and effort yes the military can create a very advantageous situation financially, but it comes at much higher toll on the member and family of that member than any civilian counterpart would submit for that same pay. Your breakdown is very good I have done this as well I come in lower but that is due to my location and low BAH rate. My only grief is the medical, it is closer to medical malpractice than medical treatment.

          • EMily Melanephy AdaMs-Melaneph

            I ended my term of service as an E-5. I was generous with my money. I also traveled Europe and Asia, even flew back the U. S. at the last-minute a handful of times. I ate out all the time, collected a bunch of souvenirs. I don’t have children, but I was married (and the only income-earner). I left the U. S. Army with more than $20,000 in my checking account. This does not include any allotments I was socking away into savings/investments. Am I the only one? Call me crazy, but if people piss and moan about their lack of income in ANY job, find a different line of work! I took that savings and bought my mom a car and a brand new living room (furniture), and lived on the rest until I figured out what to with myself (still working on that). I feel like, children or not, there is really never an excuse to live above one’s means (barring medical emergencies). I don’t even pinch pennies, and I live comfortably on NOTHING, just as I did while serving.

          • Davin Evans

            You might want to go back and look at what he would need to make in the civilian sector to maintain your standard of living.

          • Christopher Coulson

            If you want dental for family you pay that monthly. It is very cheap but you do pay.

          • Christopher Coulson

            Im a SSG with 8 years and after all benefits I yield 54k. BAH is also only for married troops and varies by location. Medical care? If by medical care you mean some motrin and a lawful order to not run on it for 30 days then yeh free medical. In my 8 years I have micro fractured both ankles, done god knows what to my knee (it feels gone but ill never know without an MRI), have arthritis in both hips and something they told me is Snapping hip syndrome, compressed discs, a torn labrum/rotator, numerous other joint issues, multiple concussions (now have a violent twitch), and All I have ever received is motrin, a swift kick in the ass, and that good old order to stay off of it for 14-30 days. Medical my ass. 68k for a PFC? You are on crack.

          • Davin Evans

            I served over 13 years in the Army, the first 4 at Ft Bragg and the last 16 month in Iraq running convoys from Mosul to Turkey as a Convoy Commander.

            Just because you live in the barracks, does not mean you can discount the cost of having a roof over your head, electricity, and gas for heat.

            I know the medical issues a soldier can have but until you get out you don’t understand that it is just as bad out here. The only up side is you can change providers if you want, but again you will be rolling the dice on what service you will get. This is not counting the 25-100 dollar co pays you get for EACH and EVERY visit. Go to the doctor for a problem? 25 dollars. He refers you to a back specialist? 50 dollars. Surgery? 100 dollars to surgeon, 50 to specialist and another 100 to the building. Rehab 3 times a week? another 25 each visit.
            I have been out for 5 years now and the grass is not greener.

    • Quincy Adalade

      My husband and I are dual military, separate branches, and get f***** by it daily. I gave up a job paying more to serve my country, and no one acknowledges that you sacrifice anything unless you are a combat veteran, you know, part of the “cool” military. People will judge you and determine for themselves how much you sacrificed based on this alone. It’s a choice and you get free healthcare and education benefits, sounds like a dream! They don’t tell you about the failed power structure within the military, the blatant disregard for the troops within the system, the high suicide rates of troops or the loss of our personal rights because we have gone from people to “government property.” I don’t feel entitled to a thank you, but I sure do appreciate the acknowledgement of everything that myself, friends and family have had to put up with in an effort to protect what is America. The most disgusting thing is coming back and realizing its not the wars over seas that need to be fought, but the one with our own government.

      • Melissa Dittmer

        Amazing, so well stated Quincy!

      • Ellen Hall

        You are 100% correct, Quincy. It is despicable how some of our troops are treated. I have heard stories that brought me to tears. “Free healthcare” is great if they let you go get it. Sad, sad, sad state of affairs within our government. Even though you and your husband are not combat veterans, you WOULD have been if we had needed you to be. Thank you both for stepping up to the plate and doing whatever is needed. I, for one, appreciate all that you do for our country, no matter how trivial it may seem to you at the time..

        • Henry L Jeter

          It is despicable on how too many of our citizens are treated.

      • Greg Rich

        My wife was also once a soldier, and sounds quite similar when she talks about serving. It’s hard for us to relate too, or understand each-others frame of reference, when we talk about our time in the service because I was a combat Infantryman, and she was an NBC specialist, both US Army.
        But it’s like we served in different branches or something because things were so different for us… I never even saw women in uniform back in the day, because they weren’t assigned to Light Infantry posts… and I never had to deal with constantly being hit on by my chain of command.

      • Linda Williams

        God Bless You Both for your service and the sacrifices you have made for us! Thank You!!

        • Henry L Jeter

          God has nothing to do with. Give people their due for the personal choices they make.

      • Janelle Little

        Me and my husband are dual military as well and not too long ago he came back from a deployment messed up. I have three kids and have been taking care of them on my own. i agree with you more than you know. i get treated bad because ive only had a partial deployment and hes deployed twice. Plus i do run into problems of me being a woman. Not every soldier is as great as people are making them out to be.

        • anthala1q84

          This is true – it’s awkward for me as a veteran when people are like wow, thank you, because I am not a combat veteran. But what’s wrong with just saying “you’re welcome” even if it’s just on behalf of those who did fight and die?

          • EMily Melanephy AdaMs-Melaneph

            You did what your country asked you to do after you volunteered to serve it. I served five years, joined before 9/11. Never feel ashamed or like less than because you served in places other than the trendy war zones of this particular hour. My ex-husband has deployed at least once, but he has the integrity of a cooked spaghetti noodle. He stays in because he is scared of getting out. Soldiers are people. Some are great, some suck. Not all deployed to what the population-at-large considers to be the “only” place worthiness is manufactured. Every time someone finds out I’m a Veteran, the first question is, “Did you go to Iraq?” The second one is, “Did you go to Afghanistan?” The third one is, “Oh?” If you served honorably, followed orders, did your job well, who cares where that was, and who cares if you don’t fit into the Veterans’ pigeon-hole society has created? I’m a disabled Veteran, having been injured during an Airborne jump at Ft. Bragg, et cetera. Everybody’s military experience is unique to them, and it is not fair to allow other people’s instantaneous judgments to muddy the sacrifices made by any and all servicemembers who carried out their obligations to the best of their abilities. Everybody tends to see Veterans as a conglomerate consisting of what seems like countless troops in a line, but each individual one has her/his own story, and a proud Veteran should embrace that. I think you would be appalled if you have seen what I have seen… non-combat Veterans wearing t-shirts affiliating themselves with clubs and organizations to which they don’t belong, standing in line for handouts when their discharge is general. If you “inspect” each Veteran’s merits on a case-by-case basis, you would indeed see many, many of them are not what they have bloated themselves to be. On behalf of all Veterans and people who “get it,” thank YOU for your service.

      • Thomas Bogenschutz

        I agree with what you say. I was a volunteer during the Vietnam “War”, and the reception that I got when I returned was so much different than it is today, that at first I was offended when I kept hearing about today’s “”Heros” that it made me sick, but then I realized that they would have to deal with the same government that I dealt with, that I began to see them as the real Heros that they are.

      • EMily Melanephy AdaMs-Melaneph

        Right on, but are you missing a “not” in the 3rd sentence about the combat vets? Each person’s military experience is her/his own, and some who serve are great, honorable, fine people. Others, though, are a bit lost and unable to work elsewhere. That’s simply a fact. For most, then, they join the military to save their country. Some, though, join the military for their country to save them.

    • Robert Moore

      Excellent testimony to your service of your country. I served 13 years. The first enlistment was encouraged my by entire family……….nearly all males served in all wars of the US…….all they way back to and including the Revolutionary War. I Salute you and good luck with the PhD.

    • Jean Rice

      Like John Filleau, I got a lot more out of the military than I gave up. I got to travel, which I couldn’t have afforded, I got the adventure I craved, and met the man who eventually became my husband, all thanks to being part of the military. It helped me grow up, get a college education and I have years of wonderful memories – even the ones which I didn’t think were so wonderful at the time.

      Instead of a rote thanks, I too would prefer someone to ask about my service. I’d rather talk about what a great time I had, and let them know that not all service is sacrifice, and at the same time, for those who really have sacrificed, they get to tell their story too.

  • Andrew Ateş Demirbağ

    Really … this is weak.

  • Justin Schwartz

    I agree completely, while when someone thanks me for my service my normal response is its my pleasure that’s because often times they’re very dry about it then just walk away. I’m not asking for special treatment or anything of the sort but rather than just saying the generic words a small notion of what you’re thankful for is always well appreciated.

  • ken345

    I’ll continue to thank a Veteran the way I always do since I am retired from the military. In over 20 years of military service, including going to war for this country I was never thanked for any of the sacrifices I made protecting our way of life. In the 14 years since retiring from the service I have only been thanked twice, once this past Monday on Veterans day. I never joined for riches, or for status, for personal power or to lord over people, but to do my part in protecting the way of life the founders set up for us. I don’t expect any more from this country than the things I earned as defined in the enlistment contracts I signed repeatedly during my service. However: those unsolicited thank-yous from strangers friends co-workers or family always bring a smile to my face because I know that although they will never know the totality of what it took to serve this country, they at least get it that I did and that it matters.

    • Cal

      Ken, as a retiree myself, I couldn’t have said it any better!

      • Mark Hyland

        As a Nam era vet, you struck a cord with me…coming off of active duty, we certainly got more criticism than thanks, and I have never gotten a meal bought for me out of appreciation for my service. That was a difficult time in our history, and I am glad that my son and son-in-law are treated with greater respect for their service today, and have come to realize that when people thank them, I also benefit.

        • Tina L Smith

          Mark, Thank you for your service! I truly mean it. My dad was a Vietnam vet (82nd Airborne) and had a horrible return – went AWOL trying to get back to Vietnam – Likely because he felt more appreciated THERE than his own country. So sad. I wish the hands of time could go back so we could fix it!

        • Jaysen

          yup the thank you benefits you because you raised a son who actually cares about our way of life so from one brother from another war thanks for what you did in nam and thanks for still being alive this day

  • Bobbi Blanford Borich

    On Monday I was shopping with my daughter, and as we were walking into a store, an older gentleman was walking out. He was wearing a veteran’s cap, so I could only assume he was a veteran. I walked up to him and shook his hand and I said congratulations. I have NO idea where that came from. My daughter looked at me and said “congratulations? really mom?” I sure hope I did not offend the gentleman, but the words “thank you” could not be found in my brain at that given moment.

    • Quincy Adalade

      Congratulations… For surviving? lol

  • J. S.

    Sigh* of course, as a military spouse, we get none of the thanks, and all of the negatives. My DH shipped out two days after our daughter was born; both of us have started-stopped-started on education goals; we both run and race, but frequently have to cancel and put plans aside; we live paycheck to paycheck; I HAVE to stay-home, to be the structure and security our children crave; we’ve never lived near family, pull-stakes frequently, and have lived all over the country; I have to be enough parent to be in more than one place at a time, for activities and sports for both kids; and in fact, military spouses even get looked down upon… by the civilian world. Smh.

    • wtf

      Did I just read this??

    • Omar Ayala

      Some of what you say is true. I just like to know who gives you neg stuff? Also living paycheck to paycheck that is not knowing how to spend money. I was also in for 10yrs until I got med boarded because an injury in my spine. I was married when I got in the service and had two kids, two new cars and had no bills. Came in as a E2 and got out as an E5. You guys need some counselling of money management. This is a major problem in the military and high % in debt! Don’t take it the wrong way just trying to help and show you it can be done and I did not get help financially with money by family.

    • Daric Wade

      And for that you think you deserve a thank-you? You chose to marry a soldier, so don’t jump in here shouting “ME TOO” when we’re discussing veterans. You are not a veteran. You are not a soldier.

      Besides, if you had any internal pride in what you do (like we do), you’d understand why we (veterans) don’t give a shit about being thanked.

      This is exactly why you get all the negatives, in your words.

      My wife married me right after I returned home from Iraq. I went back overseas barely a year later as a contractor, came home to see my son born, and left right back out again.

      She doesn’t like it, and I don’t like it, but she’s not putzing around on internet articles about veterans wondering why no one thanks her for… being a wife and a mother.

      Smh, indeed.

      • Rob Pierce

        Unsubscibe

        Thank you,
        Rob Pierce

    • mj_265

      You chose the life you did…just saying. You shouldn’t live paycheck to paycheck. Get your finances straight. I’ve met some awesome military spouses and some terrible ones that milk their spouse for all their worth (aka dependapotomus). Try being married mil to mil. I walk in the door, see my husband for a day or two, then he is out the door. Again that is the choice I made…I don’t ask for any special thanks for being a military spouse…why should I and why should you? That is your husbands job to make you feel appreciated.

      • Quincy Adalade

        Exactly. I’m mil to mil too. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy, but I definitely don’t deserve thanks for being married to a military spouse.

      • BLenny

        Exactly. It makes me cringe every time I’m at an awards ceremony and hear the “We wouldn’t be here without the spouses..” spiel. I’ve deployed numerous times as a single service member and managed it just fine, if not better than those married around me. I worked longer hours, was the first called in for issues, and escaped the drama that a large majority of spouses brought (very few were honest, hardworking, overall good people). Hundreds of thousands of service members are still here without the spouses.
        I’m now dual military

      • Renee Pickup

        You also chose to be in the military, as did every other person in the military, so by your logic, no one should appreciate your struggles either. I’ve been a single service member, in a mil-mil marriage, and I’m a mil spouse now, all my choice. I think it’s more than okay for spouses to speak up about the issues they face. Don’t you think morale as a whole would be better if the military divorce rate wasn’t so high? If servicemembers were confident that their families were being taken care of while they were away?

        While I agree it may feel offensive for veterans to see a spouse literally asking for thanks on a Veterans’ Day post, it doesn’t do any good to tell that spouse her struggles are none of anyone else’s concern. If spouses had more tangible support, they would be a force to be reckoned with when their spouses needed them. You and I both have a perspective most spouses do not, having served (or in your case, still serving) in the military. We need to understand that the situation for a civilian military spouse is not quite the same.

      • Gray

        There are some military spouses who deserve more recognition than they receive, These military spouses; http://americanwidowproject.org/

    • Dan

      All of you who just jumped on JS for their comment should be ashamed of yourselves. JS isn’t seeking thanks, only observing they experience similar quality of life impacts. Spouses may not be in harms way, but neither are a huge chunk of those in uniform, the non-combat Soldiers, Sailors, Airman, and Marines. Spouses are expected to cope without recognition of the trial or any material assistance. When I deployed to Iraq, it was my wife that had the more difficult time. Every Service chief, every president, every commander I have had regularly includes thanks to Spouses, recognizing in detail the personal sacrifices they make in support of the member’s service, making it possible for them to volunteer. For you to not only dismiss these but to go on the attack is disrespectful and sad.

  • TJ And-Alexa Hunter

    Its a nice gesture i think some people need to get there head our there butts and accept the gracious thank you many civilians give there military folk. Seriously? Ridiculous.

    • micky muxwell

      Learn to write and spell!

    • Guest

      You know what would be an even nicer gesture from civilians? Vote for leaders that do not cut promised compensation and benefits we earned the hard way. Vote for people who do not place the full burden of service on 2% of the population. Reinstate the draft, no exemptions, and you’ll see an end to long term wars fought with our hands tied. The need to man up, ruck up, or shut up.

    • Daniel Armstrong

      You know what would be an even nicer gesture from civilians? Vote for leaders that do not cut promised compensation and benefits we earned the hard way. Vote for people who do not place the full burden of service on 2% of the population. Reinstate the draft, no exemptions, and you’ll see an end to long term wars fought with our hands tied. They need to man up, ruck up, or shut up.

  • Daniel Armstrong

    September 10, 2001, I had been in the military for 18 years. I had two years left to serve until retirement. I ended up staying until 2008 (25 years service). Why? Because there was a war on, and experienced professionals were needed. But on 9-10-2001, I was, to most civilians, a blood thirst nut wishing for war, or I was a pathetic looser who couldn’t cut it in the real world, so the military was like welfare, except with a uniform. To most I was just invisible. Sometimes I was even told I we were a drain on society, I mean the cold war was over, peace was reigning supreme. Then 9-11 happened. On 9-12, the pats on the back, the ‘thank you” started. Everyone was flying the flag, and now they were a patriot. I despised them. Where were they all those times we troopers spent manning the walls, defending them? Where were they, when the military was being slashed to the bone? Where were they when our promised benefits in exchange for service was being cut? 9-10 you are a zero…9-12 you are a hero. And the cycle will continue. With the wars ending, the troopers will go back to being a drain, a pain, and forgotten.

    • Barry Smith

      I do not mean to be a dick or anything but why don’t you ask the media those qurations. They do not tell us the American people anything about the slashed benefits or about mainning the walls or any of these things you talk about and neither do you veterans talk about this stuff to we the people. Yet I completely agree that it does get old real quick being told thank you for your service. I know because I had a series of 12 heart attacks a few years back and afterwords I was constantly being asked 10 to 15 times a day for several years if I was okay anytime I had a chest pain or a mild case of heartburn or my arms hurt or anything I did for that matter. It got so old after awhile I thought I was going to strangle th next person who asked if I was okay.

      • sharpspoonful

        This is partly due to the fact that most veterans still in service are too young to remember the military reductions and truly “snubbed” public opinion (this is obviously barring senior officers and SNCO’s that have been around for more than 15 years). It is the older generation of veterans from the 80′s and 90′s that have the stories to tell of the President Regan/Clinton eras that lead to the benefit reductions, deep personnel cuts, and budget reductions following the Cold War.

      • Daniel Armstrong

        Barry, I do not take your comments as you being a dick.

      • BudL1te

        Ummmmm The media doesn’t care about that. They report on what they feel is best for the American people as they determine it to be.

    • tohellwithhades

      Who in the hell is voting down these comments?

    • Christine Anderson

      soldiers are a drain, which is not to say that is their/your fault. If low-income kids were encouraged to go to college and provided those resources instead of being guided towards military career, we would live in a much different world.

      • Jaysen

        be thankful u can say crap like this some of us weren’t ventured into the military for the benefits but for the sole purpose of wanting to serve i say that for myself

      • EMily Melanephy AdaMs-Melaneph

        You’re going to get a lot of hell for that comment. However, I agree. What else can an 17/18 y/o kid do? As I said above, sometimes the person joins to save the country; sometimes the person joins for the country to save her/him. Obviously each person’s situation is different, and I do agree with your statement here. Anyone who is offended by it ignores reality.

    • EMily Melanephy AdaMs-Melaneph

      Very, very poignant. My service as well straddled 9/11. You articulated my thought.

  • Jacob Schrier

    We really need to thank the Vietnam veterans. People spit on them when they came home.

  • Jesse Leiker

    The only veterans I’ve ever thanked wer my Grandfathers. It isn’t because I’m not thankful for the sacrifices he or she has made, and it isn’t for a lack of understanding the toll endured both physically and mentally. It is because they are doing the job they’ve chosen to do, just the same as a fireman who puts out a fire won’t get a banner placed in my front yard thanking them for putting out the fire. I show my appreciation by embracing the freedoms granted me and my family on a daily basis and ensuring that my family never take them for granted, nor forget why the have them. I appreciated your article.

  • Dan

    As a vet still in uniform, I find this article off-putting. The author assumes those offering thanks don’t really mean it, and to prove otherwise, they have to add some arbitrary example of how they’ve got it better than the vet because they did not choose to serve. Changing from just “thanks for your service” to adding “… so I had my weekends free” is no more personal and, as the recipient, would make the thanks a very weird, awkward moment. It does nothing make vets less “faceless” to the grateful, nothing to reduce putting vets on a pedestal. From my perspective, those who come to me and say “thanks for your service” all mean it, or otherwise they could have just walked by. And saying it, looking me in the eyes with gratitude, that’s what changes it from being faceless to personal.

    • tohellwithhades

      Also, by adding a phrase like “…so that I could have weekends off”, it actually seems to come across more like a small insult (like rubbing it in). Just a simple “Thank you” while looking them in the eyes should be just fine, I would think. I guess it all depends on how it’s said and who says it.

    • SoxGirl

      Well said Dan… I DO take the time to thank a service man or woman for their service to our country. I am very sincere in saying so… to me, I am showing my appreciation for every aspect of their dedication in protecting our great nation, as well as the sacrifices made in doing so. My “thank you for your service” means all those things and more, in one genuine manner. To every man or woman (and their families) who have served… Thank you for your service, from the bottom of my heart.

    • Maria Curtis Eertmoed

      That’s the perfect example of how I feel about this article. In this me-me-me-who-is-going-to-win-on-american-idol world we live in, taking even just a moment of time to say thank you with or without a hug or handshake, is monumental. Obviously this article was not written by a Vietnam Vet who was treated with contempt rather than gratitude. There is a REASON why you see WWII vets and Vietnam Vets wearing those caps everywhere they go. I always stop and thank them, let them know my father was a Vietnam vet and ask them where they were stationed. Most have great stories. There is a lot to be learned from our vets, and it matters not WHAT they did, just that they DID.

  • ibpenny

    I will never stop thanking veterans. Some people may not be articulate enough to thank them in the manner Ky discusses, but the words are not important as the meaning and the feelings behind them. My son, 10 years in, and my husband, 100% disabled veteran, are thrilled when someone approaches them and thanks them. Saying thank you is NOT perfunctory. I understand the sentiments here, they are all true, but how can you approach military personnel and read them the paragraphs above rather than a simple and humble ‘thank you’? ‘Thank you for your service’ can be said many ways!

  • DannyJane

    I became a Service wife when I married in 1968. I remember when venterans came home from a nightmare war entirely too much like this one only to be spat upon and reviled as if they had caused and extended it themselves. I am also the daughter of a veteran and the grandmother of one. I will ALWAYS thank the vets I see whether they are active service, former service or retired. I ususally phrase it so that it is as personal as I can make to a person who is a stranger to me. But even if our government doesn’t acknowledge what they do, at the very least we of the civilian population who live well because of them ought to express our appreciation for whatever job it is that is their part of the organization.

  • PTBarnumboy

    Here is one Vietnam vet that dislikes this latest fad so much I had to quit wearing my VietNam Veteran cap.

    • Gray

      Thank you for your service, and welcome home. I have thanked those who served, especially Vietnam Vets, since before I served. I saw them spat on, (and trust my own eyes more than the current stories which claim it didn’t happen), cussed at and called baby killers, and you deserve thanks for what you went through, as well as respect and honor.

  • nikki

    I still say thank you because I have lost family . in the past wars I thank
    thank you for doing what I couldn’t

  • chanamiata

    I love this. Thank you for making it plain- for giving me the words that say what I’ve felt but couldn’t put into words. And thank you because I am that stay at home mom with the husband who comes home every night (God willing- he’s a cop so I’m still nervous) but at least he’s here. I’ll do better from here on out because my words will no longer be a platitude, but specific. Thank you.

  • Chris McGuire

    “Thank you for your service” is a simple way to show support for the military and is used by people who appreciate the fact that others have volunteered to protect the freedoms and rights of American Citizens. The phrase shouldn’t make anybody feel uncomfortable and it also shouldn’t be replaced by a more egocentric statement like “Thank you for my children”…. That would just be weird for everybody. When I’m in uniform the thanks’ come flying in, and instead of feeling like I don’t deserve it or making the supporter feel awkward I just give them the same respect they gave to me (and the idea of protecting freedom) and respond with “THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT.”

  • knuckledragger

    Doesn’t really matter what someone says to my face. The priorities of this country, the people I see getting elected, and everything I see on every day that ISN’T Veterans Day only say one thing to me:
    “Up yours for serving our country Veteran. I don’t care what you do or why you did it. I care about MTV, waking up at noon, and my next weekend out. So f*ck you Veteran, go die in some far away land and if you get blown up, the government can send a flag to your kid and we can be done with you.”

    • Renee Pickup

      Agreed.

  • deputycupcaking

    its still a thank you. stop trying to be different you dumb mother fucker. any thankyou is better than a FUCK YOU.

  • ZeldaNarnie

    Once upon a time I had a miscarriage late in a pregnancy. Friends and acquaintances were offering their condolences, some of which were very awkward and some of which seemed insensitive. I was complaining to a friend that some people had tried to make me feel better but said the exact wrong thing and didn’t they know that their attempt wasn’t helpful? My friend gently reminded me that, however awkward and seemingly insensitive some of their attempts might be, at least they were making the effort and perhaps I should pay closer attention to their motivation to offer condolence as opposed to the specific wording of those condolences. I’m inclined to think that people offering a “Thank you for your service.” to a veteran might best be viewed in the same way. They are making the effort to express their gratitude however imperfect their delivery may be. Forget the words and receive the thanks upon which the words are carried graciously, as it’s their effort to speak from the heart.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000183721392 Kaycee Andersen

      Beautifully said!!!!

  • Dan Covey

    After reading your article, which took me back a few steps, I decided to respond to your article. Although I was in law enforcement years ago, I am a civilian. I never considered my duty on the same plane as military. I am old enough to remember seeing veterans being spit on and told they were murders, and rapists after the Viet Nam conflict, and I suspect, you are too young to remember the treatment they received, even though they endured the worst combat conditions imaginable. That being said…What do you want from us? My right arm, a leg? In some comments, someone said that they hear it a million times a day! Is that really a problem? REALLY? As a civilian, I have thanked countless military active and veteran personnel for their service, have paid for their meals, and grocery tabs at Winn Dixie! Paid for and coached baseball and soccer for the children of people on duty in the desert, usually Anonymously. Why? Because Its ALL I CAN DO to show my gratitude for what you volunteered to do! I know your sacrifice. I come from a military family. I have many friends who serve or have served. I have friends who walk on Titanium legs, and have held them when the PTSD kicks in! Do I do it out of guilt, no, you chose your path. I am just showing my appreciation for what you volunteered to do, to protect my freedoms, allow me to spend time with my family in comfort, not worry if some bomber is going to blow up my precious 6 year old at school, the list goes on. You are special people. You are the ones who took a job, knowing full well, that you may have half your head blown off, while protecting me. I want people like you to know, that I appreciate that. Do your self a favor, go sit with some homeless Viet Nam veteran in your local town some time. I have many times. The stories about how they were treated will rip your F’n heart out! Ask them what it was like when they came home from the shit! You would remove this article immediately if you did! In my honest opinion, This article is written out of anger, not because you are tired of being thanked. Our country should be ashamed how it treats you. Its disgusting! We pay you nothing to fight for us, and when you come home maimed, you get horrible care. I do feel bad for that, and I have made my disgust known to lawmakers. I don’t know what to tell you about the other 359 million people here, but for me, I am going to continue to thank you for your service and sacrifice. Its all I can really do on a daily basis. Thank you for your perspective on Americans showing their gratitude for your sacrifices. I hope that my response offers our perspective on things for you. God Bless all of you and God Bless the USA!

    • Joseph Felder

      Thank you for being a part of the Thin Blue Line, and thank you for all that you have done through the years for all our brothers and sisters in uniform, whether they were blue or green.

      • Dan Covey

        Joseph, Thanks for your appreciation. I was never thanked while I was in uniform. I was spit on, had things thrown at me, and stood at the wrong end of a 44Mag, but never a thanks. I feel that its the least we can do for these men and women. I have watched several of my friends struggle with coming home and trying to adjust. Normal will never be normal for some of these kids. A kind word of thanks can change a day for them. I disagree whole heartedly with the author, although respect their position. I am blessed to be here, and they are a big part of our freedom. God Bless them!

    • Tiffany Hipkins Caviness

      Perfectly stated!

      • Dan Covey

        Thanks Tiffany!

    • Jaysen

      just like you thank us my friend i thank you while we are protecting everyone here overseas you protected us here stateside so thank you for all you did as a police officer and thank you for what you do for my fellow brothers and sisters that are not here to be with their families

  • dialaspc

    There is nothing sterile about thanking a veteran in any manner you wish. As a Vietnam veteran it was over 25 years before someone said thank you. Part of the reason that you hear the thank you for your service is the fact that we (the vietnam vets) remember to well never being thanked and more than likely looked down upon or spat upon. I see someone in uniform you can bet I will thank them for their service and if they are in a wheel chair I will thank them for their sacrifice. I appreciated every thank you and every welcome home I have ever received. It has brought tears to my eyes at times and humbled me at other times. I have never thought that is was just a passing remark that wasn’t heart sent.
    David Dial
    Vietnam 1969

    • Joseph Felder

      Welcome home, brother.

      Joseph Felder
      82nd Airborne Division

      Operation Iraqi Freedom

      • dialaspc

        Thank you and thank you for you service. I spent 2004 -2006 with International American Pdts in Kuwait supplying you guys from Basra to Anaconda.

        • Joseph Felder

          Well, how about that? I was up in Baghdad at FOB Loyalty.

  • Dennis Kennedy

    How dare you write this garbage? Sounds like you need a time out, pal. SPECIFYING how you want or ought to be thanked is just as bad as what you’re railing about. I’m a vet (21 years, US Army) and would never THINK about what you’ve devoted so much time to writing and putting out there for the world to see. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. I can think of several million Vietnam vets who never got one of the thanks that you and I have been given. Suck it up, and ask mommy to wipe you butt so you can get off your pity pot and get on with your life.

    • Renee Pickup

      As a vet myself, and the editor in chief that approved this article, wife of a combat vet, etc. I think you should be ashamed of yourself to make assumptions about the woman who wrote this article. You may not agree (many who commented do not), and to be honest, I did not agree with every aspect of this article, but if you can’t articulate what about it you don’t like without being vitriolic, you aren’t accomplishing a damn thing.

      The fact is, many young veterans feel a version of what Ky wrote about here. Our voices deserve to be heard as much as the voices of previous generations’ veterans deserved to be heard. While it is unfortunate that many of our vets in past generations were treated even more poorly than this generation, it doesn’t mean our generation of vets are not ALLOWED to say how we feel.

      Lastly, you might want to go check out the author’s bio. She’s hardly the kind of Marine I’d accuse of being a baby.

      • Moira

        Renee, I think you spelled it out nicely when you said “many young veterans feel a version of what Ky wrote about here.”

        Many.Young.Veterans.

        All to often in today’s society we are prompted to give a hug and a cookie to make people feel better about their place in life. The ONLY thing we have accomplished with this method is to create humans that learn to question personal space and hate cookies. This author included.

        The article came off as a spoiled child having a temper tantrum. I don’t doubt her experiences in the Corps have been arduous. But, to come out to the world stating we are improperly saying Thank You is complete and utter bullshit.

        Suck it up, Marine. You’ll take my Thank You, and you’ll like it. Or, you’re in it for the wrong reasons.

        • Renee Pickup

          First, you completely missed the point of the article, the end portion was not meant to be a guide for what to say to a vet, it was meant to drive the point home that an all volunteer force is an important thing.

          Secondly, telling a veteran that her voice shouldn’t be heard because you don’t like what she has to say is ridiculous. And to make assumptions about her character based on your misinterpretation of her article and your opinions of an entire generation is absolutely ridiculous.

          Further, it’s not about WHY people are in the military, it is about, as I’ve said over and over, making sure our veterans’ voices are heard. We’ve fucked up a lot of times when it comes to how we treat our vets, it’s important to hear what they have to say.

          • Moira

            You don’t seem to be a very credible source to respond on her behalf. Thank you for providing your services, whatever they might be, to have her voice heard. However, you’re talking in circles.

            She’s not giving instructions but giving instructions. She’s making claim to represent her entire generation of veteran, but I can’t express my opinion of her opinion?

            Yes, YES, all too often we have fucked up how we have treated our vets. We spat at them, we called them baby-killers, we turned away when they needed us most. This entire article is an affront to those that are now getting their due thanks. Maybe she needs to spend some time with those with spit on their shoulders to understand what thanks are about.

            I refuse to waste someone’s time when they are in a check-out with a story about how because of their service I have blah, blah or blah. I shouldn’t be expected to hug them and make them understand I am being genuine.

            I just can’t get over how someone can’t just smile and nod. A nation’s opinion of the armed forces has done a 180 – and you people are bitching about it? What the hell is wrong with you??

          • Renee Pickup

            I’m the editor in chief at this magazine, so yes, I am a “credible source” when it comes to the intent of the articles published here. I approve every single article that goes up, and yes, I discuss them in detail with the authors. And I stand by my assertion that this article was meant to highlight the importance of an all-volunteer-force, and not actually intended as a how-to-guide when thanking veterans. I can stand by that confidently since I’ve spoken with the author several times about it since this thing went viral.

            This article is NOT in any way, and affront to Vietnam veterans, that’s ridiculous. This is the voice of one veteran, and she is speaking on a topic MANY veterans I talk to feel similarly about (yes, even Vietnam vets). Obviously not everyone has to agree with it, many people have commented here disagreeing, and did it without telling the author to “suck it up” or attempting to twist the words presented.

            Vietnam vets who were spat on would have probably appreciated the platform to speak their minds about the way they are treated, don’t you think? So perhaps we shouldn’t tell vets to stop expressing their opinions.

          • Brad Ivanchan

            “Vietnam vets who were spat on would have probably appreciated the platform to speak their minds about the way they are treated, don’t you think? So perhaps we shouldn’t tell vets to stop expressing their opinions.”

            Really Renee Pickups? Wtf would you know. I know that vietnam vets would not be complaining about how someone thanked them for their service! Most of them dont even complain about the horrible treatment the received when they got home. Why? Because they are not babies like the woman who wrote this. You may be the editor, and a “combat vet wife” but you have no clue what you are talking about. Same as the writer. This is offensive to veterans everywhere. And quite bluntly makes us look like cry babies. Plus I doubt this female marine experienced any more hardships then the average civilian contractor working out of one of the huge bases she was most likely “deployed” too. What i take from this article is that she finds it somewhat offensive or annoying when someone says “thank you for your service”. You should be thankful that someone takes the time out of their day to come up and say that to you one on one! I dont understand how that can be a bad thing? As someone that lost alot more then most people in the marines ( both legs) i still find it rewarding when a person says that to me. Bottom line is thats why they call it “volunteering” . It is a selfless act. If you wanted to get recognition for your service then your heart probably wasnt in the right place when you enlisted. Complaining about how you are not thanked in the “right way” just gives us all a bad image when a civilian reads this. Grow up the fuck up and and stop crying you spoiled little girl.

          • CJB124

            This article is crap and you should be ashamed to be the “editor in chief” that approved such garbage.

          • Krystle DuPree

            The “under dog” is always told to submit. It’s a wonder why so many OEF/OIF vets feel people do not understand them nor do they care. And as a result the suicide rate rises every month. And yes there are plenty of people who say “thank you for your service” and it is becoming as a generic hello. There are some people who mean it with everything inside of them. Yet for a great many people it’s kind of like asking a stranger “how’s it going” you do not expect a long drawn out play by play of how it’s going. I asked an NCO what I should say when people say that to me, he said “Thank you for your appreciation”. First time
            I did that it threw someone off. And every time I do it, one of two things happen. Either the person makes a nervous face and scurries off, or they keep talking and say why they thanked me.Isn’t one of the Army values Personal courage. Does that mean have the personal courage to speak your mind and accept that some people may not like what you have to say or just to put your life on the line because you have to follow orders? As far as civilians treatment, ok I’ve been asked by too many children have I ever killed someone or how does it feel to kill someone, when I wore my uniform. I’ve been told by random people and some of my fellow soldiers women shouldn’t be in the military. Random people of my own race telling me I’m a brain washed puppet for being in “The White Man’s Army” so please don’t be mislead by a few commercials and a couple handshakes. Some people just feel like we the vets would be offended if nothing was said, because people have this common thought that all Vets are crazy (or have PTSD is what I think they mean) When that is far from true. The way I read this, is more like if you don’t want to thank someone don’t do it out of obligation. Do it because you really give a crap.

        • Gray

          I don’t understand you. You talk about how, in today’s society, we are prompted to to give a hug and a cookie to make people feel better about their place in society, and then slam an article stating that soldiers and veterans aren’t losers who need a hug and cookie to feel better about their place in society.

  • map42892

    This article puts vets on a pedestal even harder. Can’t we just accept that it’s a career that is often beneficial to those who enter it? Nobody is “fighting for our freedoms” anymore, it’s not 1783. I have nothing but respect for people who are willing to join the armed forces, but they didn’t do anything for me.

    • Renee Pickup

      Did anyone say “fight for freedom”? The article is focused on the fact that because we have an all volunteer military, no one else has to worry about the draft.

  • Barry Hudson

    It’s interesting how this has turned 180 degrees from my time during the Viet Nam War, we each have our stories here is mine if you’re so inclined to read. When I came home in the early 70′s as you know no one thanked us, the news didn’t have stories about us, we just came home. And what did I do my first hours back on American soil? I spent time on a garbage detail, literally unloading garbage, for those that haven’t served that is one of the many things that is the glamour of military service. Again as is common knowledge we weren’t thanked, we didn’t expect it, and when we went out in the civilian world we didn’t tell people (well females especially) what we did, we knew it would be a turn off for them. And I guess businesses have changed as well. I find it interesting too how some restaurants will provide free meals on Veterans Day, nothings too good for our vets. Yet back during my time I once wanted to buy a jacket at Montgomery Wards (long gone thank goodness), they wouldn’t sell me a jacket! And there was only one reason for that, this was San Diego, I had a military haircut and my money wasn’t good enough for them, they didn’t state it explicitly but I knew. Fast forward to today, whenever I attend an event and they ask the veterans and active duty personnel in the audience to stand, I do not, not because it’s a f**k you to past transgressions, it just doesn’t feel right, maybe it’s a case of too little too late or simply what the writer of the article says I really don’t know. In closing I didn’t write this to vent or seek favor or thanks, but only to detail what it was like to come home during the Viet Nam War,

    • Renee Pickup

      It is because of Vietnam Vets speaking up, speaking out, and making demands that this generations’ veterans have what we do. I definitely thank those who have gone before us for that.

      • Tara

        Wow…that “thank those who have gone before us” sounds pretty simple and to the point. According to the author of this article, you need to be more detailed in that thanks, or else it is insensitive and a slap in the face. Are you kidding me? YOU have authority to give a “thanks for going before ME,” but a civilian can’t? Who made YOU in charge of morality and etiquette? When the U.S.A. writes a book on the proper way to thank a Veteran, lemme know. Until then, I’ll continue to say,”Thank you for your sacrifices.” If the person on the receiving end doesn’t feel my appreciation, that is their problem.

  • Brandon

    While I never use that phrase around friends & veterans, this article is shit. We, the public aren’t morons, we know what comes with duty. And the fact that the article spits “it’s volunteer, we sacrifice careers, family” etc, should also come with a note that these volunteers know what they’re getting in to, we do, that’s why it’s not for all of us. I think it’s disrespectful to us to read something like that, as if us saying “thanks” is a bullshit statement. You don’t have to join, so don’t give us shit for saying thanks.

  • Georgette Gordon

    To be honest I am offended to be told how to show my respect and gratitude to men and women in uniform. I come from a family who has had many and still do have many relatives serving. I would like to offer my time just helping the spouses at home somehow I wish I knew how. I can babysit, grocery shop etc. I may be older but would be proud to help. Come on people get over yourselves we are just trying to not make the same mistake that was done to our VietNam vets. It is truly heartfelt accept it for what it is.

    • Renee Pickup

      How can you say you don’t want to make the mistakes our country made with Vietnam vets and then tell a veteran that you are offended by her expressing her feelings on how she is treated by her countrymen?

      Telling veterans to shut up and take their “thank yous” while our government continues to screw us is kind of offensive, too.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000183721392 Kaycee Andersen

        Telling veteran’s to “shut up” and take their thank you’s? I think Ky (the author) is attempting to convey that he/she (?) speaks for ALL soldiers — that they somehow secretly all feel this way. WRONG. In fact, it’s horrifically offensive to my husband and to me. We have felt nothing but sincere gratefulness from people who thank him for his service. It’s a much needed reminder when we’re at an airport saying goodbye for the zillionth time – that the purpose of our parting is so worth it to so many people.

  • No

    I am sorry to say, but this read comes across as being a damn pitty party. As a “CIVILIAN” I don’t appreciate you assuming I do not know what the hell I am grateful for. “Stop saying thank you for your service”…?!?!? The intentions behind this article seem good enough, meh. The delivery of these intentions is was way off. Go read ken345′s comment just below. I believe this represents the true heart of the well rounded foreign or domestic American soldier.
    Oh! Quincy, for those of us who are not “…actors, professional athletes, models, [or] musicians…” We do our part too. We made personal choices to do different jobs while never being satisfied with our salaries just like you. We build your roads, and maintain your electricity so chaos doesn’t ensue. We make sure no one “poisoned the water hole”, or your kids don’t get kidnapped. But if they do, some of us work tirelessly to bring em home safe…maybe. The fact that you feel the need to point out to all Americans who don’t serve in the military “the spec in their own eye”, only reveals the “plank in yours”. Humility is the most beautiful attribute of all.
    -sv

    • Renee Pickup

      I’ve responded to a lot of outraged civilians on this post, so what’s one more? I’m a vet, married to a combat vet, and I’m the editor in chief here. One thing that I won’t really stand for is having one of my writers called to task for expressing her opinion on her own experiences. Further, the point of this article wasn’t about what veterans DO, it was about how having an all volunteer military protects civilians like you from being pulled into the military against your will. No matter your politics, I think most agree that the draft is a bad thing.

      So, one more time with feeling —

      All veterans deserve to have their voices heard. I would have happily posted other veterans’ voices this Veterans’ Day, but Ky is the only vet I have on staff, and if you were offended by this, then you sure as hell wouldn’t like what I have to say on the topic. So this was the perspective we got. If you don’t like it — that’s fine. But no one is more qualified to speak on their experiences than the person experiencing it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000183721392 Kaycee Andersen

        Well I can assure you as the family member of an active duty soldier, I have yet to find one person in our unit who agrees with this blog post (article??). Very very strange theme that was designed to elicit responses – and you got them, and all the attention you could have dreamed of. So – mission accomplished for you, I guess?

      • Stig’s American Cousin

        If you’re the editor in chief, I have a suggestion for you. Hire a copy editor. I had to read this post twice. Once to fight through all of grammatical and syntax erros, and then again to be insulted because I thank my father for his service.

  • Mona Dickerson-Richardson

    Thank you for allowing me to sit at home with my family while yours wondered whether or not they were going to lose you. Thank You

  • Stu Benshoof

    Well as a vet i appreciate the sentiment of being thanked even if the people feel compelled to do so. Also when I thank a vet , more often than not I spend some time (from a few minutes or more) depending upon how much the vet wants to talk to me. I have yet to meet a vet that didn’t appreciate being thanked and talked to. So for me i will continue to thank them and appreciate being thanked.

  • Dennis Kennedy

    There’s something wrong with the website, and I’m unable to respond to the response to my original post…
    Sorry, Renee, but we’re going to have to agree to disagree. The author of this article is flat out wrong on several points and YOU as the editor in chief (which you don’t seem to miss an opportunity to point out) shoud have give a litte more thought to the potential consequences of the article.
    1.) On a simple, common sense level, this attitude is rude, and if you’ll pardon the use of the word, it violates every immaginable rule of etiquette. Telling someone that their “Thank you for your service” is trite and contrived and then suggesting a format for them to follow smacks of someone with a graniose opinion of themselves.
    2.) If you want to turn off the positive and increased civilian awareness and appreciation of the military, keep promulgating this crap. A lot of people who read this will think to themselves “Oh REALLY? Well, I’ll just keep my mouth shut from now on, so I don’t offend that soldier’s delicate sensitivities.”
    3.) From a journalistic perspective, the article is weak, and could have benefitted from copy-editing and further discussion with the author to help them more accurrately make state their position. As it is (and you can see from the numerous comments, both here and the numerous locations on FB), the author is in the minority. I think that’s largely due to a somewhat strident and whiney tone, especially in the extensive laundry list of “How I think we should be thanked” list at the conclusion of the article. If it were to get a grade, I’d maybe give it a B-.
    The author and you, as editor are entitled to think and print and say anything you like, but don’t expect blanket endorsement from us other military members. What she wrote and what you published are potentially damaging for us all, and could set the civilian mindset back a bunch of years. Can you just imagine how a vet who served during the ’60′s, ’70′s & ’80′s feels and thinks when he or she reads an article like this? If you could get past your ego, you might be able to see that perspective. The bottom line here is, you can print anything you like, but just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. I stand by my original statement and will politely accept ANY thanks I get for serving my country, regardless of how I perceive the comments to be given. This is called class and decorum, and while I’m far from perfect, I find it preferable to aspire to those ideals, as opposed to complaining infantile issues such as the way people thank me for something.

  • Doc Crandell

    I think this article is well-intended, but poorly executed. The author implies that any non-veteran who simply says “thank you” couldn’t possibly understand the sacrifices veterans make or appreciate the freedoms we owe to our veterans and those men and women currently serving. That’s an unjust stereotype and, quite frankly, couldn’t be less true. I’m surrounded by friends and family who served and I can assure you that each and every one of them appreciates even the most casual thanks. I also believe that they represent the majority of our vets, rather than a comparatively few who are carrying chips on their shoulders.

    It’s unfortunate that the rewards for those who serve are disproportionate to the risks taken and sacrifices made. It isn’t, however, the civilian population’s fault. Furthermore, the fact that someone chose for his or her own reasons not to enlist doesn’t make that person any less a patriot. Many are fighting their own battles against the tyranny within our borders.

    In any case, there’s no justification for assuming that a “thank you for your service” is sterile. What’s more, the handshake that accompanies it is a sign of respect and a gesture many don’t offer lightly. As many veterans realize, that handshake often carries more weight than a military salute, which is all too often given out of force of habit or obligation.

    While I certainly agree that thanks to our veterans should be heartfelt, I don’t agree that simply saying “thanks for your service” should be insufficient for any man or woman who chose to serve. Frankly, expecting more simply sounds like another example of the sense of entitlement that’s becoming entirely too prevalent in our society. Not all of the reasons to volunteer for military service are altruistic.

    If vets need to be angry, be angry at those who condemn your actions, not those who offer a word of support. Better yet, be angry at those who made your service necessary by propagating hate and injustice.

    While I understand the points Ky is trying to make, I think the assumptions made in this article are an affront to those of us who are sincere in our support of veterans and those currently serving. I wonder if Ky would take the same position against standing and saluting our flag, since it’s ritualistic. It is, for many of us, one more way to honor those who served.

    • Doc Crandell

      As a writer, I think one more observation is in order here: The twist put on this article in order to gain readership is obvious and in my opinion, unnecessary.

      There’s nothing that commands attention like a title that sparks controversy and Ky has taken advantage of that with this article in a very big way. That theme has been carried out in the body of the article as well, and it’s been an effective tactic, as is evident in the comments.

      There are many less controversial ways these points could have been stated. In my opinion, sacrificing the sincerity of the message for the publicity gained wasn’t the best choice. Clever? Yes. Appropriate? Not in my book.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000183721392 Kaycee Andersen

        I think you give the writer too much credit. I personally think this was a poorly thought out, spur of the moment, deadline to meet blog post… that he now may wish he had invested a little more thought in.

  • BudL1te

    I understand the sentiment of the article, but having spent the first 23
    years of my life in the military, first as a dependent then, as Regular
    Army, a thank you means the world to a veteran. He may not want thanks, he may not feel he deserves thanks,
    but make no mistake, in the military, you are often alone, thousands of
    miles from your family and friends. Just knowing, that what you are
    doing means so much to others, helps to alleviate the solitude and
    separation often endured. If after reading this article you are
    apprehensive to thank a vet then how about a simple “Good Job” instead.

  • Andrez Bergen

    Beautifully put all round, and needed to be said.

  • Cheryl Kelly

    Again and again to the veterans I know and hold closer to my heart.. Thank you for keeping me & mine safe. Your sacrifice has NOT gone unnoticed or faceless.

  • dandonche

    I personally always felt awkward whenever anyone thanked me. I did almost 7 years, 3 combat tours. Took me years to figure out a good response, which ended up being, “Thank you for your support.” After that it wasn’t so weird.

  • Christopher Baker

    WOW……JUST WOW!!

  • Chase Dunn

    No. Thank us for our service. That is all. Don’t praise us or turn us into super heroes. There was a time that veterans were spit on for serving. We have protected the right to take great things for granted. If you ask me, it is much more honorable to do what you know is right because it is right. It is less to seek out praise.It is an insult to the people that we have protected to claim that they do not know what they are thanking us for. Most of those thank yous come from fellow veterans.

  • Henry Vandenburgh

    Every time I’ve been thanked, I’ve deeply appreciated it. The hairsplitting above seems fairly irrelevant to my experience. Thanks for recognizing us.

  • Mike Bennett

    I served in the Army from 1978-1985. We were not “heroes” then. We just did our job and prepared for a war that we were never called upon to fight. So we fought a “Cold War” instead. We were the deterrent. For a time, I was almost ashamed of having served and claiming to be a veteran, because I never went to combat. Any “thank you” I get nowadays I feel somehow like I didn’t earn it. The GI Bill in place then was one where we had to pay into it. It was not free. With our meager pay it was almost not even worth bothering with it. When I got out I went to work at a minimum wage job and tried to rectify that in the military I was in charge of millions of dollars worth of equipment and men, and in the civilian world I was in charge of nothing. In the Army, stress levels were high and you had responsibilities to deal with. You learned how to cope and learned how to excel in everything you did. The civilian world gave no credit for being in the service. You got no jobs commiserate with your level of experience because your experience was not achieved in the civilian world. There were no “hire vets” programs. When you got out, you started at the bottom just like everyone else, except you had more experience.The old commercials were true though, in the military, you do more before breakfast than most people do in an entire day!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000183721392 Kaycee Andersen

      And the military STILL does more before breakfast than most folks do in a day . That has NOT changed. But because of the failures that existed back when you served, we have moved forward and learned our lesson. What program or system has not been improved upon over the decades — ? Really none. We’ve improved education, job pay, job benefits, etc for ALL aspects of life, not just military. It’s unfortunate that we cannot somehow “grandfather clause in” those who served without the same benefits the military has now. In a perfect world I guess. Thank you for your service, by the way (and I mean that).

  • Mitchell Brown

    The state of Oklahoma is ending veterans benefits because they’ll have to give those benefits to gay American veterans. “Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) announced earlier this month that
    state-owned National Guard facilities will no longer allow any married
    couples to apply for spousal benefits, regardless of whether they are
    same-sex or different-sex. The Supreme Court’s decision
    overturning the Defense of Marriage Act means that servicemembers with
    same-sex spouses are now eligible for federal benefits. Fallin’s unusual
    tactic is designed to avoid having to recognize those couples, which
    she asserts would violate Oklahoma’s constitutional amendment limiting
    marriage to one man and one woman.” And this from Texas and Mississippi – “The Texas National Guard refused to process requests from same-sex
    couples for benefits on Tuesday despite a Pentagon directive to do so,
    while Mississippi won’t issue applications from state-owned offices.
    Both states cited their respective bans on gay marriage.” — What’s next? No VA home loans for gay American vets? No GI Bill for gay American vets? The all-volunteer army is simply a means to divorce American foreign policy from the American people. We can send our professional soldiers around the world to do the bidding of whoever has the most “pull” while the rest of us (99.1% of the American population) continue going to the mall. I think Col. Andrew Bacevich (ret) highlights the situation best in his book “The New American Militarism”. Instead of thanking vets for a service – a service of which I, like the vast majority of my fellow citizens – I’m almost completely ignorant, I’ll support politicians that support them. ALL of them.

  • BT Theg

    Here’s a stepladder so you can get up on that cross.

  • Matt Jodoin

    Thank you is a common courtesy way of showing gratitude for the things that a person does for another. If you dont want to hear it, walk away and turn the other cheek if its really that big of a deal to you. I am grateful for the things our United State Military does for us every single day, as my brother was a Army Airborne Ranger out of Fort Bragg NC. I was thankful that he even came home alive, nevermind everything else he accomplished while on active tour duty in Kuwait. I think for a soldier not wanting to be gratified for their services is a bit disrespectful to its own citizens. You fight for us, while we sit home drinking beer watching the Super Bowl, comfortably with friends surrounding us. Meanwhile, you get your leg blown off on the side of the road in Afghanistan by an IED or a suicide bomber and you sit in your hospital bed acting like its ok because all your thinking about when you get out of the hospital is your sweet military pension and honorable discharge with your little Purple Heart medal. If i want to thank you for risking your life for my freedoms, i will. Its my American right. And if you dont like it? Oh well, its not my problem if you cant take a compliment. Simple as that.

  • Linda Williams

    I say “Thank you” to Veterans and I mean it. And NO I will NOT quit saying it. I do thank them for my freedom and for their service to our Country!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000183721392 Kaycee Andersen

    Totally erroneous argument. Could not disagree more. I’ve never seen such heartfelt gratitude in my life than when I hear someone stop a soldier and thank them. For Ky Hunter to insinuate that the “thank you for your service” is uninspired, mechanical, or contrived is a stretch. And to assume that the VERY reasons for gratitude that he lists at the end of his odd “essay” aren’t already behind those words of gratefulness – is insulting at best. Perhaps if Ky spent some time asking people why they just thanked a soldier, he would hear and understand the truth: That many of those people are family members of veterans themselves and understand the sacrifices that are made with no fanfare; that many of those grateful people have LOST a family member or friend who has served. He would do well to sit at the Atlanta Airport, somewhere close to the USO, and actually watch and listen – and look at the eye
    contact and sincerity by folks just wanting to say “thanks”.

  • Death’s Blossom

    I find this article very disappointing. When I first enlisted, I felt embarrassed when people thanked me for my service, because I didn’t feel I deserved it-I hadn’t done anything yet. My Chief told me that’s how I should always feel, because it’s not something deserved, it’s humbling, and if one day you find yourself not humbled, you truly DON’T deserve it.

    The way I see things is, forget that we volunteered for this-serve our country for a paycheck, bed, food, all expenses paid-and that every “thank you” we get is a bonus to be earned as best we can. Are the thank you’s empty because they don’t know what we go through? NO! That’s our FREAKING JOB!!! I don’t want my friends and family to know what I see, how I feel, etc. I don’t want them to know what war or true poverty look like. If I get a passing “thank you for your service”, I just thank them for their support, not just because I appreciate it so very, very much (which I do), but also because it means I’m doing my job.

    I will sacrifice my time, I will sacrifice my sanity,
    But I won’t sacrifice the ones that I hold dear to me.
    I’ll make myself strong, even if the paths I take run long,
    So that the ones I love won’t feel this pain that I do.

    I will sacrifice my soul, revel in misery, pay the toll,
    Praying it’s worth the price, never again will I be whole.
    I’ll make sure I win, even if I lose I won’t give in,
    So that the ones I love won’t feel this pain I still do.

    I will sacrifice my life as I stand guard each and every night
    Pray Death won’t come for me, I’m not ready for Eternity.
    I must be a shield, a tool for the lame and weak to wield,
    So that the ones I love won’t feel this pain I’m used to.

  • James Baudier

    We thank a Vet but say nothing to Washington Ref; cutting their pay and benefits. I guess we will say nothing to Washington when they give this extra money they will have to some foreign cause or terror group either.

  • Brad Ivanchan

    “Vietnam vets who were spat on would have probably appreciated the platform to speak their minds about the way they are treated, don’t you think? So perhaps we shouldn’t tell vets to stop expressing their opinions.”

    Really Renee Pickups? Wtf would you know. I know that vietnam vets would not be complaining about how someone thanked them for their service! Most of them dont even complain about the horrible treatment the received when they got home. Why? Because they are not babies like the woman who wrote this. You may be the editor, and a “combat vet wife” but you have no clue what you are talking about. Same as the writer. This is offensive to veterans everywhere. And quite bluntly makes us look like cry babies. Plus I doubt this female marine experienced any more hardships then the average civilian contractor working out of one of the huge bases she was most likely “deployed” too. What i take from this article is that she finds it somewhat offensive or annoying when someone says “thank you for your service”. You should be thankful that someone takes the time out of their day to come up and say that to you one on one! I dont understand how that can be a bad thing? As someone that lost alot more then most people in the marines ( both legs) i still find it rewarding when a person says that to me. Bottom line is thats why they call it “volunteering” . It is a selfless act. If you wanted to get recognition for your service then your heart probably wasnt in the right place when you enlisted. Complaining about how you are not thanked in the “right way” just gives us all a bad image when a civilian reads this. Grow up the fuck up and and stop crying you spoiled little girl.

  • Brad Ivanchan

    the “editor” and the writer of this article are idiots. and this “magazine” is a fucking joke. you are both babies.

  • JohnnyQ

    This article and those with top comments are entirely full of shit. Go fuck yourselves.

  • Mean Joe Green

    YUCK, SHUT THE FUCK UP WITH THIS NONSENSE. YOU GO TO FUCKING MILITARY FOR THE GI BILL OR BECAUSE IT’S THE ONLY VIABLE OPTION LEFT FOR YOU. I’LL THANK YOU IF YOU’VE LOST A FUCKING LIMB — THAT IS IT. EVERYBODY SACRIFICES IN THIS WORLD. IT’S CALLED LIFE.

    • Su3mb

      You REALLY need to learn some manners, and stop being so negative. It is said that one can tell a person’s IQ by the number of swear words they use . . .

  • jim

    The Important thing to remember is that we all depend on each other. We depend on someone to build a house to live in to protect us from the elements, parents to make sacrifices to put food on the table, farmers to grow us food, teachers to educate us, construction workers to pave us roads, manufactures to build us cars, people to organize our children’s recitals, coaches to coach our children sports people to make our clothes and winter coats and boots. The point is we live in a complex society that is dependent on one another. And no group is more important than the other.for united we stand, divided we fall.

  • jim

    Also this article seems to say that all we accomplish or have the freedom to do is the direct result of the military. It also ignores the fact that this is an all voluntary military army, which means they made the choice to join, and while we may chose to live close to our family or not, those in the military have chosen to be in the military. We are able to have a military because the civilians work and spend money and pay taxes which fund the military (which would not be possible to have without the aforementioned finances)

  • jim

    None the less, I think veterans day is an important holiday just as any day that gives thanks is. The only problem is when people make it seem as though the military is the only part of our country that contributes and is deserving and responsible for a functioning society, when sometimes, it is the part of society that destroys society itself.

  • Kyle Tobeck

    Honestly I was about ready to rage all over this page what how this is titled, but in the end I have to agree with you. Not everyone can do the job but I don’t think people really understand what we have given up so they don’t have to.

  • Fredric Slocum

    From my era 1976-1980, no one except one Vietnam Vet ever said thanks to me. I am one of the 1% and was proud to serve even if the rest of society didn’t care. Thank them as you meet them works for me.

  • Nate

    Another self fulfilling essay about veterans day written by a veteran? No way! Get the fuck out with your auto-fellating bullshit. If you joined the military to get a pat on the back you are a selfish cocksucker.

  • Meatbyproducts

    I get thanked all the time and it is odd to me. I have gotten to the point of I don’t know what to say as it is just like someone saying “how are you?” and not really meaning it. I will share this with as many as I can. Thank you.

  • lance

    I’ll keep saying “I thank you for your service” and mean it all day… I’m not stupid I know what it means. Maybe you would prefer it if people spit on you and called you a baby killer.

  • KenSanDiego

    Thanking a veteran for their service, even as a reflexive remark, carries with it much more than a politically correct act. Many are indeed genuine and express our thanks for doing a job we don’t want to do ourselves. Even if it is the person scrubbing toilets or filling out forms or turning a wrench. It is all necessary work that contributes to the heroic deeds that are the stuff of movies, and deserves an equal part of respect and sincere thanks as the guy defending his squad against an attacking force.
    The reason thanking a veteran is still important, even as a reflex courtesy like ‘bless you’ after a sneeze, is because there was a time when that is not how we as a nation reacted. Soldiers returning from war were spit on, humiliated and outcast. By us. The people. Subjected to the most inhumane ridicule and suffering imaginable, as ‘thanks’ for their service. I am still horrified and embarrassed by that time in our history but fortunately we have grown up some since then.
    Thanking a veteran is important if for no other reason than to condition ourselves to respond kindly to the jobs they are tasked with. Recognizing that if they weren’t the ones doing it, it could very well be you, like it or not.
    So continue thanking a veteran for their service, with sincerity and heartfelt gratitude if you can muster it. If not, a simple ‘thanks’ still makes a difference.

  • Marine

    You write this article assuming a lot of people actually thank veterans, i’ve never seen a survey about it but I would be willing to bet money that more than half of Americans don’t give a damn about veterans and that is a shame.

  • Heath Martin

    I am with johnathen, i opened this article ready to be fuming mad. I am an OIF veteran and i have been thanked a million times, at first it was satisfying, and then i told people “thanks for your support, now its just a simple thanks because everyone of the people that tell it to me i just want to look in the eye and tell them where the recruiters office is.

  • Charles Trayer

    Retired Army myself, served with honor and deployed multiple times throughout my career. I have been thanked enough to know that when a stranger is saying thank you for my service, it is personal to them. I don’t need anyone to tell me why, so they could finish school, or do things they couldn’t etc.. How do I know this? Before retiring, I began thanking Veterans I had never met before, I paid for their breakfast while taking my platoon out for the same, I bought them a coffee at starbucks or whatnot. I said thank you to them, knowing I was soon retiring and having personal experience with their sacrifices, the turmultuous climate they worked in, the hardships their volunteering would make them endure and their families. My thank you’s were never void of meaning. When I have been thanked, I too offer a reply in effect of “thank you for the aprreciation, it means a lot to me and the entire Armed Forces”. Almost every time the person thanking will stop and want to explain why they are grateful, but in the event they do not, I simply infer their gratitude is personal, just as mine is, has been and will forever be.
    To Ky Hunter, thank you for your service!

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/Maoistrebelnews2 Jason Unruhe

    If this is supposed to be an answer to The Atlantic, its a failure. It literally doesn’t answer their criticisms, nor does it acknowledge the fact that the Afghan and Iraq War protected anyone’s rights.

  • Jonnie Eljaroudi

    The “cool” part of the military? I am sorry but there is NOTHING cool about my husbands combat wounds and life long issues with PTSD. I am obviously offended by the complaints on here from other military members….and to be honest here folks…just because you signed up for a branch and sat on an AMERICAN base somewhere does NOT make you a VETERAN! A deployment and combat are what makes a VET a VET!! You all had a CHOICE….you and you alone made it so suck it up and stop complaining. I thank my husband EVERY DAY for his sacrifices so our life can be what it is….. seriously??? You all need to re-think your position….

    • TheEvilGenius

      I’m going to make an assumption that you never served, yourself. That makes your whole post about what you think qualifies as a veteran all the more insulting. Your husband deserves the utmost respect and gratitude for his service and the sacrifices he’s made. However, you shouldn’t be so quick to write everyone else off. What about the maintainer who works on the jet that kills the bad guys shooting at men like your husband? He’s working 12-14 hour days everyday. He has a superior breathing down his neck and the life of a pilot in his hands when he works. He may never deploy, but his work might leave him with permanent hearing damage and a life-long disability. What about the kid who, while he sits at a desk and does paperwork, enlisted straight out of high school and is stationed 10,000 miles away from everything he’s ever known? All of his friends and family and most of his colleagues are on the other side of the planet, a 14-hour time difference away. While he’s at work, they’re asleep. He can’t spend every holiday with them. He might not even be able to see them for years at a time. Does he not deserve any gratitude from you?

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  • benem

    I’ve noticed that if someone takes the time to thank you for your service, chances are excellent that they are closely associated with a service member or are a vet themselves.

    But then you’ve got people like this guy that, instead of accepting a kind sentiment from a stranger, go on a tirade about how they are a monastic defender of freedom and these complacent, dirty civilians JUST DON’T GET IT.

    Give me a fucking break.

  • T_fire

    I disagree. My Wife’s Mother made a comment about my Wife saying I love you just because, it really hurt my Wife and she hasn’t told her Mother she Loves her since. Just because something is said a ‘million’ times doesn’t lessen the meaning of a powerful phrase.

  • Brett Word

    I joined the Navy a month after 9-11. I had no idea what kind of transformation I would be about to go through. After having to sacrifice more than I ever thought I would in the 5 years of my service, I can say it makes me feel appreciated when someone says “thank you for your service.” The title to this article was rather blunt and got my attention. I’m glad I read it before forming an opinion. I do agree that, I don’t think most people really realize what it takes to be in the military.

  • Grumm

    you left out one “thank a veteran for…”. Thank a veteran for carrying the torch forward, beyond the point you no longer could. Semper Fi, and Hail to my brothers in service to our great nation.

  • benem

    also: issued boots? lol

  • Joel Wright

    Stop over-thinking and over-analyzing this. Just take “thank you for your service” in the spirit that it’s likely intended — a civilian who just wants to express his/her appreciation. Better than having someone spit on you and call you a baby killer.

  • Alex Nodopaka

    I did my stint when wars were just and honest and worth killing the ‘enemy’. Now with night scopes and GPS it’s like hunting rabbits in a bathtub and getting paid for killing a few, so don’t talk macho to me!

  • Alex Nodopaka

    Besides, it’s stupid now to have any boots on the ground when we can do the job in loafers from an armchair and a monitor! A 50-incher would be nice! Cinemascope 3-D style!

  • Ken Smith

    I posted this on my FB feed but I figure it’s good here as well:

    Honestly I feel like this is one of those pity vs respect things. I don’t necessarily agree with the article, because the way it’s written, it sounds like we are expecting people’s pity.

    Here’s the thing – I pretty much treat my time in the Navy as I do most
    things in life – I take the best parts of it with me – the friends, fun
    times had on leave, the crazy things that we did which should probably
    have got us punished.

    I leave the worst parts out and try not
    to think about them – The shitty work hours, the abomination known as
    DPIA06 and the human trash that were in charge of the entire overhaul
    (I’m sure they are nice people in person but they were responsible for
    an awful lot of unnecessary human suffering), and let’s not forget being
    off the coast of Afghanistan midsummer working in the engineering
    spaces. I only let these serve as a lesson of what not to pursue in
    life/how not to treat people.

    The truth is, yeah, the specifics
    are different from most walks of life, but what comes out at the other
    end completely depends on the type of person you are; nobody should get a
    free pass on how to be judged veteran or not.

    I have a
    confession to make: I don’t have one picture of me in uniform. It’s not
    a pride thing, becaue I suppose I’m proud of the work that I
    accomplished – rather, it’s just because I choose not to remember myself
    in uniform because the best times I had were spent out of uniform.

    I’ve also grown my hair out since beign a nuke, and I’ve still got a
    huge chip on my shoulder when it comes to authority. I think people
    think I’m a huge stoner because I teach windsurfing (I actually am
    finishing up two degrees and contemplating grad school, so I might be a
    bigger stoner than they realize!) Combine the two and people are super
    surprised when I tell them I used to be in the military. The important
    point is that they get to judge me as a person before they learn about
    my past.

    I realize that this is a completely personal view, and
    may not be representative of *airquote* veterans, but I honestly don’t
    want to be thanked for my service, or any of the stuff listed in that
    article. I’d rather get a beer with you and maybe shoot some pool, go
    sailing, etc. If you’re a cute girl maybe I wanna go on a date with
    you. And then, when you least expect it, I want to see the genuine
    reaction it provokes when I tell you I used to work on a boat.

  • disbeliefreigns

    While I agree with what he’s saying, many people don’t know exactly how to say thank you, so a simple thank you for your service is still
    important. I served at a time when our military and our veterans weren’t
    appreciated. Times have changed so even small signs of appreciation are
    important.

  • Joshua Montambeault

    I thank veterans every chance I get, for the life i get to live for my
    little girl for my wife. for so much that all i can say is thank you it
    is a small simple thing but to me it means the world. and when I am
    thanked ( and in no way do I think I earned any thanks) i say it is my
    honer to serve. just like not ever solder is the same not every civilian
    is some mean it. Its all they can say and for me its more then enough.

  • John Burnette

    I found this to be one sided. As a Soldier people do not understand our life style the losses we suffer ever year. But they do know that we have given up a lot for there freedom. I chose to sign the contract to be there for my country, and to a lot of people that is a big deal. In the past America forgot how to thank use for what we do, and the American Soldier was forgot about. We were cast out because of the Governments decisions and the Media’s desire to only air the shitty news. So this paints us in a manner people could not stand beside. Today we are seen for what we are men and women who do what we are told to secure there freedom. For me to think that some one knows what I have lost for my service is selfish. I am proud of my time in the Army. And I need no one to make me feel better about that, or to justify my time. A simple thank you for your service make me feel proud of what I have done. If you need to feel better about what you have done then open your eyes and see more. USO, Vet services, Help with jobs, and so much more. The people of America stand beside us, not cast us out. And for any Soldier remember Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. No were does it say because I served you should pity me for my sacrifice or loss. ” I CHOSE TO SERVE” and I appreciate anyone who thanks me for that.

  • Christine Anderson

    Is it really for the greater good, or does an all volunteer force mean that it’s easy to conduct war? We saw in Vietnam that if you try to conscript citizens for an unjust war you will have a revolution on your hands. If we want peace we must eliminate soldiers. Soldiers do not keep me safe and I don’t thank veterans for making other people unsafe. Besides security should always be secondary to freedom, and mine is no more important than anyone else’s. The US military does not spread democracy, it takes lives and freedoms away from others.

  • Leigh Sutherland

    A paid job is not “volunteering.” I’m sick of listening to those in the military, like this author, putting themselves above others. You choose to join the military, knowing you may be deployed, so stop complaining about missing milestones, holidays,etc. Leave it to the big boys who do it quietly, without looking and asking for accolades. My uncle served faithfully and is a true gentleman. He served in horrific battles, losing lifelong friends. Yet he has NEVER asked/demanded to be thanked. Nor would he ever take the attitude that he is responsible for others being present for a child’s birth, sporting event or other such things. Real men don’t need to this. They take satisfaction in knowing they did their job. How sad that weak people like you need to write about how wonderful you are. You reek of low self-esteem. What an insult to the military.

  • Ashley Alexander

    I honestly agree with this. I’m not trying to sound like I’m complaining, because that is definitely not the case, but being constantly thanked for my service just makes me feel bad. I’ve been in only a short while- coming up on 2 years next march- and I only feel like I’m doing my duty. I don’t feel like I’ve earned the respect automatically given to us who are in the military. I think those who’ve been in longer and given up so much more or were on the front lines deserve the most thanks. I can’t justify someone telling me “Thank you for your service” when I’ve only done my job and a not so dangerous one at that.

  • river231

    i’m a viet nam vet and occasionally wear a baseball hat with viet nam veteran on it and when someone thanks me for my service it is greatly appreciated by me . the article is right in what it says about thanking us that they were free to live their lives and prosper while we served ,but that is our choice and they should be proud of us , and if that is their way of showing it , i for one am grateful !

  • mama1lu

    I understand your point. However I have two sons in the army and remember the numerous friends who returned from Vietnam and were scorned. I say thank you and mean it to each and every person who is serving.

  • dbakk

    I’m a veteran, and in some ways I can relate to this article, but not completely. Some times it feels like the “Thank you for your service” sentiment can feel generic and fairly meaningless. And that’s where I identify with the article.

    However. while those “Thank you for… ” sentiments listed in the article are more specific, honestly those sentiments aren’t really going to help either. Quite honestly it makes the article feel a little self-serving. When someone says “Thank you for your service,” and I can tell it’s a sincere sentiment, then all those things listed above are implied.

    I’d suggest that If we REALLY want to thank a vet, then we should be writing letters to our elected officials to demand better treatment of our vets. Get our government to start processing those hundreds of thousands of disability claims. Get much better funding for our VA hospitals. Create much better educational grant programs.

    Thanking a vet is nice, but telling our elected officials to TAKE CARE of our vets is real.

  • Lawrence Jones

    I so agree, thank a Vet by making benefits more readily available for vets, and not this bureaucratic red-tape that we have to go through for everything.Thank a Vet by having politicians line the accounts of the services that serve and assist Vets; and not their own pockets for their big houses and nice cars. Especially since the majority have NEVER served.

  • Joe

    It amazes me how many people like this author can be so condescending and not even aware of it.

    Here’s a fun twist…when’s the last time you’ve thanked a business person for delivering affordable vegetables all over the country? Or for the ability to Facebook your family while on deployment?

    I’m a vet myself with two combat deployments as an infantry officer and am now a successful business person, so I’ve seen it from both sides, and it just boggles my mind how entitled some service members are who actually think they aren’t (yes, I know I’m being condescending right now, and that’s because I very much intended to be).

    Learn to take a compliment, don’t belittle the effort; I’m willing to bet he hasn’t bothered to be half as considerate as those he’s writing off.

  • Smorfnimda

    Why is there always someone who reads between the lines???? Just go with it!!

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  • Mike Scalf

    I don’t know how this became a debate about pay, but it did. There is no comparison between military pay while enlisted and the perks you get on base and what you have to make on the outside to compensate. I did over 12 years USAF and was cut under the fabulous Clinton cuts, I was a Tech Sgt. (E-6), don’t know what my total bring home was at the time. I was married, two kids, & overseas. I came back to the state and was able to get on with the state of WI as a correctional officer where I payed $0 for insurance and the hourly was pretty good. I busted my butt and made Sgt. and it was then when it was measurable to military at around $16 an hour. I served my time, I saw a lot of conflict, anytime some one once to thank me for my service is fine with me.

    • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

      I think you grossed between $1600 and $1700 a month in base pay as a TSgt at that time.

  • Cheryl Patterson

    Although I agree whole heartedly with this article about why we should thank a veteran, it must have been forgotten that some did not volunteer but were drafted. They did not have a choice but to serve our country. This did not make their service any less. They still gave up all of that you listed. Veterans such as my brother who was drafted in the Vietnam war and my step Father who was drafted in WWII served and sacrificed more than I could ever imagine. With humble gratitude I say THANK YOUR FOR YOUR SERVICE. Thank you for changing your life and making mine possible as I know it. And now my son has volunteered to be a US Marine. I am so proud of him for volunteering I cannot express the overwhelming feelings. Yes he has chosen to serve for the greater good. To him I say THANK YOU SON FOR YOUR SERVICE and YOUR UNSELFISH ACTION TO VOLUNTEER.

    • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

      When I enlisted in 1989, I enlisted in a time of peace but knowing that I might be called to war. The kids who enlist today, every last one of them, do so knowing that we are at war and they will be called. That’s an entirely different thing, and I will live in awe of such Americans as your son so long as I live.

  • Eunice Ramirez

    Well said my brother. Well said.

  • Germey

    Thanking a veteran for their service is like thanking the guy at the drive-thru for “keeping me from starving to deal”. Get real. 99% of the military these days are people who didn’t have any more appealing options. And there hasn’t been a war fought for the “freedom of Americans” since 1812. Propoganda will shout otherwise, but none of the wars or military actions in the past 200 years have been about the “freedoms we hold so dear”.

  • Tina L Smith

    Thanks for this thoughtful article! As a service member I can honestly say though, I’ve never taken the phrase “thank you for your service” as a regular, meaningless “hello” at all. I know that behind it, most people mean exactly what this article wants people to say instead. I’ve gone out of my way to thank a service member in uniform and it is a deliberate thing to do so. A smile, a handshake, and a “thank you” is far more than what my father received returning from Vietnam. And honestly most service members don’t join and fight because they want to keep others comfortable or able to go to college and if you’ve fought in the military, the last thing you need is for someone to give you details of WHY they are thankful. It’s nice if you do I guess but not necessary. The fact is, even if people don’t give you details or thank you or welcome you back with appreciation, almost all of us would do it again with no hesitation. So, please keep thanking our military for their service it means so much to be appreciated and the simpler the message, the sweeter it is. All of us were honored to do it. But, that’s just my opinion. (USAF Gulf War Vet – Daharan, Saudi Arabia)

  • Jaysen

    finally someone gets it sadly it had to start with one of my brothers in arms but its true it should feel personal we are not unreachable we are human beings not gods but thanks for posting this

  • Wally Carmichael

    Thank active duty service members, veterans and their spouse with action, not just words. Post one-Day Jobs for all mentioned to do some work around your house, yard, office or small business. http://www.HirePatriots.com/Hawaii

    For the record, I get your point, however after 24 yrs of active “service” I still welcome a sincere “Thank you for your service”.

  • Matt

    Save your breath. If you want to thank a vet, do so though your actions. Show us that this country isn’t going to shit and our fighting for it hasn’t been in vein. I’ve seen the worst of humanity so now show me the best. Hold the door for someone, take the trash out for your elderly neighbor, make some coffee for your coworkers.

    Chances are when your “thanking” a veteran, your getting the same cookie cutter fake response and fake smile he gives 100 times a year.

  • Chris Flick

    i agree josh its the times you do hear it that make up for the times when people come to you and explicitly express their negative opinions toward us. its the one or the few people who say thank you for your service that lets you know your appreciated and you are doing something good

  • Jamie Alycee Davis-Jones

    People in the military are the most corrupt ones in society. They get free health care, housing, food, school etc. That is more than enough thanks IMO………… I don’t have thank anyone at all really.

  • anthala1q84

    Um, pretty sure that when people say “thank you for your service” by “your service” it implies all of these things listed. Pretty redundant. The article that this spins off of in the Atlantic was nonsense. Just because one person feels uncomfortable with it, and it seems shallow, the whole point is because people were attacked and discriminated against for their service after Vietnam. Teaching a generation to respect service (by saying thank you) is certainly better than the alternative. Yet another article with a LOOK AT ME headline to get people to click — you win.

  • Scott Dancer

    “Thank you your service” MEANS all of those things, and more….. I get thanked every day here in San Antonio, and I thank them back for their support of our services…..Service was not just “The job” to me, it was a way of life, dedicated to ensuring the safety and security of my family, friends and fellow Americans……

  • HelloDali

    First time I’ve heard said what I’ve believed for decades now!! The only thing missing from your article is the sad fact that, those pleasant sound-byte platitudes are uttered most easily, often and disingenuously by those who actually despise the military and law enforcement.

  • Aquaria

    I’m one of the veterans who don’t want or need to be thanked at all.

    My service speaks for itself. I don’t need some jingoistic nitwit telling me what it was, or thinking they’re entitled to decide what I want from it.

    What I want is for all these people to SHUT UP.

    Seriously. I didn’t join to get a pat on the back.

    If you need to be thanked for your service, you joined for the wrong reasons.

  • Henry L Jeter

    Everyone one who works, pay taxes, and contributes to our society in their own way deserves no more or less praise then the next guy. When I was in the service I did not feel special. I was no better then the mail man or the guy who was working at the local factory to earn income to take care of his family. I have yet to meet a soldier who expects to be thanked for their service.

  • ammwright
  • Jayme Mack

    I get the just of it , but I will forever Thank a Soldier for his service. Sometimes a simple Thank You ! Is sufficient.

  • Greg Hinzman

    Im sorry, I guess I don’t understand, When I say thank you for your service, I am thanking you for my freedom, which in turn is thanking you for all you mentioned. I don’t understand how these two words can be offensive to you. The Viet Nam veterans were spit on and treated like crap, I am sure they would have love to gotten a thank you. Not trying to be rude, but I will always say thanks when I feel it is due. God bless you.

  • DarkAssKnight

    “thank you for your service” is more than enough…im actually tired of hearing it…i didn’t join the military to get praised….sick of hearing veterans complain they don’t get enough recognition…we have 2 holidays for veterans,education benefits,discounts,countless movies….please quit complaining no one forced you to join the military….but thanks for your service tho

  • Jeffrey Brady

    Just Thank them for being able to sleep at night without mortars coming down overhead. 1998-2005 Iraq & Afghanistan…wouldn’t trade it for the birthdays and anniversaries missed.

  • ronsteward

    Where is the ‘don’t like’ button when you need it. My brother served in Viet Nam and I can promise you a ‘thank you’ of any kind would have been more than welcome. This article actually makes me mad. Sometimes that is all a person can think to say is ‘thank you’ and most of the time that is all that is needed. Sometimes just a nod is all that is nessessary. I can assure you that any serviceman will know what that nod means. If you want to tell someone ‘thank you for allowing me to finish college’ that is BS. Who wants to hear that. How about just saying ‘thank you for risking your life so i can stay here and party in college for four years and get a great paying job while you will probably end up homeless and broke.’ Yeah I am sure the guys would love to hear that. Please do not discourage people from saying thanks in what ever way they feel easiest. A nod, a smile, a word, pick up their check at a resturaunt, what ever you feel but don’t throw out a bunch of sob stories that no one wants to here. But what ever you do and however you do it, thank a soldier. (and ignore this article)

  • jazzerie

    I understand his arguments, but don’t agree that it is rote or mindless when we say “Thank you for your service”. I feel it selfish to say something like “Thank you that I could follow my dream” while the soldier was out fighting and being injured or watching his friends die. “Freedom” is so much bigger than my individual wants.
    When I say “Thank you” it isn’t because I’m free to pursue anything– at their cost. I say “Thank you” because they were willing to put THEIR life on hold, do the heavy lifting, put stress on their family life, shed blood.
    I thank them for continuing the tradition of honor, God, and country, for carrying on the tradition of service that was carried out by previous generations, and that so many members of MY family, past and present, picked up when others could no longer carry on.
    That they are willing to continue to fight for the same things as my family does and did, and so very many others do and did, validates the value of the sacrifices in the past and now. The values of our citizens, the values of our nation, and the value of standing up for those who cannot stand by themselves.
    There’s nothing automatic about it. It is from the depths of my heart.

  • SadDayIn

    What about people that go in the service that actually don’t do anything for their country… like going to the warzone and sitting in the safety of a huge base playing xbox all day? They’re usually called Pogs…. they get the credit of the hard working MEN that truly put their lives on the line…

    Yea, I know some of you are going to be seriously upset by this, but, as a 0311(infantry) in the Marine Corps, I can speak this from experience.

    I watched friends die, only to go back to the main base a short time later and deal with some higher ranking POG trying to chew me out because I was out of sorts (something stupid like shave or haircut while in country)…This POG, that hasn’t left the wire one single time throughout his deployment, rates to get the same thank you as those of us that have been shot at and bled for our country….

    I didn’t serve my country for the thank you, but I did in fact SERVE my country. Maybe next time before you thank someone for their service, you should ask them how and if they actually served your country.

  • Jay Knudson

    The general public thanks us because they want to thank us. The outpouring of support does not come from those who are too naive to understand what we do or from those who don’t care about what we’ve done. It is a general way for someone who doesn’t do what we do to reach out. Maybe that patron doesn’t truly understand what we’ve seen and how it affected us, but I guarantee you that the “thank you!” you receive is not synonymous with the “thank you” to your drive-thru McDonald’s attendant. Sometimes I have questioned whether or not a “thank you for your service” comment was genuine, but who am I to judge. The magnitude to which PTSD, suicides and war casualties has escalated to brought this country together to form some of the greatest non-profit organizations and outreach programs the world has ever seen. Is that a “sterile” effort? This post has feeling behind it, but the ignorance of undermining a compliment for your sacrifice is wrong and you should be ashamed for disclaiming the genuineness of others who are truly grateful.

  • Rick

    It may seem like empty words to you, but for someone that came back from Viet Nam to what has been mentioned in these comments, a simple “Thank you for your service” is like a constant reminder that you did the right thing. And while it may seem like people are putting them on a pedestal, the ones that serve, both male and female, have really given you a blank check, saying “this is for your freedoms” written in the little “memo” box. I’ve been there and done that through both extremes, and I have to say that every thank you I get helps to push back the spitting, feces throwing, name calling, etc. times.

  • Andrew J. Craig

    i agree, personally i believe the best way to thank us is to vote in every election,be a hardworking responsible citizen,raise your children right,fiercely guard your rights,be fiercely independent and be educated in your rights and do not let them be quietly absconded. ensure that the life you leave your children is as good as or better than your own.things happen in life, but if you have taken care of others when they need it,the favor will be returned.TAKE CARE OF YOUR NEIGHBORS,do not make the government care for them, all they will do is give them things they don’t want or need, and siphon the money away to line their own pockets.you know your neighbors and their needs better than some politician in Washington.

  • A6K

    You want to thank me for my service?
    Step one: Leave me alone
    Step two: Donate to a disabled veterans charity
    Step three: Don’t get all high on yourself for doing it

  • Judy Marie McCabe Peyrot

    I knew from the title that this would be good. It is well worth the read. I am that vet that after just under eleven years of service I am again back in school for a second time to complete my dream at an age people start thinking of retire ring. Yes I came from a family (parents and offspring) that have done the military by choice. I think not only is it a desire to better ourselves, we walk away with a deeper appreciation of what it is we do. I am more proud of who I am and what I have done. I am proud to of been one of the few to stand and say I cared. Thank you to the writer who put this so elegantly. I am one of the few, a Woman Marine.

  • Charlene Basden

    The heading piqued my curiosity. The article was well written. I appreciate you notice my fellow brothers and sisters in arms’ sacrifice. Only if Congress would heed this message! Being patriotic is more than thanking troops.

  • MrMidstream

    As a vet myself, I never liked the idea of people having an “obligation” to thank me for my service. Everytime somebody has ever thanked me, I’ve always wanted to tell them “you can show me your thanks by signing up and serving this country!”.

    • Common sense

      Fortunately, everyone in this country does NEED to serve in the military. We have enough volunteers to have a strong military. Now if you want to argue that there should be a law where EVERYONE needs to serve 2 years after high school, like in many other countries, you would have a valid opinion.

  • Ilka Hanselmann

    I thank the service men and women because I was unable to do it. I was Army ROTC until I discovered congenital defects in my spine. For some it’s not that we didn’t want to volunteer, but that we couldn’t. I am proud of the efforts and sacrifice of our military. I thank their families too!

  • Jessica Sindell

    At least for our family, it’s not a hollow sentiment. My husband deployed 4 times, 3 of them after the birth of our oldest. When I thank a veteran, it’s because I know firsthand how much they sacrifice. I know what it’s like to watch a young child run away from the returning parent, not to them, because they are unfamiliar. I know what it’s like to hear a knock at the door that’s unexpected, and feel your stomach drop. There isn’t always time for a long conversation going into the details of why someone is thankful – I think stepping up and making an effort should at least be appreciated (and I think most servicemen and women do). The writer seems bitter that more isn’t done or spoken, and I can understand that, but I don’t believe it should negate what is done and said.

  • Todd Glenn

    well everyone has there own side to this story. thank you for your service is not a bad thing and it is also a bad thing depending on how you look at it. I am a vet myself and for those people who don’t know me thanking me for my service is a nice gesture on there part. I think some of this should be carried on to the family members who have the stomach to let the vets and active military families do what they feel they need to do for there country.
    every military person has took a oath of some kind saying they will server are country it is a choice. when we served when defended the rights for everyone to make there own choices and that is what this people are doing is making a choice to thank us for are service or to not thank us for are service. as far as the bad part of thanking for service if you know a vet and you are telling them every time you see them thank you for there service you may be going a bit over board. for all the military and military families out there thank you for being you and letting all of the rest of the world have freedom of choice, and freedom of speech.
    SEMPER FI

  • Michael Sheldon

    I never get tired of hearing “Thank you for your service” and I hope it doesn’t stop. It somehow seems to help the feelings of disdain and anger left over from my return home as a Marine in 1966. My response has become “thanks for noticing”

    I do understand our generational differences of perception,and THANK YOU SIR for your service.

  • Raymond

    I often thank the people that thank me back, for keeping the country running, for improving the economy, for teaching our youth the difference between right and wrong, for protecting our citizens on the streets every day, and fighting the fires that rage in the night.

  • Gary Moeller

    I’ve was in the military for 25 years, from Vietnam through Desert Storm. I was fortunate to not see combat, but I was there ready to go. I have been retired since 1993, but often wear a hat identifying me as a vet. I still enjoy the sentiment expressed, although most times I am surprised by it. What a pleasant change from the Vietnam days where I was in LAX in uniform and was called a baby killer! I say, if you mean it, let us know!

  • Melissa Connor Holley

    I say Thank you for our service to mostly the younger ones. I want them to feel a since of pride in what they are doing for their country. My husband served our country faithfully for 24 years. Because of him serving I go to go to places in Europe that I would have never afforded otherwise. I thank him for that all the time. But never quit saying Thank you. Believe it, it makes their day. I thank a girl in particular who apparently was having a really bad day. When I thanked her she been to cry saying it was the best thing she had anyone ever say to her. So Mr. Horton not all service members think like you. How could you be so selfish?

  • Ed Mynoch

    I volunteered so someone else didn’t have to. That is all the thanks needed.

  • Mr. GSE

    How ever you phrase it, MEAN IT. Extending gratitude is the point, thank a vet for their service, and everything you have and can do as a result. Say it, write it, whatever, just express it.

  • Chris

    I don’t know how to feel about this article, if I’m honest. On one hand, I need to consider the very real response these simple “thank you”s evoke in at least one “vet”. On the other hand, I get the sense that this same individual would complain if he received no acknowledgment, and probably think it patronizing if each of our “thank you”s was accompanied by a requisite list of the many luxuries his service has afforded us.

    My wife and I extend help to spouses of servicemen in our neighborhood, when we know their husbands are out. I specifically express my appreciation for the many sacrifices made by those to whom I am close. Still, I try not to miss an opportunity to extend my genuine appreciation to someone I see in uniform, if it seems appropriate, without doing so out of pure habit or any sense of obligation.

    Any frustration I feel is primarily provoked by the thought of the rare serviceman who seems to consider civilians as some lower class of American. I can’t help but hear a bit of that prejudice, in the tone of this article. It comes across to me as, “who do you think you are, thanking me with your simple words. If you’re truly grateful, this is what I want to hear from you.” I think civilians in general, know the sacrifices of men and women who serve our country the best we are able, and similarly express our thanks.

    I think the reason I’m leaving this comment is because I see it as an opportunity to assign sincerity to the many thanks I’ve expressed to the servicemen I’ve encountered, in case it wasn’t heard in my words alone.

  • MrAndre76

    I am a veteran retired after 20 years of service. I know this may offend some people, but the fact is that the key word here is “volunteer”. They are volunteers, and although many are patriotic, not all are as altruistic as the writer implies. Immediately following 9-11 many followed the national drumbeat of war and wanted to do their “duty” as the politicians wrapped themselves in the flag and sent the young men and women to do their bidding. But as that passed, many just wanted a job, an adventure, training, education or travel. They got what they wanted. Many found a career and a way to a pension. Some are definitely heroes and super heroes. For the most part they are cleaning up the mess created by greedy politicians and military industrialists who would not think of sending their own children to do the job. The big thank yous although well meant, are perhaps more to assuage guilt because civilians don’t believe they need to contribute, whether in taxes or time serving in the military. I still salute all of my brothers and sisters in arms and pray that they are kept safe every day.

  • John

    When I see a fellow Vietnam vet I shake his hand and say “welcome home”.

    some just say thanks and some say thank me back – for it a high probabilitiy when you hear “welcome home” it comes from another Vietnam vet.

  • Matthew Storm

    I’ve been in the military since 1998. I served on active duty in the Army for 8 years and I’ve been in the Air National Guard since 2006. Its different for everyone that serves, so I don’t claim to speak for anyone but myself. But, I personally feel that I get paid well for what I do, get treated well by the ones I work with, and have benefits that I can count on. I was able to leverage my GI bill into a bachelor’s degree. I have been to 24 different countries, and I enjoy being in the military. I don’t feel like I deserve any special thanks. And I don’t know what to say when people offer it. I don’t think that Americans need to double down and personalize their thank yous. I think everyone should just feel free to say whatever they feel is appropriate. And in a lot of cases, that means saying nothing at all.

  • Erika Edwards Polley

    Gotta say. I agree wholeheartedly. We are stationed in Germany, so this past Sunday for the Super Bowl we weren’t able to watch any of the commercials so many look forward to (due to agreements within AFN). So instead AFN aired commercial after commercial of various sportsman, elected officials, etc. thanking Veterans for their service. After one quarter of the game I turned the tv off. It all felt so insincere. It was all the same thing, like they were told “Okay now we’re going to record this message. Just follow this script here.”

  • Common sense

    I was never in the military, but have great respect for those who served. That being said, this article is a load of crap. The author states that those who served in the military should not be thought of as a homogenous group, but then goes on to say they all think words of thanks are hollow. I am sure some do appreciate words of thanks.

  • Kimberly Beeson Pillatzke

    I thank all veterans past and present to honor their sacrifices, our Military are the least selfish people you could ever meet, I know because I am married to an enlisted man and have been for 22 years and counting.He has given 23 years so far in service to Our country. I have family and friends who have served in all branches of the military so understand the sacrifices they and their families make on a daily basis because I have lived and continue to live it as we speak.I thank you for your article and letting people know what they should be thanking them for and not to Thank them lightly or as a passing greeting we give on a daily basis. Our thanks should really mean something when we give it to a service member past or present.

  • Alan Wright

    I have been saying this for 20 years! I’m a veteran of the first gulf war and I loved my time in service, but I’ve always hated the phrase “thank you for your service” because it seemed rehearsed and meaningless. I know they don’t mean it that way and I do appreciate the sentiment but it always felt wrong. I grew up with Vietnam and WW2 vets in my family and while one set of veterans got little to no recognition for their sacrifice, the group (WW2) were put on a pedestal. But the WW2 vets didn’t want recognition because they just wanted to get on with their lives. The Vietnam guys didn’t necessarily want parades and flowers, but they sure as hell didn’t want to be spit on and called baby killers. Most vets I know would be happy with a simple “Thanks” or “Good Job” or even a simple head nod. We (vets) aren’t heroes, we are just Americans who for whatever reason decided that we would give back to our country for what it has given us. Being a vet doesn’t make us “better” than a non-vet, but it does give us a perspective that no American civilian could possibly understand. Many of us have seen death or the results of war. We have seen places and people who do not share our American ideals and they hate us for them. Most of us vets I would assume just don’t like the soulless nature of “Thank You for Service”. If you feel the need to thank us, then do it in a genuine way please. Make the thanks your own.

  • Dave

    I think that some clown got a microphone and decided to spew some half-baked thoughts…

    “The fact of the matter is that veterans ought to be thanked, but not for their service. Because, quite frankly, what we did isn’t about us. The All Volunteer Force in place in the U.S. today relies on men and women to step up and volunteer. Without volunteers, the system would cease to function and the U.S. would have to rely on a conscription service, denying young men and women the choice of whether or not they serve in the military.”

    The fact that it is an all volunteer force is PRECISELY the reason that I am honored anytime someone thanks me, just “for my service.” This guy seems to want to take credit for everything good in the lives of the American people, and that’s just simply not the case. I, personally, am not the reason that someone can be a stay at home mother, or that you are free to come home at a regular time… None of us are, and to distinguish oneself like that is selfish and absurd. In fact, it’s down right Blue Falconry.

    “Thanks for your service,” when said honestly, is plenty sufficient.

    • nanahayhay

      Dave – perhaps you are reading more into this than you ought and in doing so you are missing the point. How often, as we go through our day, do we hear the pat statement “Have a nice day”? Does the person saying it really even care if we have a nice day? And so it is with “Thank you for your service”. Those who say it, I believe, sincerely mean it but any kind of sentiment that is not backed up by actions becomes meaningless over time.

  • Drew Davis Johnson

    At least don’t thank every amputee. Then act disappointed when I tell you it was a motorcycle accident. And then ask me if I learned my lesson.

  • Courtney Ann

    I have the utmost respect for veterans prior to myself. I’m Active Duty and my father was Vietnam veteran. He volunteered to go, he was not drafted because he was the only son, so I have so much respect. I know my dad has seen alot, and out of the 25 years I have known him, up until I joined the military I have only heard him talk about Vietnam maybe three times. I have read his old letters that he wrote while he was there and it was so sad, it made me cry. I’m thankful for the technology we possess today, I know so many old veterans would have done anything for the technology and weapons we use today. Thanks to all the Veterans who served before me, your sacrifice has paved the way and has inspired new soldiers.

  • ajgag

    Personally, I never like being thanked for my service. My six years in the Navy do not define my life, they are a part of it, but being a veteran is not how I define my life. And truth of the matter, my reasons for serving were my own, and 9 times out if 10, when someone thanks me for my service, my first thought is usually something like “I didn’t do it for you, so you have nothing to thank me for.” I usually just give a polite “thank you or “you’re welcome,” but honestly, I’d really rather not be thanked at all. If there has to be an acknowledgement of service, I’d rather it be a collective. For me, I think I would much rather hear someone say that they are “thankful for all the men and women that have served their country.” Then I could happily answer back, “me too.”

    • Ms_Sunshine9898

      I agree, it makes me feel awkward and think, if you only you knew why I joined and what I’ve done since. . .

  • Mona Wheaton-Beute

    I personally will shake any soldiers hand. or even their families hand as they serve right along with their loved one and say “Thank you for your service.” I have been told by a few people that they would rather hear “Thank you for your willingness to serve,” Well. I will just stick with the “thank you for your service.”

  • Kayla Jackson

    Yeah, I was definitely expecting to be offended but I enjoyed the article. Sometimes the same old line does get monotonous but at least they say something instead of nothing. Where I don’t think they should HAVE to say something different, I do hope the article inspires civilians to look deeper and appreciate more of the sacrifices willingly taken by military men and women. Many civilians have barely a clue what is given up by those that serve. Good read. Thank you.

  • Ashley

    Unfortunately not all veterans had a choice and a thanks for service will suffice.

  • Anna

    I’ve thanked WWII and Vietnam Vets, even more so when
    I joined. Thanking is out of respect, admiration, humility & a realization
    that they faced horrors I may never know. I thanked them for paving the way for
    me to serve as they were my trail blazers, mentors, role models & heroes.

    I faced so many people to include family who gave me grief for serving
    because I was female, because I was a wife & more importantly because I was
    a mother so when someone, anyone thanked me for serving, it was a blessing.

    Coming back to that tiny airport at some God-awful time in the morning as
    the 1st step back from Iraq and Afghanistan, we found men & women lined up
    to thank us, shake our hands, hug us & welcome us home. It was a feeling
    beyond words.

    Thank you’s are a good thing & shouldn’t be taken lightly because I
    knew Vietnam Vets who were indeed spat on & called baby killers. They never
    received half of the support we do & it is in many ways because of them
    that we do.

    While I do get embarrassed when someone thanks me for my service, I’m in
    no way offended but humbled. To me I was just doing my duty.

  • Meko21

    I’d rather be thanked for my service then ignored. This story comes across as a slap in the face to those that try hard to treat military with honor and respect and we should just accept it as is with a graceful thank you in the spirit it was offered.

  • kendra

    It hurts what you say. I am a veteran. My father is a veteran. My grandfather is a veteran. My son is a veteran. My brother was a veteran. He is gone to now and nobody to thank him. Yes we are what you say about volunteer, but who really volunteers. Look at the pay grades of most and how long they actually serve. Look a the ethnic groups and see who volunteers the most and why the volunteered. They do need to be thanked and daily. Sometimes they need a cup of coffee. I worked at Starbucks and every drink was free when I was on duty. My credit card laid by the register and all the workers new to use it freely for veterans and what they ordered. It was never allowed to tell who did it. I THANK my boys active. You should to. I did read the whole article, but don’t agree with you at all.

    • Anthony DuLac

      Seems like perhaps you fail at reading comprehension then. Because the article in NO WAY says to NOT thank Veterans. It merely explains that people should make that thanking direct and personal, take ownership of their thanks.

      • kendra

        I read what you said. I think you it was an inappriate way to express your meaning. Please dont belittle people on commenting if you publish and someone disagrees with your method or idea.

        • Anthony DuLac

          It wasn’t my story. My issue with your comment and several others in here is simply that you seem to not have read the article. Unfortunately the headline has misled quite a few people in here who never bothered to read the entire article. It never says to NOT thank Vets or be thankful, it says to take personal ownership IF and WHEN you DO thank them. Relax.

          • kendra

            Hey thanks for letting me know where i was wrong. i did think that was your article. i am positive with your honesty and being frank we could be friends and argue. point taken i meed to relax. Lol

  • katsuey

    I believe each and every service member who served this nation honorably needs to hear over and over and over again that many Americans are indeed grateful that these men and women gave up a portion of their lives to serve our country. You don’t have to be wounded to be a hero. You can and are heroes in actions and deeds and one of those actions is serving your country.

  • Marlo Miller Ricciardi

    That sounds like something Kerry would say. Shaking my little gray head.

  • John R.

    Sorry, not buying it. Some things are implied. When someone thanks me for my service, I understand the sentiment and completely appreciate it. Let’s stop this whole “if you didn’t serve, you just don’t get it” mentality. There are thousands of jobs Americans do on a daily basis that are just as crucial to making this country the greatest on earth as those who serve in the military. Now that I’m no longer on active duty, I see that. to each his own. Thank a mom for her service. Thank a firefighter, a cop, a human rights lawyer. For some, their service was in uniform. For others, it is a little closer to home. We’re all in this together.

  • Hannah Bemel

    Never got tired of hearing it. Now that I live in a place where it’s either not on the radar or not appreciated, I miss it.

  • Gloria Estaphan

    And take your stupid yellow ribbon down, you fat Bush-voting soccer mom.

  • Robert Baker

    I do not think that people should quit thanking veterans for their service because soon they would lose all respect. The human mind is very easily persuaded wether you would like to admit that about yourself or not in no way matters, my point is that if everyone quit saying thank you because they felt they had to add a personal note to it and wouldn’t take that extra effort then persuasion would soon lead the world back to where it was in the vietnam era, spitting on us. I do understand however what you mean, it gets very irritating having so many come up to me and shaking my hand saying “thanks for your service” but not irritating because the words seem empty. The reason why I find this irritating is because I understand that I was there not for them, not for their children, I was there for myself. Veterans enlisted as a personal decision to do what they knew was right, they went off and spent years away from everyone they knew and loved and in many cases died for what they believed in, there is no civilian that can understand that. When someone comes to me and says “thank you for your service” I can look into their eyes and see simplicity, I can see someone who has been sheltered, I can see someone that has never truly understood evil. When a fellow combat veteran comes up they do not say “thank you for your service”, no, most of the time they shake your hand and they look into your eyes and you can see anguish, you can see loss, you can see pain, you can see that they truly care and no word is necessary. A random civilian saying “thank you for your service” is empty words because they do not understand freedom in the way that we have learned to love it through suffering.

    • Erin Egleston

      Some of us that say thank you may not have seen it all first hand like you Sir, however we have seen it through the eyes of our family or close friends that have seen it first hand and suffered because of it. I respect your position, but I also think that you leave out what those of us see due to the things our family has been through from seeing it first hand. My father was navy. My uncle navy. My other uncle marines special ops. My cousin, her husband, and son all army. Her son still active duty. Two more cousins navy and army. Also still active duty. Almost every man on my father’s side of my family was and is militay. Those that haven’t been were turned away do to medical reasons. My ex DHS. All these men and women served stateside and overseas. I have seen second hand what war can do to a person. I can feel their pain and struggle. I know what its like to fear for my life and my exhusbands life due to death threats. What it is to spend holidays alone and what its like to see real poverty. I hope that you can see where the other side of us all comes from. Know that not every thank you from a civilian is empty, it is not without knowledge of what you have seen, and please know that some of us understand freedom the same way you do. The struggles and battles you go through overseas and stateside once you come home from them continue when you get home. Your families left to pick up the pieces and to love you and be there for you. They see the pictures in your head as if they are standing in the battles with you and are the only ones that can comfort you. Please know that some of us that say thank you its because we have seen it too. From the bottom of my heart, Thank You, Sir.

  • Curtis

    How about in the stead of “thanking” them whenever you see a uniform and going go crazy with lamentations, you thank them publicly, you stop worshiping Miley Cyrus and let people know that, whether or not you agree with what they do, they are doing it for you, and at the heavy, heavy risk of their heath, family, every relationships, and sanity.

  • Nevin Williams

    I am a Veteran too and I
    disagree with your opinion. Thank you for your service is a way to thank
    a Veteran for all of the above mentioned reasons. Perhaps the situation doesn’t
    lend itself for a deeper conversation but the civilian really wants to thank you.

    Seems to me that the writer is wanting the American citizen to
    be specific about why. It is obvious why and in my opinion Americans
    should get the benefit of the doubt. I also disagree that they are
    thanking Vets so they can” keep us at arms length from what really matters. It allows the civilian world to go back to their daily lives feeling like a good American because they thanked a veteran today, without taking any ownership of their sentiments.”

    but so they make sure to acknowledge their appreciation. In many cases the words Thank you for your service is an introduction which leads into meaningful and deeper conversations.

    Furthermore your statement; It allows the civilian world to go back to their daily lives feeling like a good American because they thanked a veteran today, without taking any ownership of their sentiments is implying that all people who thank Veterans have the same motivation and that none of them take ownership of their sentiments. I thank veterans all of the time and I rarely tell them I am also a Veteran. Does that make my sentiments insincere?

  • LJP

    I agree. It’s almost become, or has become an instructional phrase at most businesses for their employees to thank every veteran. I hear it is so much it not only becomes awkward but sometimes patronizing. It is nice to hear it once in awhile, but honestly, how many times do I have to hear it at Walmart, Home Depot, and yes, even at the VA.

  • Eskota Kid

    It seldom has much feeling but it’s still so much better than the “baby killer” I heard coming into the SeaTac airport in 1970 returning from Korea.

  • John Joseph Hall

    Im no better than any civilian I hate the military guys that are elitist who say they hate civilians they forget who the work for.

  • bottron

    i liked the article and all but i think most american soldiers fight for money, just like i did and like anyone else with a job. only the soldiers job is dangerous and noble, so they should have your respect, for war is the ultimate challenge for a human being. but at the same time you cant lump all soldiers into fighting for the same reason.

  • Robert Maudsley

    I often wear a “Navy Veteran” ball cap. So periodically I get a “Thank you for your service” from people I don’t know. I surely don’t consider it “sterile”, especially when I notice they have gone out of their way to tap me on the shoulder and say it to me. I’ve had complete strangers just walk up, shake my hand and point to my hat and say “Thanks”. It actually means a lot to me.

    I don’t have to know WHY they are giving thanks. I only need to know that they appreciate all that I and other veterans have done and what currently members of the service are doing.

    I would say keep giving Thanks to a veteran or current serving member. They will appreciate it.

  • dETROITCHICK

    I love this article. I don’t know how veterans feel but I know when I say thank you, they usually smile and nod or give me a nice gesture as a “youre welcome”. I sometimes say “thank you” rather than “thank you for your service,” because I am thanking them for everything that this article mentioned.

  • Robin Case Mikkola

    Well why it was not completely offensive I being a retired navy wife and an Air Force wing mom find it some what difficult to believe that this letter was even necessary all thanks should go to our military far and wide and not just to them, when I see them with their family I thank their family for their sacrifice as well.

  • Religion of Peace? Yea right

    Ask a Vietnam Veteran if he would have liked a thank you when he returned home. Thanking a veteran for his service to this country is a positive change from their experience of returning home to spit in the face and a f u!

  • Joseph White

    I thank every service member, because I really want them to know how much I appreciate their service. I do appreciate the sacrifice that they made, of their time, of their lives, of their love for this country.

  • Woodstock Marine

    I am a VN vet – not a bitter vet just someone who 45 or more years ago went to war. I have had hundreds of handshakes, welcome home and thank you’s. Only one of them meant something to me. At a Marine funeral outside the home after viewing and offering condolences a woman came up to my and asked if I had served in VN. I told her yes, she looked my in the eye and said “I’m sorry, I protested the war and you. I was wrong I know it now. I just want to say I am sorry and to say thanks”. I was really touched.

  • Michael Williams

    This morning, I was watching a Vietnam Vet counting out small change to buy a coffee – penny at a time. Before I could react, the young lady serving told him thank you for your service, and please could she take care of his coffee? To me, that was much more gratifying to witness. I just smiled and told HER thank you for YOUR service! And I let it go there. (I was Submarine Service ’79-’91). I don’t think a good turn or politeness is ever wasted, or never required.

  • Scott

    How about we stop thanking veterans because they are the ones who signed up anyway? I know many friends who serve in the military, and they did not sign up for me. They signed up for themselves! They wanted to pursue that as their profession and path to advancement. Just like I took my own course to pursue my profession and advance. Let’s stop thanking veterans for their service because let’s be honest–it’s not about some higher ideal! It’s about a desire to be in the military, for a host of reasons…

    • Tommy Wheelclocker

      Amen! Exactly! No one gets in the military for their people! most of the time its so they can have a better life!

  • Bill Richardson

    I’m a Viet Nam vet. You’re dead wrong. I cherish every “thank you for your service”. I didn’t get that the first time around. I left the military for 13 years and came back into the Reserves and moved over to the Guard to finish my career. I stood in place when the active duty folks went to Desert Storm, which is what we do! I cried when I saw the ticker tape parade at the end. I finally got my parade!!! Though, sometimes, I have to admit, I’m not quite sure what to say in response.
    BJ Richardson, MSGT ret, USAF, USAFres, TXANG
    Viet Nam, in country
    Desert Stom, stateside

  • Jason Jermaine Smith

    Speaking in behalf of myself (as a still serving member of the military) it can actually be fairly annoying being speed and thanked for your service. Like the author said: it really carries no meaning if the person offering it doesn’t know you. Many people who get thanked the most are people fresh out of basic and ait who haven’t done anything to be thanked for other than sign up.

    This blanket thanking people just leads to people joining up and then thinking that makes them better than the average citizen even when they haven’t had to deploy, go to any large training exercises, or miss anything. Some jobs in the military actually run like a 9-5.

    Thanking everyone leads to people wearing their uniforms out in public places for no reason so they can get free stuff because people think you’ve done something. I, myself (along with many of my friends and fellow Service Members) find it to be quite like pandering. Especially when right wing politicians are the ones paying lip service.

  • Cindy Taylor-Matuse

    I tell veterans thank you for your service, because of them I am free to do what I want. Many are in a hurry, so sometimes all I can get out is thank you for your service, or thank you for serving for me.

  • Awareguy

    If you want to thank a veteran, do it by a ceaseless barrage of correspondence to your elected representatives DEMANDING that the VA be modernized and made to serve those they are supposed to serve. DEMAND that benefits and living conditions for the spouses and families of those deployed exceed the bare minimum. DEMAND that those ninnies in Washington who give lip service to those who sacrifice pull on their big boy panties and keep their promises

  • Thomas Hansen

    What an ungrateful prick. It kinda sounds like this guy expects everyone he crosses paths with to stop and suck him off for his service. I am greatly, and deeply honored whenever someone tells me that simple sentence “thank you for your serve.” Because quite frankly, I feel like I should be thanking people for giving me the opportunity to serve them. Not the other way around.

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  • Tommy Wheelclocker

    Why should i thank a vet when they all over other countries fighting and not here helping me! Boom

    • Nathan Berg

      because we’re not beating down your door showing you what we used to do to afghans who used to shoot at us…

      • Tommy Wheelclocker

        don’t do that! bad soldier! boom

  • Zandra

    Sorry, bud, but I disagree on this one. I would say that about one in every 50 passers by take the time out of their busy schedule (which I completely understand) to stop and thank a serviceman when they notice one. Anytime that I have received any sort of words of appreciation, it has always been offered in the most sincere, heart-felt manner. Also, given the time, most of these just passers by will actually stop and share their story. Most often those who do stop to thank a veteran are people who, if not having themselves served, are or have been somehow affected by military service. Whether it was their father, brother, husband, son, daughter, or whomever, most of those who stop to thank a veteran do so because the sight of any soldier in uniform hits very close to home. These are the people who supported the soldiers in all of their endeavors and though they may not have seen the same horrors and blessings of war, they were here at home enduring and supporting our soldiers. A military uniform carries with it a statement and an untold story, but one that the public can easily recognize. However, those few that do stop to thank a veteran do not carry around such an emblem to display their own story, their own sacrifice. Next time someone thanks you for your service, also remember that he or she also has their own story and that this person is more than likely thanking you for a much deeper reason than you may realize. : )

  • nilbud

    You’re a mercenary committing war crimes invading other countries and there is no draft so it was your choice. Fuck you and your knuckle dragging order following kind.
    There you go I didn’t thank you for your service, you weak needy sponging scumbag.

  • Claudia Pullman

    I thank a Veteran anyway. I have nothing in mind but my sincerest gratitude for their sacrifices and that of their families so the rest of us can sleep at night. I am a mother and spouse to two husbands that served and two sons that did their tours overseas and I know from personal experience what it means to sacrifice and live in fear that my loved ones may not come home so the rest of this Country can enjoy their freedoms in the way they choose to even though I don’t agree with the way some people choose to. My heart goes out to the person that wrote this article and I fully understand that your intention was to not personally take credit but to thank ALL Veterans and NONE of them should be forgotten. Whether they chose to serve or were drafted, they did serve so some others wouldn’t have to. My thanks and appreciation goes to any and all of them and we should never have another generation of soldiers come home and be treated with disdain and hatred for doing what they had to. God bless you and your sacrifices for the sake of all of us.

  • Debbi Andersen

    I have to agree with many that said they expected to be offended .. I am glad it was not some hate mongering article (I see many of those as well)

    As a spouse of Veteran I often find myself randomly walking up to many of the older generation of vets and usually going out of my way to do so and tell them “Thank you for your service – because of the hell you went through my husband was able to serve today” I am very aware of the fact that many from wars past never were properly thanked for the hell they went through! I also Thank anyone I see in uniform, wearing a hat that indicates service or if I see something that makes me think they possibly serve I just ask and if they say yes I thank them too!

    It is not an easy life no matter where you are – what branch you choose to serve in – If your spouse is in a *hot* zone or in a pretty safe place – or even if you are the spouse left behind while they deploy!

    I think any acknowledgment is great! My husband would always be caught off guard and not know what to say exactly when someone said “Thank you for your service” .. he has finally found his comfort zone in thanking them right back saying – “And Thank you for supporting the Military”

  • Witchy Currier

    When I , Thank a Veteran , for their service , I mean it , It is not just word’s used lightly , in gesture , . Although I do not know the sacrifice myself, I have never been in the service .Many of my family member’s are , and have been , and will be .. . So when I say Thank you ,It is more then a simple gesture . It is from my heart , and I sincerely mean it . Thank you to all that serve , have served , and will serve , for my freedom to be an American citizen , and enjoy the life , and freedom’s I have . May you find peace , love, light,, healing, positive energies on your path through life . Blessed Be .

  • dvacchi

    I disagree with this article’s premise that thanking Soldiers is meaningless and sterile – the alternative is not a happy medium, it is what happened after Vietnam. Don’t be ungracious veterans, if you want to make more of it, replay by saying “what specifically did you have in mind you were thanking me for?” and strike up a conversations.

  • MMarky Mark

    First of all, Paul Allen, you’re as much a veteran as all that came before you and thank you for your service.
    While I understand what the writer is trying to say, I have to disagree with him. My association with veterans includes vets from all conflicts back to WWII. The service of many of these men and women still has never been acknowledged and the simple words “thank you for your service” often reduce them to tears and I will not stop saying them just because somebody has a twisted and somewhat negative opinion of the motive behind them.

  • Nate P

    Its disingenuous to say that we, as in all veterans, serve because we hold this lofty idea of serving for the greater good. That we are all selfless and honorable and just want to give everyone else the chance to succeed. The reality is that the military provides many benefits that wouldn’t otherwise be there for many service members. Whether its schooling, certifications, or just simply a paycheck, most veterans that I know did not join for the greater good of defending the country – they did it for personal reasons. Is that bad? No. But acting like they all chose to serve for a lofty ideal is misleading.

  • Rob

    Ok, I am going to try and comment without offending the very people that I choose to thank for their service. This article can be taken the wrong way by most Americans that speak these words.
    Let me start by qualifying my comments. I served my Country proudly in the Air Force in the early 90s. It was during the first Gulf war, but by no means did I experience anything remotely close to what our military have faced and continue to face in the armpits of the world. My time in the Military was unfortunately during the “wonderful” Clinton years and I chose to not make a career of it. I did however continue to serve as a public servant in the Fire Service and currently as a 17 year Police Officer. I understand where the writer is coming from, but at the same time you have to understand that the people who take the time to tell a member of the Military “Thank you for Your Service” truly mean it. They are not just mere words uttered as a pleasantry. That statement is a recognition of your sacrifice of all the things that are mentioned here and in recognition of the fact that it was a choice to serve. After 09/11/01 most Americans realized the sacrifices that First Responders and Military make every day in order to keep them safe and free. I can tell you I appreciated the “thank you for your service” comments that I received from our citizens. In a world where most of the time Law Enforcement is viewed negatively for the job we do, it was nice to know some people recognized that First Responders sacrifice much of the same things as the Military. I have always went out of my way to approach a Service Member and thank them for their service and sacrifice for our Country. Many times I would do with my children in toe because I want them to know that Freedom isn’t free, it comes with a very high price that is paid by a few to the benefit of many. I always believe that if you can go half way around the world and face conditions that are unimaginable, the very least I can do is extend my hand and offer a heartfelt “Thank you for your Service”. We are free because of Men and Women that are willing to Sacrifice everything for a purpose greater than them. It is a calling, much like Law Enforcement. We are the few among many that make a difference in this World. So in closing I would like to take an opportunity to say to all who serve and have served ” Thank you for your Service and Sacrifice”.

  • FreeloaderFred

    Lee Greenwood – God Bless The USA Lyrics
    Artist: Lee Greenwood
    Album: Miscellaneous
    Genre: Country
    ===========================================
    If tomorrow all
    the things were gone
    I’d worked for all my life,
    And I had to start again
    with just my children and my wife,
    I’d thank my lucky stars
    to be living here today,
    Cause the flag still stands for freedom
    and they can’t take that away.
    I’m proud to be
    an American
    where at least I know I’m free,
    And, I won’t forget the men who died
    who gave that right to me.
    And I’ll gladly stand up (!)
    next to you
    and defend her still today.
    Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land…
    God Bless the U.S.A.!
    From the lakes of
    Minnesota
    to the hills of Tennessee,
    Across the plains of Texas
    from sea to shining sea,
    from Detroit down to Houston,
    and New York to L.A.,
    There’s pride in every American heart
    and it’s time we stand and say:
    I’m proud to be
    an American
    where at least I know I’m free,
    And, I won’t forget the men who died
    who gave that right to me.
    And, I’ll gladly stand up (!)
    next to you
    and defend her still today.
    ‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land…
    God Bless the U.S.A!!

  • Who??

    Never EVER got tired of “thank you for your service”..and with those of us that suffer from PTSD, just to hear “thank you” is therapy for me and for others. If you walk by and someone says “thank you for your service”. simply reply (and this took me a long time to do with my PTSD) “Thank you for your support”, this in turn keeps the other party honest, and then you move on. Why not return a compliment or sentiment with another compliment or sentiment. Just because you feel that its a dry term, you forget that lots of folks in life are going through something, even outside the uniform.. Does this change the way I react, absolutely because regardless of wearing the uniform, I still am mindful. What if this person came up and said “thank you for your service” and then didn’t say anything? Will you assume what they said is a dry and oversaturated term of endearment? I wouldn’t, only because I don’t know what they have been through or if they say it to get over depression, or to feel better about themselves as a person. I would gladly hear it as I stated earlier, for this is therapy for me and if its therapy for them, then fine by me. Just my 2 cents.

  • Chad

    bullshit

  • Dan Cotton

    Although I understand this and agree with it from a soldiers point of view I think that history needs to be remembered. When the soldiers came back from Vietnam they were spat on and called baby killers and were not thanked for their service. They were not treated with the respect they deserved. At least now, even though people may not agree with the politics behind a war, they stand behind the soldiers no matter what. Which is more than we can say for Americans in the past. I think the problem is that if your not a soldier or a family member of one you can’t fully understand what is sacrificed so when we use the same words over and over again they begin to not have the same meaning but I think that even though it may turn into a nuisance for some soldiers, I think they need to remember that the general public doesn’t really have another way of showing their appreciation. They should be happy that people are taking the time to at least take notice that they are someone that should be thanked and they do just that instead of ignoring them. We tend to only look at it from a one sided view sometimes and we forget that it shouldn’t be about who has sacrificed more or less than someone else but it should be about the mutual respect we have for one another.

  • BBalough

    Like my father and grandfather and many others before me when military past or present hear that thank you and receive that handshake that absolutely makes our day and makes us feel amazing about what we do or have done. It’s an honor when that happens

  • http://www.jasonreesemedia.com Jason Douglas Reese

    I’m not a vet, but you know how i say thank you to a vet, i stay out of trouble and out of their way. Memorial day, veterans day ect. I feel every time i see a vet i have to say i don’t have to say thanks. Actions are the best way to say thank you. If you followed that analogy you would be thanking vets 365, 24 hours a day, because we have so many vets. Not all vets are deservant of a thank you, while some don’t want your thanks. It depends on who they are.

  • Kate

    I always say thank you for your service if it were not like men and women like yourself I would not have the liberties that I have today
    and I always mean it from the bottom of my heart my father was a drill sergeant in the army and I am proud of my military and of the men and women who serve in it.

  • Chris Roach

    his opening statement certainly grabbed my attention, but how many people even nod courteously? i feel thanking them is the least i could do in any way. acknowledging them first before i acknowledge a lack of thank yous from the rest of us “Americans” when you hold the door open. i cant imagine they are thanked enough. and they certainly should be held on a pedestal because they are part of the few left who have pride as Americans. they fight for that pride everyday and they need to see us fighting for it when they come home.

  • disqus_dFpgJSTh6u

    Good. I never “thank for service” anyways. Most of the time if you ask an 18 year old joining the military he doesnt answer “To protect ‘Insert my name here’ freedom. They do it for their own personal reasons and then get thanked by random people due to successful government marketing campaigns

  • Jenny Horton Davidson

    Instead of giving lip service, I would rather people ACTUALLY support the troops. Send a care package. Help a disabled vet. Give him a freaking ride to his physical therapy sessions. Whatever.

    http://www.gofundme.com/6fp11w

  • Brad Redlin

    let me first say that when I first saw this post I was critical but after reading it I have come to realize what the writer is saying. But I cant say I agree, every thank you that I receive from anyone is a constant reminder to me that there are still good people here that care that others are putting themselves in harms way so they might have freedom to chose whatever they want. I was in the Army for 8 years and gave up a big part of my life, I learned a lot about life and how true sacrifice and friendship can be. There are far too many spoiled Americans that take all their freedoms for granted and complain a lot. I have been all over the world from Korea, Germany, Saudi just to name a few and there is no other place on earth that enjoys our worry free everyday life(if you’ve been there u know what I mean). So to add my two cents in I would like to extend a thank you to all service men and women, past and present. to quote a great man “The tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots”

  • Josh Dennis

    I used to always just tell people “I did it for the people” or “You don’t have to thank me”, but one day I was talking to a friend and she made it a sincere thank you like the suggestions here and when I could think of anything to say she told me I deserved to be thanked for my choices. After that all I could say was you’re welcome because it caught me off guard. Ever since then that’s how I respond because we are a group of less than one percent and it was my choice to make. I did it for my own reasons that didn’t include saving the people of the USA or following a long history of those enlisted in my family, but I still did it willingly and would do it again any day. So brothers and sisters its also okay to reply and tell people “you’re welcome”. It’s not being cocky, it’s being humble about the decision you made and not sounding like you’re Jesus Christ come back to save the world. I hate that generic “I did it for YOU” that people reply with. Stop being cocky and be honest, just say you’re welcome and leave it at that.

  • George Butterman

    Vietnam was my generation. I was in the Navy at the tail end of Vietnam. I never was in-country. But I remember what I saw on tv. And I remember hearing what many vets had to say about coming home from over there.
    Yeah. I guess I’ll change what I say to you vets that know Vietnam as only a page in history. My mistake for assuming that you’d understand that I was thanking them for their service through you and because I didn’t want to think of you ever being cussed at and spit on much less ever being thanked. Yeah, you volunteered. So many of them didn’t and were reviled for it.
    Yeah, to you it’s an adventure and just a job. Yeah, I understand your perspective. Just maybe it would help you to to understand mine and, instead of being embarrassed at being thanked, take it like a man and as a representative for all those that never got any appreciation for their sacrifice.

  • upload

    I don’t place soldiers on a pedestal, but I admire them for the sacrifices they and theirs families make for me and mine. That is what is behind my thank yous. It is not generic. It is not for my benefit. And it is never enough.

  • Guest

    It seems somehow wrong to dictate the terms of someone else’s “thank you.” Be glad we’re living in a time where people are thankful for our service. It wasn’t always this way. I’m grateful every time someone thanks me for my service. I never feel they’re giving me lip service, or that it’s not enough.

  • http://batman-news.com Bobby Buchanan

    I personally want to thank everyone for their thanks to me. It doesn’t mean Jack that “Thank You For Your Service” has been heard many times before, keep it coming, it really makes us feel good. When I got back from Vietnam, I received nothing but thanks from my family and surrounding people, no one spit on me. I have no idea where the Vets lived that claimed to have been disrespected but for me, I had pure gratitude that I could serve each and everyone of you and my country, the USA. Thank You Everyone

    • Dan Moore

      I had the same experience you did when I returned from Vietnam, with the exception of only one snotty female individual.

  • DannyG

    Not sure how to phrase this so as not to offend, but not all who serve are heroes. Some come home and cheat on their wives, abuse animals, disrespect their families, commit crimes, etc. Automatically assuming someone is a good person because they signed up for the military is foolhardy. I have family that was drafted into the military as well as family that chose to because they didn’t know what else to do with their lives. While I absolutely do respect all that they went through and sacrificed while they were in the service I certainly don’t see them as heroes or put them on a pedestal because honestly, their actions since they’ve returned say that they don’t deserve it.

  • Tom Lucas

    Just joined this “Revolt Daily” forum and wrote a piece in direct opposition to the fantasy, with all due respect, Ky wrote. I mean it “all due respect”. For I respect every American citizen’s right to speak freely, as the adage says “I disagree with what you say, but will and must if necessary defend to my death your right to say it. As a Vietnam Vet with the “injuries and decorations” too, who came home and fought to END what I learned as an 18 year old what was really going on in Vietnam and, just as important, what was NOT going on that I had been told was – my suggestion to celebrants of Memorial Day is to do something ACTIVE rather than drinking to the “sacrifices so many made”. Try reading Ben Franklins essay “On the Rudeness of the Savages”, for in it he wonderfully illustrates that for a democracy to take root – and then be kept alive to keep growing -requires that our vast diverse citizenry have a basic tolerance for “RUDENESS”. For everytime I hear someone express an opinion contrary to my own, I find them rude ! I’m probably the only one among us who is that psychologically primitive, so maybe none of you need to worry that the Patriot Act and other changes in America designed to “Make our Homeland more secure.” has torn the Bill of Rights to shreds. Is history so ironic that one must go to Europe to find people who understand what has happened, and what the Bill of Rights was worth? Tom Lucas

  • Great_Timbini

    Want to thank veterans? Demand your elected representatives fully fund Veterans Affairs so there are enough medical professionals to see all the patients in a timely manner; so that there are enough support personnel at the V.A. to assist veterans with medical, educational and other issues and topics. We shouldn’t have to wait 2 years for our claims to be completed.
    My health care at the V.A. has been far better than it was in the for profit health care industry, but the bureaucracy is no where near as good.

  • Robert Hutchins

    I am proud to say that when I thank a Soldier or Vet, I back it up with action! Words are worthless when not backed up. This is why I founded Cleaning Boots for Troops Org. When our volunteers are thanking our troops and Veterans, it is usually while we are cleaning their boots. Showing our heroes that we mean what we say and showing them our humbled gratitude for their service to our great Nation.

  • Elizabeth

    When I say to any military person… I say Thank you for your service. This country would not be what it is without your hard work and dedication. I appreciate the sacrifices you make for me.

  • Heather Hickingbottom

    Personally I feel that if someone offers a personal “thank you for your service,” then chances are they are not empty words. If that individual felt the need or desire to actually express thanks rather than just pass the veteran on the street without interaction, they probably mean it. I would not walk up to some random person and say thank you for anything unless I meant it. There are several comments on here that say that if one really cared one would ensure that vets are taken care of properly. However, that is not something an individual can accomplish alone. They can accomplish expressing their gratitude though. My husband was in the Navy for 7 years and he has been thanked a handful of times for his service and it always makes him feel proud of what he did and that other people actually care that he did it. That’s not why he served, but it does help him feel a little pride when he is thanked. To be offended by only receiving a thank you from a stranger passing by is sad. Yeah sure they are not changing governmental policies about the VA and how vets are being treated, but do you know how they vote, what political feelings they have, what they have done in their personal lives to help veterans? No, of course you don’t, they are a stranger on the street. Let them express their gratitude in what may be the only way they know how and feel pride for what you have done and the recognition that you receive from people you happen upon here and there. Chances are the thank you is truly sincere regardless of the verbage in which it is delivered.

  • Dana Junkin

    To all of the men and women who are veterans or serving now. I want you to know that I don’t take your sacrifice for granted. Whether you were or are a dental assistant, a mechanic, or facing the enemy head on in combat, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you. I have many friends and family members that served. I can’t understand what they went through and I can’t understand what you went through or are going through now. Just know, that If I ever cross your path and I don’t say “Thank you for your service.” It’s not because I don’t care, it’s because to me a “Thank you” is not enough. For someone who doesn’t know me to volunteer your time and sacrifice your life to fight for me, to protect our Country. You don’t know what that means to me. I do feel a little bit safer, knowing you are risking your life for a civilian like me.

  • Sean Murphy

    How about this; instead of saying “thank you for your service” you volunteer to help a veteran. That could be volunteering at a VA hospital, Helping a veteran get a job, or helping a homeless veteran get off the street. I am a Navy veteran and I know personally need to do more the help my brothers and sisters who also served.

  • Connie Vick

    I agree with Heather Hickingbottom. People who go up to a Veteran and THANK them for their service are NOT doing it for show. Of what reason or value is that? I thank them because I WANT too, because I DO appreciate the sacrifices they have made for ME. And I also thank their families as I know they too make many sacrifices.
    In all honesty I am somewhat offended by this article. It gives the implication we as Americans are fake and unappreciative of what our military men and women have done for us. Saying THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE pretty much sums up thanking a vet for any and all the reasons you (the writer of this article) say we should thank a vet for.
    I will end with saying; THANK YOU VETS FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY! God Bless you and God Bless the USA! In all sincerity. Connie

  • Lee Hobson

    Some people choose to fight for there country and give everything to defend it’s freedom..that is there choice so I don’t put them on a pedestal..I choose to use what God gave me to travel America and build America rather it be an airport, college, hospital..and by doing that I have to sacrifice seeing my family, my boys and my friends! When I see a soldier I smile with joy and go out of my way to talk to them..thank them for there services and even offer to pray over them..they sacrifice there lives to protect what I build!! And that’s America!!

  • Wayne Castleberry

    You certainly have a right to your feelings and to express them. Sure some people aren’t really sincere when thanking you. Others have not served but have had family members who have. They have experienced the sacrifices their loved one went through including some coming home in a flag draped box or not at all. I guess I appreciate the thanks because I have also experienced just the opposite. I have been told, “I hate the military and anyone who joins the military is stupid.” My response has always been the same, “I joined the military because I feel it’s important to help preserve our American rights. One of those rights is the Freedom of Speech. It allows any idiot to express their beliefs, no matter how foolish, and not get hauled off to jail by the government.” So far that has ended those conversations. I’m a 70% disabled Service-Connected vet (and going downhill) so I spend a fair amount of time at the VAMC. Without fail, every time I’m there at least once, a staff member will say to me, “Thank you for your service and thank you for allowing us to serve you.” I am always grateful.

  • aceneg2

    I work in a large supermarket and I always thank veterans that I wait on. Most of the time they are senior citizens who wear the hats signifying where they served and that is how I know they are vets. Most of the time it starts up a great conversation and they love to discuss their service and tell me how they appreciate what I have said to them. I say it not only as appreciation for their sacrifice, but as a conversation starter. Never have I felt as if what I said to them was dry or sterile or unwelcome. As a matter of fact, I had just lost a 22 year old Marine cousin 2 years ago, and struck up a conversation with a vet who ended up doing something extremely kind for the grieving parents of this Marine. I may alter my words of thanks after reading this, but the sentiment will always be genuine.

  • Pete Gonzales

    I did my four years in the grunts, but I think this guy is looking too much into it. He should simply say “Your Welcome” and move one. We all know what “Thank you for your service” means. It is a broad term used to say Thank You for all the sacrafices we made as a serviceman and for helping secure the freedoms and blessings Americans enjoy. There is no need for specifics.

  • That guy

    I’ll let you in on a little secret. In the end this is what it comes down to. We don’t fight for freedom anymore. We fight so that we don’t have to see another broken family. We fight so we don’t have to endure the pain of watching another our brothers die beside us, watching helplessly. We fight to try to bring everyone home. It doesn’t compare to WWII but guess what, people are still dying, becoming disfigured, maimed and yes, they volunteered so that you don’t have to. Do not thank me for your freedom as I did not provide it. Do not thank me my service as I have not completed my mission yet. Oh and the yellow ribbons and thank a soldier stickers, just so you know. They don’t mean anything. Actions speak louder than words my friends.

  • TheRothbardian

    Nothing like the military and police. Self-backpatting over and over.

  • Jason

    I typically give people a speech when they thank me for my service. I tell them telling me thank you is not sufficient. I tell them if you truly appreciate my service, become a better American. Get involved with your kids, volunteer in your community, work hard and don’t expect a hand out, vote (not on the 30 second new snip, but on what the real issues are), learn your history and the rights your country guarantees. Bottom line, don’t thank me for my service. Show me that it means something to you!

  • Dan Moore

    Most thank me for my service and move on, but one gentleman told me he was thankful that he was able to live the life he had because of the sacrifice of us veterans.

  • vfibsux

    This is petty. Civilians, a “simple thank you for your service” will do just fine for me. You’re welcome.

  • pmstest

    Bull. This country has used the military to invade and imperialism other nations. No one is invading Europe. F the military.

    • Matthew Del Rossi

      Name the nations we have conquered and rule.

      • pmstest

        America is smarter than that. They don’t imperialize and then take ownership. Let’s start with Iraq. No reason to go there but we did. Explain??

        • Matthew Del Rossi

          Iraq’s failure to comply with the treaty it signed ended the Gulf War. WMDs. Of course you will say what WMDs. The ones many intelligence agencies believed they had.

          • pmstest

            You’re still defending the illegal invasion of Iraq??? It was wrong point blank. Accept that it was wrong and instantly be a better person. Iraq was invaded to take advantage of the “opportunity” 9-11 provided.

          • Matthew Del Rossi

            Actually we should have invaded in the 90s when they were kicking inspectors out of the country. Not honoring the treaty.

          • pmstest

            America helped put that idiot in power, then took him out. How convienent. Face it bro. The American military is corrupt and evil. Too bad there isn’t a heaven and hell, because most of you military people would be going straight to hell.

          • Bill Richardson

            I hope there’s a hell, cause I’d hate to think you’d have nowhere to go.

  • Jimmy Allen

    Sorry, but I don’t think I could stop being thankful to the Veterans who have defended our way of life, our Constitution, ultimately our very beings. Like a couple other posters to this page; I got a nice pat on the back and a “enjoy civilian life” from an Army recruiter in 1979, thanks to a “bum knee” that an Army Doc decided hadn’t healed properly. But I have friends and relatives that have had or still have the privilege of the uniform; and I will always be thankful of what they’ve done for all of us.
    This includes the Northern Irish descendant “Iowa Farm Boy” that married my oldest daughter – when they were BOTH wearing digi’s and living at Bragg.
    It includes the young Marine -okay, “young” by my standards because I’m 52 and he’s 24- that is married to the next daughter in my family.
    And it includes the young lady who passed me this article on Facebook. She stepped out of HER Marine Corps digi’s to become a “Marine Wife”. She took off her uniform, but his are still worn daily.

    All of these “kids” are a tribute to our Country (unlike practically everybody presently working in D.C.) and we all owe them a heartfelt “thank you” for our being able to wake up Free. Yes, there are those who just automatically mumble “Thank you for your service” while thinking “There, I did my part”.
    Maybe that’s all they would or could do; whatever their reasoning. But that doesn’t mean we all think in those very small terms. I’d bet that there are a lot of us out there who don’t just declare that trite little five letter sentence.

    We also think and understand what it means, on a regular basis.

  • Pat Zambo

    There is no greater honor than to serve your country. God bless you all.

  • Margie Boulton Flowers

    My father was a veteran of WWII and even though he could never speak of the horrors he experienced, I was always proud of his service. I know he was proud of my son for his choice to fight for our country, which means even more to me now that my dad is gone. I think the worst thing we have done is to dishonor those who served by not providing adequate health care for every veteran. My dad had physical wounds and he refused to accept any more help from the government than he actually needed, but he was well taken care of by the VA. My heart goes out to those with wounds that cannot be seen, but never really go away.

  • rocket

    Who ever said that (your an asshole)

    • EssEffArr

      *you’re*

  • Justin

    “Don’t thank me for my service, but thank me for what I allow you to do”

    Isn’t that really the same thing, and quite frankly, a little self-serving?

  • Clarence Romero

    I am a veteran and I will continue to thank all veterans. I see what you say in your post however if you stop and talk with the people who are thanking you, you’ll find for the most part they are sincere. I find that once they find out that I’m a vet it makes new friend and acquaintance’s

  • Terri Sharp Burrow

    I think this article is somewhat ridiculous. Although I understand and respect the author’s point of view, I have much greater respect and appreciation for those who serve in our Military. THAT is why I choose to shake a Sailor’s hand, pat a Marine on the shoulder, or nod my head approvingly at a soldier. My gratitude is real and often it overflows from my tear ducts. Maybe there are many who thank a serviceman or servicewoman because they feel they’re “supposed to”. I am not one! A good part of my sentiment comes from being a Navy wife years ago and more recently a Navy mom. I grew up in a Navy town. My best friend is the wife of a Marine who has served 4 long deployments overseas. I feel like I understand the sacrifices made and although I have not served my country in the Military…I have supported and shown my gratitude in many ways to those who have…and I will continue to shake those hands, look into those eyes and express my heartfelt ” Thank you for your service”.

  • gtaghg

    It’s not volunteering if you’re being paid

    • checkyourdonkeydoor

      “You’re welcome for your paycheck” is more accurate than “Thank you for your service” especially when the odds that any given service member joined for selfless heroic reasons is slim to none.

      • JustSayNOtoO

        How many military members do you know? As a military parent I know a lot and your comment is way off.

        • checkyourdonkeydoor

          As a military patent your argument is biased. I have many friends and family in various branches and every single one of them joined either for the job or for the adventure. The heroism and dogma is indoctrinated AFTER they join.

        • checkyourdonkeydoor

          I have plenty of friends and family in the military and they all joined for the job or in a few cases for the adventure, but no, not one of them joined because the felt some overwhelming urge to offer their life to serve their country. The heroism is indoctrinated AFTER you join. Its a guaranteed paycheck and ass wiping. For many its the only option or its an alternative to jail. Real heroic.

          I did ROTC in college and every one of those kids did it for the scholarship and the guaranteed job after graduation.

          Don’t kid yourself, most young people don’t even agree with US foreign policy anymore.

    • Bill Richardson

      When I joined the military, I joined expecting to go to war and i was paid about 5000 dollars a year for 24/7 duty, where you could be awakened at 3 am with 1 hour of sleep to go on a 20 mile march. I was in for 3 years and when I got out I started in a job paying me over 22,000 a year for 40 hours a week. The military is not where people go to get rich.

  • John Garcia

    As a Vietnam era vet I was never thanked or welcomed home except by my friends and family. He has earned the right to feel anyway he wants. But it could be worse. He didn’t feel unwanted or blame.

  • Ronald R. Johnson

    Someone sure does not seem very happy as a Vet or being reconised as one, wel to bad he does not know me or what I think or feel, so in the future he can consider himself excempt when I see, think or thank a Vet. HE WOULD PROBABLY DO ALL OF US A GREAT FAVOR AND RETIRE so we don’t let him get caught up in our appreceation of the many great active and retired Armed Forces!

  • John Stephens

    I am thankful it is not the same welcome the Veterans coming home from Vietnam received. I tell people truthfully that I am grateful to have been able and allowed to serve my country and what a great privilege it was.

  • Jen M

    Don’t worry. I never thank veterans (unless they where born before the draft was abolished). I do not think people should be thanked for defending economic imperialism and greed. War mongers get what they deserve.

    • ToddElia

      Awww, your rage would be cute if it weren’t so trite.

    • JustSayNOtoO

      As a military parent I’d like to knock you upside the head. You’re just Another ungrateful whiny @$$ liberal. I bet you live in your parents basement and complain about college loans don’t you? Here’s a thought, carry your worthless @$$ over to the Middle East and see how tolerant they are of you. Let me know how that works out for you.

      • Rick Stevenson

        Just to interject: most liberals also thank veterans for their service. Labeling Jen as a liberal isn’t cool; it implies they aren’t grateful for those defending their freedoms, which is completely untrue.

    • Bill Richardson

      There you go… Perfect example of scum that are able to live free because of others they despise.

  • Doug Crawford

    I got out of the service in 1975. No one said thanks, some even asked why I enlisted. About 6 years ago I was at a job interview and as the interviewer was reading my resume and asking questions he stopped, stood up, walked around his desk, shook my hand and told me thanks for my service. I cried. I never realized how much a thank you could mean.

  • Rick Stevenson

    As a veteran myself, I’d like to say thanks for this article. Frankly, it’s a little weird to hear people thank me for my service as much as they do. It’s often in the middle of a conversation, which makes it even more awkward. While I appreciate the sentiment, I’d rather just have a normal conversation with people without them trying to shoehorn that in.

  • publikwerks

    I thank our service members by donating to the USO.

  • WW4

    Maybe it’s just the line: “Thank you for your service.” It can sound pat and cliched. I know there are some who really don’t want to talk about it, or to be made out to be a “hero” or “special” (particularly among more recent veterans).

    But I think any way you can show appreciation and recognition for service is simply good manners. You never know how much it may mean to someone.

  • Todd Jones

    We could thank them by putting in a government that is favorable to the veterans and the sort of work they have to do. We also need a government who will look out for the best interests of the country and it’s people, and not the multi-national corporations.

  • Steven Jones

    Its only right, the thought of personalizing our thanks and to Not let it be a rethorical generic,( taken for granted ) kind of thank you. We should Thank our vererans for ALL Of The Above remarks, and do it with a personalization that they will readily recognize.

  • lazybumranch

    I would respectfully submit to the author that he is misinterpreting what I mean when I say “thanks for your service”.

    Service= all of the sacrifices that you and your family and friends make every day now and in the future. Secondarily, it also means your actions in service.

    If I am sitting next to you on a plane, I will converse with you on what ever level you would like. If you do not want to talk about your experience, and want to talk about the weather, sports (I am a little weak there), politics (I’ll be polite) or general life I will do that.

    If you want to talk about where you were and what you did in the service, I am truly interested and will listen.

    If you want silence, I will accommodate.

    And I will thank you for your service. And that means every aspect and facet of your individual story that I may not have the opportunity to learn.

  • suechurch

    Just like us non-veterans can’t know all that went into a vet’s military service, the veteran can’t know all the reasons why we’re thanking him. Maybe the thanker has military personnel in the family, too. Maybe they are giving thanks for all the reasons Mr. Hunter cites and others not mentioned. I don’t indiscriminately thank. I thank the men and women who are wearing hats or uniforms or other items indicating their service which I believe invite a thank-you. Also, the thanks are usually given during a momentary meeting, like when someone holds a door open for you. I’m glad Mr. Hunter was able to express his feelings, I just wouldn’t want his essay to discourage any of us from thanking vets who obviously want to be thanked and recognized.

  • Paul Dickson

    ^i^
    i am a decorated combat vet
    tho my service ended 40 yrs ago
    my nightmare was just beginning
    after a few years of being treated extremely poorly
    i gave up on the army, the va, the vfw, the dva, the us govt, etc. etc. etc…
    a few years ago i got down so low i had to seek help or die
    i went to the va med center in wpb fl
    there i was treated with respect and concerned care
    they literally saved my life
    i let them know of my gratitude at every opportunity
    one day as i was leaving at closing time after a long hard day of treatment
    one of the techs shook my hand and said
    “Thank you for your service”
    a bolt of electricity shot through my whole body and mind
    my knees weakened and i had to hold on to keep from falling
    i had never heard that expression before and it did something to me
    my whole wartime experience flashed before my eyes
    it was as if he reached way down inside me and pulled out something that had been buried deep and wide
    but something that must have been waiting for the right time and place and circumstances to just come roaring out full blast
    i got choked up
    my eyes watered
    my voice got caught in my in a knot with my heart in my throat
    suddenly i saw all those faces
    i heard all those sounds
    i smelled all those smells
    i needed a minute
    but after that everything was different
    that guy may have made that comment a dozen times a day for his whole career
    it may have fallen on many deaf ears or even caused some to be offended
    but for me it was what i needed to hear when i needed to hear it
    everything started to change for me from that moment
    Without trying to sound too mushy let me just say those words started my healing and recovery process and those people saved my life and i say it every chance i get
    “Thank You For Your Service”

  • William Vinzant

    This is a terrible thought process! I’m a Desert Storm Veteran, and every time I shake the hand of a service member and I look them in th eyes, I mean what I say when I thank them for thier service. Likewise when the same salutaion is given to me, the goodness in me assumes the sentiment is real and heartfelt. The Iraq war vet Alex Horton should be ashamed of himself for contirbuting to this article. I’m proud of my service, and quite frankly we all deserve to be “thanked for our service.”

  • Jesse Tieck

    Nice article, I only wish we had been a part of a war that actually benefited the world in some way. Isis may very well be the dominant power in the region in the future and the oil fields in Iraq were privatized, allowing the oil tycoons of the world more production and profits while the price of oil continues to rise. The world is in a worse place because of the wars we got into and some of the greatest men and women our country had, lost their lives for it. I don’t thank combat vets, I feel horrible that they were used by our government in an attempt to stabilize a region that was far more stable than it is today. We need to make sure we don’t send our bravest men and women into conflicts that are ill advised by our democratic allies. They clearly have a more stable political system.

  • Bill Richardson

    I’ve been thanked for my service by both non veterans and by veterans and I can’t really say I buy into the article’s premise. The main reason I say this is because not everybody does honor our service. Just a couple months ago, at a family gathering, two of my ultra liberal siblings who never served in the military got in a heated discussion with me regarding past military actions and how wrong they were… The discussion went on for over an hour and ended with one of them stating that soldiers are just murderers and war and all our past wars were unnecessary. I see no need to speak to these two siblings again, but it is a reminder that there are those out there who despise those who give them their very freedom to express their idiotic views and maybe we should allow for the possibility that when someone thanks you for your service, it is because they mean it and they want you to know they give a shit.

    • Val

      We are a military family. I understand your anger and resentment particularly when it is a family member attacking you for doing your job. What you can say to them is that war is part of mankind a constant and continuous shift of power and change. In some cases the change is a search for freedom and in some cases it is a grab at power. We can sit back and allow others to take our freedom and our liberty or we can protect it. Look around the world and see what happens when there is no one to protect and serve the people of a country or when we fail to show up. Thank God we have individuals who volunteer to show up every day under the worst of circumstances so that individuals such as your siblings can exercise the rights they take for granted.

  • http://fundraise.teamrubiconusa.org/kairoschronosgives Kairo Ortez

    Here is great way to say thank you, without saying thank you.

    http://fundraise.teamrubiconusa.org/kairoschronosgives

    Donations are not required, but I would like people to know about Team Rubicon.

  • nathan hale

    When I was deployed I needed to renew a license. I called and talked to the person who manages the paperwork so I could ensure I got everything she needed. She asked me why my phone sounded so weird and I told her it was because it was a satelite phone and I was in Afghanistan. There was a long pause then she told me my license was in the mail. no paperwork, no fee, no hassle. I thanked her and she told me there was no need to thank her because she was free to go home to her family that night.
    a couple of years later I ended up calling again, this time from Iraq. Same thing happened. But again a couple of years later back stateside I called to get the info and she remembered me. I told her I was back home now and didn’t need the free license and would be happy to do the necessary form. She wouldn’t let me.
    Thanking a vet for their service sometimes I feel has turned into an expected social norm like saying how are you doing in the morning to a coworker. It is just the nice expected thing to say, because you really don’t want to know if they are having issues. But going out of your way to DO something for a vet, that means something.
    How about doing something for the spouse? They sacrifice and never get thanked. Next time bypass the vet and shake the wifes hand or thank the kids for sharing their daddy/mommy.

  • W. C. T

    I agree that it is better to think of why you are thankful than just recite that phrase, but I much prefer “thank you for your service” than being called a baby killer. To me, that is huge progress…

  • Joel Elhardt

    Actually I always enjoyed being recognized for being a veteran. Every comment Ive received has always met a lot to me. As long as the well wishing is genuine and voluntary. Isn’t that what the USA is all about? Freedom?

  • Cory Jodon

    This
    whole article is a huge contradiction. Stop putting veterans on a
    pedestal, but here is a list of what I do everyday so that you can live
    your life….???? Whatever man, how about we stop putting ourselves on a
    pedestal and thank Uncle Sam for giving us the opportunity to create a
    better life for ourselves and our families. A lot of the people
    in the military, especially on the enlisted side, did not join the Army
    because they felt a sense of duty or service to their country. They
    joined because it was the best move they could make at the time,
    typically because their previous poor life choices made them
    unemployable and restricted them from pursuing and education, myself
    included. So again, instead of trying to make others feel guilty for not
    showing true compassion towards our “sacrifices”, lets be thankful that
    we are not wasting our
    lives at some dead end job!!!

  • Isaiah

    I posted this originally on a friends page when I saw the post about this article and wanted to post it here as well.

    -Original Post-

    “I have to say…I am having a difficult time with this article…

    My brother served over seas in OIF. I had the honor of meeting the medic that saved his life along with many other soldiers at Walter Reed when I stayed down there during his recovery. I wanted to shake each and every one of their hands and say thank but sadly there were way to many for me to do this.

    I feel horrible for each and every Soldier out there. Those that just signed up today, those that served in OIF, DS, WWII, Vietnam, etc. (no particular order) for what they might go through, what they have been through and will continue to go through every day. I see it in my brothers eyes. There is a pain there, a sadness, that he could never begin to explain to me or anyone else. This pain that keeps so many awake at night. This pain that wakes him in a cold sweat when he finally crashes. This pain that makes him hide his face so that we don’t see the tears that just randomly poured from his eyes because a helicopter just flew over us.

    He’s been home for a few years now but hasn’t been home for a few years now!

    There will always be a part of my brother back there. That piece of him that remains over there is very much missed by my family, friends and myself!

    My brother is my best friend! I would change places with him in a heartbeat if I could but even if I could he would never allow it. My brother is a hero. He is my hero!

    I feel this way about each and every Soldier I see.

    So I am truly sorry to anyone that might not like me shaking your hand and saying thank you but god damn you deserve it! You are appreciated more then you could ever know and this article is exactly why…because you think you dont deserve it!

    I am sorry if anyone is offended by this or by me shaking your hand when I see you on the street and say Thank you for your service but I could never pass by a uniformed Soldier and just ignore Him or Her.

    Thank you to my Brother Derek, Thank you to my good friend Jason Manning, Thank you Bill Barnard, Thank you to each and every service member out there, wherever you might be!

    I love you,
    God bless!”
    ——————————

    There is not a single hand that I have reached out for nor a single “Thank You for your service” that I have uttered that I did out of Obligation or pity or any reason other then the fact that I am truly, 100%, no mistaking, without a doubt, greatfull for what you have done. I don’t tell you everything I am saying thank you for because the list is to long. I would gladly sit down with every Service man or woman that I see, have a coffee, beer, soda, whatever you like, my treat and go over the massive list of reasons I want to thank you but since that is virtually impossible I must reach out, grab your hand with both of mine, squeeze tight, hold back my tears and say thank you so much for your service!”

  • Sean Baldwyn

    Continue to thank our veterans. But do it instead by being original. I personally enjoy gifts.

  • Michael

    I don’t agree with this article. I grew up in a military family with a long history. It goes way back and I have relatives that fought alongside George Washington, WW 1&2 Vietnam and desert storm. And I think veterans appreciate when ppl thank them for their service. No need to go into detail. In most instances, you’re most likely carrying on about some other subject during the conversation that simply reaching out and saying thank you goes a long way. If someone thanks a veteran, they know what they are the thanking them for.

  • anoynamouse

    It’s kind of like saying I’ll say a prayer for you…which means you’ll just do nothing!