This is an unusual post for me because I usually don’t share such personal thoughts. Yet I had to due to a question posed by me by a colleague of mine. I have to explain a little bit. I do not bring up when I first encounter people that I have served in the service. Most people don’t know how to take it. I also joined at a time where it was not looked upon positively. Post 9-11 there have been a changed in sentiment among the masses. Which I have to admit I have not properly adjusted to. Now to the question that was posed to me – How do I feel when told ‘Thank you for your service?’ hmmmm!
Well I can honest say I am embarrassed by the statement. Please let me explain. Under no circumstance am I embarrassed by the time I have served. I am quite honored by the time that I have served. Then you are asking why am I embarrassed. Well I am embarrassed for the fact that one’s feel obligated to actually say those words. I understand why due to the treatment of those that have served before me. They were not provided the respect and honor that they deserved by the masses. Those are the ones that deserve those words. The homeless ones. The ones that can’t function due to physical and mental issues. They deserve those words much more than me. That is why I cringed.
Also those words are filled with valor and gratefulness but I would like to see and hear something instead. Instead of telling a Veteran ‘Thank you for your service.’ On Veterans Day, Memorial Day (which is completely unappropriated. Memorial Day are for the fallen, if I am standing in front of you and speaking to you, I have not fallen! Just saying!) And when you discover that you are dealing with a Vet. Instead of saying those words how about doing something for a Vet throughout the year. Give them some sort of words of motivation and inspiration to make it to tomorrow. Join the Buddy Check, which occurs every 22 day of every month. Get a cup of coffee and have an honest chat with a Vet. Those actions work so much better words than saying ‘Thank you for your service!’