Please Don’t Thank Me for My Service

by Rachel Baker on February 23, 2015

This is an important article, whether you agree with the sentiments or not. Truly, it doesn’t matter if you disagree or not – today’s vets feel this way; so it matters.

The most important action you can take to thank a vet is to pay attention to what’s going on in the world and realize that every time you vote for a politician with an aggressive foreign policy that might one day consider decimating a group a people to “make the world a better place,” you are most likely sending kids, who are not old enough to truly understand what it is they are volunteering for, to fight on foreign soils for causes that ultimaterly have nothing to do with the United States.

If you have it in you, the comments are worth reading as well.

Here’s the Article: Please Don’t Thank Me for My Service

I didn’t know any of this — nor the remarkable story of his survival that day — when I met him two months ago in Colorado while reporting for an article about the marijuana industry, for which Mr. Garth and his company provide security. But I did know he was a vet and so I did what seemed natural: I thanked him for his service.

“No problem,” he said.

It wasn’t true. There was a problem. I could see it from the way he looked down. And I could see it on the faces of some of the other vets who work with Mr. Garth when I thanked them too. What gives, I asked? Who doesn’t want to be thanked for their military service?

Many people, it turns out. Mike Freedman, a Green Beret, calls it the “thank you for your service phenomenon.” To some recent vets — by no stretch all of them — the thanks comes across as shallow, disconnected, a reflexive offering from people who, while meaning well, have no clue what soldiers did over there or what motivated them to go, and who would never have gone themselves nor sent their own sons and daughters.

To these vets, thanking soldiers for their service symbolizes the ease of sending a volunteer army to wage war at great distance — physically, spiritually, economically. It raises questions of the meaning of patriotism, shared purpose and, pointedly, what you’re supposed to say to those who put their lives on the line and are uncomfortable about being thanked for it.

This article was written by: Rachel Baker – Click to follow on Twitter; or you can follow her at The Crafty Veteran on Bloglovin

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