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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I"m a vet, but was never in harm's way, and never felt right accepting any of the limelight.
    At least among my peer group (Vietnam vets), here are the rules as I understand them:

    When the call goes out for “veterans,” then all ex-military should raise their hands. The simple fact that you put on the uniform means that at the very least there was a potential for ending up in harm’s way. So “vet” is basically synonymous with “ex-military,” is deserving of honor, and will get you membership in the American Legion.

    To be a “veteran of a foreign war,” you have to have at least set foot in a war zone for a day. Doesn’t matter if you did combat or not. Interestingly, Korea is still a war zone to this day (there was never a peace treaty), so if you did military service in Korea anytime from 1951 to the present, you’re a veteran of a foreign war and can sign up for the VFW.

    “Combat vet” is kind of self-explanatory, though even there you can run into gray areas.

    So just FWIW, that’s kind of my understanding of these terms.

  2. #12
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    At least among my peer group (Vietnam vets), here are the rules as I understand them:

    So just FWIW, that’s kind of my understanding of these terms.
    Thanks for the explanation. Yes, I do raise my hand when they call for veterans. I'm in no way ashamed of my service, and would willingly have done more if needed. But I recognize that plenty of other vets had things far worse, and did much more. I got the best end of the deal, really.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Thanks for the explanation. Yes, I do raise my hand when they call for veterans. I'm in no way ashamed of my service, and would willingly have done more if needed. But I recognize that plenty of other vets had things far worse, and did much more. I got the best end of the deal, really.
    I know what you mean. In my day, supply and logistics were so labor-intensive and manual that out of all the people who cycled through Vietnam, only a fairly small percentage actually ended up in combat.

    I went over to Vietnam for the fall of Saigon in Spring of 1975, essentially showing up for the final 3 weeks of the war. Nonetheless, I got two rows of ribbons just for entering a war zone. But of course it was in a non-combat role, and I felt a little weird walking around with a chestful of ribbons just for watching the war wind down.

    So I asked some combat vets how they felt about vets like me. They were emphatic: War is an unpredictable thing; it pops up where you least expect it. Just to put on the uniform is to make yourself a target. If you leave the service without ever seeing combat, then so much the better. But you still trained for the worst and put yourself at risk. (I’m sure all those National Guard units that ended up in Afghanistan didn’t see that coming, at least at first.)

    So like I say, I sympathize with your sentiment. But the combat vets that I talked to really didn’t see much difference between them and me. It was just a flip of the coin as to who got thrown into the grinder and who got the easy ride.

    Anyway, you probably know all this stuff. In a way I’m saying this for those without the military experience, in case anyone is curious how vets feel about these things.

    Thanks for your service, Coriolis!

  4. #14
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    I agree with Fineline. For sure. Just putting on the uniform puts you in danger.

  5. #15
    Senior Member _eric_'s Avatar
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    Heh...I had a medical discharge halfway through Air Force basic training back in 2007, and for several years after that, I kept receiving mail trying to get me to sign up for veteran's benefits and whatnot...I tossed them all, of course.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by _eric_ View Post
    Heh...I had a medical discharge halfway through Air Force basic training back in 2007, and for several years after that, I kept receiving mail trying to get me to sign up for veteran's benefits and whatnot...I tossed them all, of course.
    Sorry to hear about the medical discharge. Was the medical problem training-related? Sounds like you were in long enough to qualify for VA bennies or something.

  7. #17
    Vulnerability Eilonwy's Avatar
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    Thank you to all the veterans for your sacrifices and service.

    My dad was an Air Force lifer and served during WWII. Although my mom wasn't in the military, she helped the resistance during the war. Both of my brothers were in the AF, as was one nephew. Another nephew is still serving in the Coast Guard.
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    o7

  9. #19
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    FOR THE RECORD!! Just because it is irritating me today.

    CELEBRATE Memorial Day. Jeezus H.

    Seriously, I keep seeing all of these pictures popping up on Facebook saying ":C Oh! Memorial day is about DEAD SOLDIERS YOU JERK! Stop thinking it is national get out of work and BBQ day! Here's some pictures of army wives crying to get you in the Memorial day mood, and if you're still feeling like you want to BBQ here's a story about the WBC protesting a soldier's funeral."

    No one puts on a uniform to make America feel guilty about it if they die. It is perhaps the greatest American tradition for us to celebrate that which fills us with pride, and it is irritating me that people would think of a celebration as anything less than an honorable way to remember those that gave everything.

    Of course there will be people who forget what Memorial Day is really about. I don't think those people are dishonoring soldiers by partaking in the festivities anyways.
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  10. #20
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    FOR THE RECORD!! Just because it is irritating me today.

    CELEBRATE Memorial Day. Jeezus H.

    Seriously, I keep seeing all of these pictures popping up on Facebook saying ":C Oh! Memorial day is about DEAD SOLDIERS YOU JERK! Stop thinking it is national get out of work and BBQ day! Here's some pictures of army wives crying to get you in the Memorial day mood, and if you're still feeling like you want to BBQ here's a story about the WBC protesting a soldier's funeral."

    No one puts on a uniform to make America feel guilty about it if they die. It is perhaps the greatest American tradition for us to celebrate that which fills us with pride, and it is irritating me that people would think of a celebration as anything less than an honorable way to remember those that gave everything.

    Of course there will be people who forget what Memorial Day is really about. I don't think those people are dishonoring soldiers by partaking in the festivities anyways.
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