Perhaps We Shouldn’t Thank Our Veterans For Their Service
Start writing a post

Perhaps We Shouldn’t Thank Our Veterans For Their Service

Freedom is a taste the protected never know.

Perhaps We Shouldn’t Thank Our Veterans For Their Service

Every Veteran's Day, we go out of our way to thank our brave veterans for their service to our country. They dedicated years of their lives to the protection of our citizens and betterment of the planet. So when November 11th rolls around, we spread thanks and give generously to show our appreciation. Discounts, free meals, free doughnuts and coffee, free oil changes…the list goes on.

However, veterans often voice uncertainty of how to respond to this gratitude. Why? Serving is drastically different than civilians realize.

Karl Marlantes, a Marine veteran of the Vietnam War explains in his book "Matterhorn" that warriors do dreadful things in combat. Therefore, responding with "you're welcome" can make veterans feel uncomfortable and guilty. Combat transforms people into monsters. Their hearts become so full of rage and hatred while fighting in the war.

I've heard veterans say, "If you knew what kind of monster I became in the war, you wouldn't want to be anywhere near me, let alone thanking me."

Perhaps we should find different words for our veterans.

"You are incredibly brave for fighting for this country."

"You have the courage of a hero."

"You've made the world a better place because of your sacrifices."

Sure, "thank you" is easy and feels good but it could make a vet feel guilty. It's like saying "thank you for murdering."

Even if the enemy was a horrible person. Even if the vet never saw combat. Saying "thank you" could bring back feelings or horror, nightmares, or even episodes of PTSD.

Instead, ask about their job in the military. Ask what they're doing now. Are they going to school? Where do they work? Do they have a family? Show your appreciation by voting, volunteering in the community, making a difference, and supporting members of the military who are still active.

Please be wary of our veterans. Show your appreciation every day. Be cautious about their mental health. Maybe "thank you" isn't the best choice of words.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Top 3 Response Articles of This Week!

Happy Memorial Day from Odyssey! We're excited to welcome in the summer season with our creator community. Each week, more writers are joining Odyssey while school's on break- and you could, too! Check out the bottom of the article to learn how.

Here are the top three response articles of last week:

Keep Reading...Show less
We Need More Than Memorials this Memorial Day
Cape Cod Irish

When I was a child, I used to look forward to Memorial Day Weekend from the time I returned to school after Christmas vacation. It was the yearly benchmark announcing the end of the school year and the beginning of summer vacation. It meant I was one step closer to regattas, swim meets and tennis matches.

Keep Reading...Show less

5 fun Summer Vacations that won't break your bank

Enjoy the sun, relax the wallet - here are the estimated costs

5 fun Summer Vacations that won't break your bank
Endless Ocean
We compiled the costs related to 5 enriching summer vacations for this year in the thrifty sense:
Keep Reading...Show less

I remember how exciting summer was when I was a kid. I would just be eagerly waiting for school to end so that I could fly to some exotic location with my family for the summer. Or hang out with my friends every day. Or just lay around in bed or read, paint, draw, basically do whatever.

Keep Reading...Show less
Remembering the Memorial in Memorial Union

Sometimes it's hard to remember that Memorial Union at the University of Missouri is actually a memorial, not just a place to take a nap on a couch and get Starbucks.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments