Thousands of military personnel have made many sacrifices for the American people. You may know some of these brave men and women personally. There is nothing wrong with asking them about their job, but there are definitely questions and comments you should never ask or make to a veteran.
1. "Why are you guys over there?"
They are in the military. It is their job. There is a lot that goes on in foreign countries that average Americans may or may not be aware of, and there is always a reason behind a deployment.
2. "Do you have PTSD?"
That is an extremely personal question that should never be asked. Would you want someone asking about your mental medical history? Please be sensitive to these issues.
3. "What's the worst thing that's ever happened to you over there?"
Depending on what a veteran saw or experienced overseas, certain memories can trigger PTSD. It can be very difficult for these soldiers to repress these memories.
4. "Have you ever killed anyone?"
A soldier does not want to relive his life in combat. This is probably the most insensitive and inappropriate question you could ask a veteran. Don't ask it.
5. "How could you leave your family?"
These service men and women make the ultimate sacrifice and unfortunately have to leave their families. Many veterans feel overwhelmingly guilty about doing so, so reminding them about one of the hardest parts of their job is unnecessary.
6. "Did any of your friends die overseas?"
Some veterans watched their friends die right before their eyes, and this is not a memory they want to relive. It is an extremely sensitive subject that you should never bring up with a vet.
7. "What do you think about the President's policies?"
The President is the Commander in Chief, which makes him the boss of all military personnel. Current military men and women are forbidden to speak out on political issues, and doing so can negatively affect their military careers.
8. "I almost joined myself."
You put a vet in such an awkward situation because they don't know how they are supposed to react. Instead of making it all about you, show some graditude and respect them.
9. "I don't support war."
You may not support war, but you damn sure should support your military. Imagine this country without them. We are the great nation we are because those men and women fought for it and are stilling fighting for it today.
10. "Do you feel guilty about what you did over there?"
Again, do not make a soldier relive what he or she went through. At the end of the day, everything they did was their job, and they did it for you.
11. "Thank you for your service."
Do not just thank them, show them. Buy them a coffee or their meal, write them a card, or other kind gestures. Actions speak louder than words.
As these soldiers given up everything for you, please be mindful of these insensitive words because you ask them.