Any Veterans Here?

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Whalehead King

I was recently going through some possessions I rarely look at when I came across the medals I earned while I was in the U.S. Navy for ten years. When I tell people that I was in the Navy, they reflexively say, "Thank you for your service." I just tell them I was doing my job. I was just doing my job. It's nothing to brag about for me, though I have a chest full of medals to show for it. I suspect other veterans feel the same way. It is hard to put Into words, the way it is hard for civilians to understand what it means. Policemen and firefighters probably feel the same way. I don't know if they get the same kind of automatic respect that military veterans get. I don't know if Coast Guard veterans get the same reaction from the civilian world, either. All I know is my own experience. When someone thanks me for my service, I find it embarrassing. I was a sailor. Nothing more, and, certainly, nothing less.

I am very proud to be a sailor. I still dream about it, 20 years later. You can take a person out of the navy but you can't take the sailor out of the that person. I always say that the best thing I ever did was join the Navy.

I am a hospital corpsman, a medic in Army and Air Force parlance. Marines will know that I was a Doc. When Marines thank me for being a doc, that doesn't embarrass me. The Marine Corps doesn't have their own medical corps. They rely on the Navy to take care of their wounds and medical conditions. I have taken care of more than a few. Doing that has humbled me. I am not, nor could I ever be, a United States Marine.

When I say that I am a hospital corpsman in the present tense, 20 years after my honorable discharge, it is because, deep down, I am still a hospital corpsman. I hurt my foot the other day. Not to get into the details, but Mrs. King asked me how I treated it, did I wash with with peroxide and apply antibacterial ointment? I said, "I know what to do, I'm a corpsman." Present tense. I didn't do either of those things. I treated the wound and I am walking on it without complications. My wound is healing up fine and my mission in life hasn't been compromised.

Once a hospital corpsman, always a hospital corpsman. I may be rusty but everything I learned has been drilled in. It comes to the surface when needed. This is one thing that makes me a good husband and a good friend. When the need arises, I am there to triage and treat, ever ready. I'm not a doctor and I'm not a nurse, but, when someone needs my expertise, it's there. I'm there. I am a hospital corpsman. HM2 King. I never forget that. I hope I never will forget.

I don't think of myself as a veteran. I think of myself, still, on call, as HM2 King (Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class King). I've done other things in my life but being a sailor is what made me the person I am today. I don't like to reminisce, but, when someone talks about tear gas or a leak in a boat, I pipe up, to the surprise of everyone present, and I can authoritatively say how to deal with it. It's nothing to be proud of and nothing to thank me for. It is just a part of who I am that is always under the surface to be called up when necessary to help out. It is who I am. US Navy strong. Honor, Courage, Commitment.

I didn't smoke a pipe or cigars when I was in the Navy. I smoke a lot of cigarettes when the smoking lamp was lit out on the smoking dock. I didn't have the time to enjoy a pipe out on the fantail. Too bad. I am making up for it now.
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Kevin Keith
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No one has ever told me "thank you for your service." Of course I don't wear a uniform anymore and I'm fat, grey headed, and 61 and people rarely thank another for being a senior citizen. People who have known me for a long time know what I used to do and I suppose they don't think about it much, but I do. I loved my job, especially for the first decade and a half. The last 12 or so years or so, not so much.

I don't like policemen, firemen, sailors, soldiers, airmen, or marines being called heroes either. It has nothing to do with courage, bravery, or competence. We take a job and perform that job in exchange for compensation, benefits, and security. There are heroes, but they are few and far between. You can tell them apart from us regular guys because they wear a blue ribbon around their neck, or whatever medal or citation their department or bureau might award a real hero.

I still think like a policeman and I suppose I always will.
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Ruffinogold
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Life's got all kinds of heros . Just because I hit beaches with a landing craft, doesn't make me a hero . A guy with some balls maybe ( ? ) , but a hero .... not really . I tried to get back in the Navy in 01 but was told I was too old ... 3 times . I couldn't get back in do to my " AGE " . It pissed me off and I told them if they need me in the future that they could go ☆☆☆☆ themselves , in true glorious salty dog fashion The Navy was good .. amphibious and landing craft kick ass . I don't remember much about it anymore . I think the older I get, my brain deletes things to make room for all the crap in the current world . I dig the current world , except back in the Navy days I was smoking some great blends that are gone now
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Ruffinogold
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Oh dear Lord... after boot camp I took a first of many a trip to Chicago .. I discovered the IRC store . It blew my mind . I walked out with their Private blend and smoked the hell out of that stuff . I wish i would have tried the Old Colonial because it really would have flipped me out
I can't remember the shop in old town san Diego but it was good and I tried new stuff there too
There was a place not far from York town weapon station that was excellent . I tried a bunch of stuff there as well
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Fr_Tom
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I never served in the military. My brother went to the USNA, and my father served in WWII and Korea. One of my grandfathers served in WWI. They were all Navy.

I was a volunteer fireman for a couple of years, and I was an EMT for another couple of years. I was a classroom teacher for 32 years. I am a parish priest these days. There are different kinds of service. I have tremendous respect for military veterans.

I know it is considered bad form to preach about national holidays, but my sermon for Sunday is a Memorial Day sermon. I work a Gospel message in there too, but my initial story involves Eddie Rickenbacker no less...
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Dr Uhaha
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I was in the Army. When people say "thank you for your service" I think of my best friend who put a rifle in his mouth after he came back from the sandbox. Awesome.

I know a man who spends every Veterans Day cruising around getting all the free haircuts, meals, etc. he can find. "Give me free stuff - I'm a veteran!" What kind of guy wants to be lauded and thanked for the rest of his life anyway? Absurd.

It was one thing I did FOR ME and I've done a hell of a lot more creative and interesting things since then.
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Dr Uhaha
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Bro Uhaha wrote: Fri May 22, 2020 2:04 am I was in the Army. When people say "thank you for your service" I think of my best friend who put a rifle in his mouth after he came back from the sandbox. Awesome.

I know a man who spends every Veterans Day cruising around getting all the free haircuts, meals, etc. he can find. "Give me free stuff - I'm a veteran!" What kind of guy wants to be lauded and thanked for the rest of his life anyway? Absurd.

It was one thing I did FOR ME and I've done a hell of a lot more creative and interesting things since then.
Geez... somebody was in a bad mood. Sorry guys. ✔
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Fr_Tom
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Bro Uhaha wrote: Fri May 22, 2020 8:50 am
Geez... somebody was in a bad mood. Sorry guys. ✔
Sometimes things just catch you the wrong way or there is a raw nerve or something. I would not be too worried about it.
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Whalehead King

Bro Uhaha wrote: Fri May 22, 2020 8:50 am
Bro Uhaha wrote: Fri May 22, 2020 2:04 am I was in the Army. When people say "thank you for your service" I think of my best friend who put a rifle in his mouth after he came back from the sandbox. Awesome.

I know a man who spends every Veterans Day cruising around getting all the free haircuts, meals, etc. he can find. "Give me free stuff - I'm a veteran!" What kind of guy wants to be lauded and thanked for the rest of his life anyway? Absurd.

It was one thing I did FOR ME and I've done a hell of a lot more creative and interesting things since then.
Geez... somebody was in a bad mood. Sorry guys. ✔
No reason to apologize. I have people ask me all the time if they can get a veterans discount. They're used to it. I know we are still officially at war in Afghanistan but, really, how many people who have seen combat are traveling around looking for discounts?

Though I do have a chestful of medals (and good ones, too), I always say they are for meritorious typing. I have no reason to brag and no one would understand what I did to earn them, anyway. Every job in the military is important to support the mission but not every one of them should be rewarded with 10% off every purchase for life.
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