Las Vegas Sun

November 24, 2017

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Letter to the editor:

A better way to thank a veteran

As a veteran who served in every clime and place for two decades, I find it interesting how it is now in vogue to thank veterans for their service.

Service members receive this from complete strangers, who mean well. This gesture frankly leaves me with a feeling similar to a weak handshake.

I am old enough to remember the Vietnam War and the senseless display of the civilian community toward service members as they returned home from a very complicated war that was lost at the strategic, political level but won at the tactical level by very brave and patriotic Americans. How the pendulum has swung.

I now wince when a service member is labeled a hero just for being in uniform. Is it necessary to dilute the term hero and add a gratuitous thank-you for our service?

Does that now make the media feel better? Does it make you feel better? Everyone feel good?

We all volunteered. We understand what we are getting into. Most serve honorably. I have been rewarded many times over. We volunteer to protect the values we are blessed with in a country that is still a jewel to live in. We do not volunteer to be thanked or to be labeled as heroes. Nor do we solicit for such proclamations.

Next time you see a service member, instead of thanking them, why not take the time to volunteer to give back to the local community? To this veteran, that is a sincere, more meaningful thank you.

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