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If you were in the service, do you consider yourself a "Vet"?

  1. #61
    Don't forget your wife. Get her her own military ID. I got mine at MacDill AFB. That way she won't have take you shopping with her.

  2. #62
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    Never think about till someone reminds me and this post has just done that. I served in the British army from 1944 till 1952. I was a Churchill tank driver/mechanic and saw service in Italy, Egypt Austria and after the war in Malaya. The word 'Vet' is vary rarely mentioned here. We are normally just called Ex Servicemen.

  3. #63
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    As an afterthought I would like to say May God Bless all you American Vets. Without your help during WW2 we would now be under the Nazi heel.

  4. #64
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    As a 4 year non-combat vet (USAFSS) during Vietnam (63-67) I never gave it much thought, we did top secret spying on troop & material movements during the conflict. I moved onto Germany dealing with the cold war playing cat & mouse with the communist block countries & their military movements. We were not allowed to go within 5 kilometers of the border, told to lie about our assignments, (I said I was an air policeman guarding the gates if questioned). There was a bounty for our capture so we were vulnerable. We had top secret crypto clearances & told not to discuss it with anybody. We were restricted for 1 year after discharge about talking about it. By then the designations & information would change & things we remembered would be too old to help with the enemy.

    My adult daughter volunteered at the VFW last year, coming home one day she asked me, 'How come the other services i.e. Marines, Navy & Army don't think much of the Air Force?' I explained that in their perception they were the ones who carried the weapons, fought the enemy & we would sit back & get the same amount of glory. She went back & said there was an argument started again about the Air Force, she chimed in with what information I had given her. At that time one old Marine vet spoke up saying he wanted to thank me for doing my job, it had saved their platoon many times with the knowledge we had. He had nothing but respect for us. I still don't consider myself a combat vet but I spent 4 years serving my country along with working with Marines, Navy & Army personal at JSPC.

    Funny thing was I qualified 'expert' on the rifle range every year & told if I had been in anything other than the USAFSS I would be on the front lines or in sniper service.

  5. #65
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    If you were in then you are a vet. There is no such thing as a combat-vet-only military anywhere in the world. If you were ordered to guard a liter of puppies then you followed that order like all other orders like any soldier anywhere.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by fmdog44 View Post
    If you were in then you are a vet. There is no such thing as a combat-vet-only military anywhere in the world. If you were ordered to guard a liter of puppies then you followed that order like all other orders like any soldier anywhere.
    Good thoughts, but most of the old soldiers sitting at the VFW have varying thoughts on the subject. That's one of the many reasons I don't belong. I also don't drink, do well in social setting or worry about making or needing friends (am happiest in my solitude).

  7. #67
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    Roadwarrior I am much like you that I served and didn't run to Canada and got an honorable discharge but I Don't feel I'm near the same as those who fought and died or gave body parts for our country. I was drafted for the Korean war and lucky for me and all others it was over while I was in basic training.

    Also like you I'm happiest in my solitude since wife died.

  8. #68
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    It was impossible for me to believe that we were right being in Viet Nam. I knew what the South was and I never believed the Domino Theory for one second. Also, I never believed in ramming democracy down the throats of small nations or any nations. I hated LBJ back then for what I viewed as his superficial concern for our troops as I believed he was not going to ruin his image as being a loser in that war. Being raised with all races in my school the civil rights movement also impacted me in terms of being anti-government which a I still an today. Killing a man is not easy so all militaries make sure they tell young people only that it is justified. I am no peacenik as we used to call them but you better be able to look me in the eyes when you order me to kill for God and country.

  9. #69
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    I enlisted. I signed up for whatever befell me. I swore an oath to go, be killed or kill in the name of my country, I never had to face the enemy in combat but would have certainly. Am I a vet, damn right! Now ask "bone spurs" if he is.....
    We are either growing or dying.

  10. #70
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    I served three years in the Army and two years in the Navy. Both honorable discharges. I didn't used to acknowledge my veteran status much as I was never in direct combat. But then I heard a guy talk who was a survivor of Iwo Jima. He talked about his survivor guilt and how he used to not acknowledge his service because he felt the honor belonged to those who he witnessed sacrifice their life. I talked to him afterwards. He told me we need to acknowledge our veteran status because it could have been us that sacrificed our lives...it was simply luck of the draw that we are survivors. The act of enlisting and taking the oath, we signed a blank check that uncle sam could cash at any time....for our life. The honor is that we served. Just because we were not individually selected to sacrifice our life didn't make our commitment and promise any less meaningful. So today I accept the thanks and the acknowledgement but I do so to honor and represent my fellow veterans who did not survive and cannot be there to receive the thanks and appreciation. I still try not to make a big deal about it...there's always that piece of self doubt that I don't really deserve the honors since I didn't fight or die. I consider myself very lucky and grateful.

  11. #71
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    O.K. AZ Jim, you've convinced me. My experience is similar, and I joined the Army and spent 5 years in reserve.

    So, I guess I am a vet too.

  12. #72
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    Yes. Two years Army ROTC 63-64, and opted out. I was on rifle team and saw a couple of Army bases during early Vietnam buildup and did not like it. I was about to be drafted in Dec of 68 so enlisted in USAF, basic training, two months of OT hold then 90 days of OCS. As I was already a registered pharmacist, they gave me training as a weapons controller, kindof like an early video game. I sat on a big radar scope and guided a interceptor aircraft to an airborn target, could be an enemy or a refueling tanker.. After about a year I managed a reassignment to my medical area. Stayed active for ten years, and in 1970 got a letter for pharmacy officers, stating of a list of assignments in SE Asia, Korea, Philippines, and Turkey, of which would I least object. Back when I was in high school I had an uncle who spent a short time in Turkey, so I did a little research and chose Izmir, Turkey, and got orders for there. A few months later those orders were rescinded as the person over there like it well enough to extend his tour by another year. In the meantime I was getting married, and just a few months before the marriage, I got orders again for Izmir, seems as though they just put me on hold for a year. My new wife and I went over for two enjoyable years, toured over a good bit of the western half of the country, visited Greece and Israel. We were there when the Turks invaded Cyprus, fighting the Greeks and we had a few weeks of blackout conditions at night,

    Came back to Eglin, AFB, Fla for a few years, and worked a little in one of the Vietnamese refugee camps established there, finally separating in early 79 as a result of the drawdown from the large buildup of the Vietnam years. Stayed away for about ten years and went back into active reserves, just in time to get called up for Desert Storm, and deployed to the UK to man a "contingency hospital" and help support crews and maintance personnel flying missions on the Iraqi army in Kuwait and Iraq. We did not have a lot to do so managed to help load bombs on B52 bombers one day, unusual for medics. Had the need arose any one of us there could have been moved to one of the bases Saudi at any time.

    Made Maj out of that, did not really do anything, but was there. Stayed active reserve for a few more years and had to separate because I could not make full Col by the 27 year mark, as I found out that the ten years inactive, I was held in a status subject to recall and it had counted for longevity pay purposes, and if an officer had not made full Col or 0-6 by that point he had to separate, so I am in a category called "honorarily retired" which means I got a nice certificate and no benefits.

    Yes, I consider myself a Vet, although I as never in a combat zone.

  13. #73
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    Thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon View Post
    Of course. Why not? As a USAF bomber pilot, I flew 15 missions over Germany during WWII.
    Thank you very much.......you guys SAVED the world
    Whenever I see a WWII ball cap I salute it's wearer

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by DGM View Post
    Thank you very much.......you guys SAVED the world
    Whenever I see a WWII ball cap I salute it's wearer
    We must also remember the men of Britain,s RAF Bomber Command. Of 125,000 men 55,573 lost their lives, 8,403 were wounded and 9,838 were taken as POWs These brave men also did their bit towards 'saving the world'

  15. #75
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    At Fort Knox as MP in 1974. Basic trainee while firing M-16 left handed from firing pit on "automatic" had a hot casing go down his neck. He jerked up and around and hit a drill sergeant seven times. Drill sergeant had two tours in Nam as a grunt and got taken out by a basic trainee. Very sad.

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