Quoted from jasonspoint28:
I’m with you on the “Thank you for your service” overuse. It should make me feel appreciated, but it seems to lose its meaning when every time someone finds out I’m a veteran they utter the same 5 words.
Quoted from LTG:
Except for on a seconds notice you could have been shipped overseas to do your duty in a combat zone or defend US citizens.
The thanks is for the risk you took while in the service. Even if you were fortunate during your time in.
LTG : )
It has never bothered me because I don't think it is about me, it is an acknowledgement of the value of the military in protecting the country, a sentiment that has not always been shared by the public. I happen to be wearing the uniform and therefore get the accolade, but I think it represents something bigger. I know most who say it, even as a reflex now, it makes them feel better, and why wouldn't I want people to feel good they recognized the value a strong military brings to our society? It is why I don't argue when someone buys my lunch (as a senior officer, I can afford my own lunch just fine). I politely say no, it is ok the first time only they offer. They almost always insist, and they go away happy that I didn't insult their generosity (and they get to feel good about themselves and the military all day).
For the few (and it is very few) who say it out of social obligation but don't mean it, well I get to feel good they had to acknowledge some things are bigger than them.
And cottonm4, I never quantify or qualify anyone's service, whether they deployed, served 2 years or 20 years, went to war, stayed in the states, was a mechanic or infantryman, went in to service for the college money or true patriotism. LTG has it right - you raise your hand and put on the uniform, served honorable always knowing you might get a call serve more. So thank you for your service, really, especially since it was during a time when not a lot of people were saying it.
Sorry for the long oration, I retire from the National Guard at the end of the month after 37 years of active and reserve service here and abroad, so it is weighing on my mind right now. Ready to retire, but going to miss a life time of service, especially with what is going on in the world right now.