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Are Americans afraid of their combat veterans?
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26 / F / Overlord's Castle
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Posted 4/14/13
Why would Americans be afraid of their veterans? Whenever a vet goes by everyone always says thank you or salutes them. Where the heck are you from????
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24 / M / Missouri, United...
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Posted 4/14/13 , edited 4/14/13
I'm not, and I don't think most people are. Their usually very kind people, like most people. You just have to give them a chance. They most likely joined the military to help the best they could, so why fear good people?

My grandfather was the kindest man I've ever known and he was a wwII vet.
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24 / M
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Posted 4/14/13
I consider all our veterans heroes. With family members that have served in the armed forces, I can say that, personally, putting your life on the line so that I may enjoy freedom cannot be put into words for how grateful I am.
Taking that into account, you guys need to get paid more. Seriously.
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24 / M / california
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Posted 4/14/13
It does feel that the civilian populace has some sort of fear or even sometimes resentment towards us. I think its downright sickening when I walk around in my uniform and everyone starts starring at me as if I'm a murderer or something you can feel the coldness from their eyes as you walk around but maybe that's just how it is. Its even hard to try to maintain a normal conversation with people after they somehow find out you were in the military .For some reason every time some one I just met found out I'm in the military the first question is " Have you ever killed someone?'. I hate that question it comes with job that sometimes people are going to be killed sometimes they're the enemy some times they're people you've worked with, ate with, and hung out with. Regardless that's the last thing I want to talk about that because that topic doesn't just make you remember the people you put down or you saw die it brings with it the memories of your friends being torn apart by IEDS or the face of their parents, spouse, or child receiving that folded up flag.
Posted 4/14/13
The terrible effects of PTSD makes some veterans dangerous, as they can have episodes of total, lucid flashbacks to experiences they had in combat.
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24 / M / Missouri, United...
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Posted 4/14/13
I don't know, when I see someone wearing a military uniform I look at them, but not because of resentment, but because you don't see it every day. I don't think there is a reason other than that, sometimes I wonder if they've been on tour yet, or if their going on tour soon, but that's about it.

I work in a public environment so I do see a lot of people in military uniforms though so I could be different than others in that aspect.
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66 / M / Milwaukee, Wiscon...
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Posted 4/14/13

ghostwarrior88 wrote:

I was a paratrooper for a month short of five years, been in more TIC's(Troops in Contact) than I can count with with a mathematician. I'm curious if civilians in this country are afraid of me or hate me, it really wouldn't bother me if I'm hated but I want to know if the reason it's so tough for infantry guys is because people are scared of being around them.
These guys are coming back from wars regularly now for over ten years a good chunk of em' multiple times, some mentally destroyed and some physically, sometimes not alive.

I think the last stats I saw said around 30% of combat vets that exit service end up in poverty or homeless, .


YOU AREN'T ALONE! There are a lot of us who had a hard time coming home. So many came home crippled by what they saw and had to do to stay alive. What they were ordered to do. So many of the vets in my era of 1970-75 can't talk about what they went through.I had a group of coworkers who were all vets of that horrible time. I was amazed that ALL of us reacted the same on hearing a Harley backfire, most of the group was hiding behind the cars near us. None of us carried guns but most of us carried knives. I was still having problems 10 yrs later. I still cant afford to lose my temper and go to group at the VA every month. When I came home I got 4 hours of talk that was supposed to help make the transition to civilian life. That was a joke. In a way I do think that the non-vets are afraid. To many came back damaged beyond understanding.

I think you are getting your life back. My advice from personal experience is don't talk about what you did or saw.


_IceAndCream_ wrote:

Only Vietnam vets who still have PTSD issues, and yell at every Asian they meet like they're a bad guy.

But are you sure your treatment is simply because you are a vet? Having been in combat by itself wouldn't (shouldn't) give anyone a reason to treat someone poorly.

How little you really know.
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24 / F / Johnstown, PA, USA
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Posted 4/14/13 , edited 4/15/13
No... Not me, and I can't name anyone that does, either. I don't even recall meeting anyone that holds any actual resentment towards vets, too. Am I cautious of PTSD? Yes, but that's it. It's not like it's only the military that can have it. I'm not amused with how much the media hypes about PTSD, though. Sure, PTSD is real, but the media makes it sound as if veterans can't handle civilian life at all. No wonder so many people are paranoid about it. I don't believe that "coddling" vets the way the media wan't us to is the answer. The attention helps to cause people to treat them as if they're delicate china. That would intensify the isolation that veterans may feel, right? Even so, I don't think that most Americans actually resent vets.
Posted 4/14/13
I'm not. My brother is a vet. Actually most of my family is vets. Cousins and grandpas.
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32 / M / Raleigh, North Ca...
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Posted 4/14/13
No, I genuinely cannot think of a reason for Americans to be fearful of veterans or active military personnel. Personally, I see nothing different or special about anyone that's been in the military: it's just another job/position that someone has chosen to do. I have respect for veterans that were forced to join into war, via conscription, as they hadn't any other choice in the matter. I don't necessarily see an active/veteran serviceman (or woman) as "trained and deadly" either; as there are more than enough rednecks in the back watered areas of America (even locally to me) that are far more proficient in military arsenal than those in the military.

Yes, there's always going to be a level of resentment that people have towards military personnel because of their lack of approval in regard to the foreign wars that we've been engaged in as of lately. I don't approve of them either, but it doesn't make me hate the military. Those whom are serving now made the conscious decision/choice to join; many of those locally that I have spoken to simply joined so they can get the rewards of going to college after their enlistment. If that's what they want to do, more power to them. I can't understand the whole "they're protecting our freedom" and all that good stuff, though.. if that's what they want to believe, okay. We're all entitled to our own views and opinions.

As for those who are suffering from PTSD, it's really not a laughing matter. It's horrible, confusing, frustrating, and scary to go through such a thing. I sympathize with those who have to go through such a thing. I don't agree with the lack of support that the government gives to military personnel who have returned and are no longer active (veterans), as it's something that the government is meant to support. They're the one who sent said persons overseas, that time that was invested without having a stationary home/location on US/home soil makes it difficult to get re-adjusted once you get back (as you haven't a house or location to stay). It's the sad reality of it; as more and more veterans are starting to experience such a situation.
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Posted 4/14/13

aeb0717 wrote:Sure, PTSD is real, but the media makes it sound as if veterans can't handle civilian life at all. No wonder so many people are paranoid about it. I don't believe that "coddling" vets the way the media wan't us to is the answer. The attention helps to cause people to treat them as if they're delicate china. That would intensify the isolation that veterans may feel, right? Even so, I don't think that most Americans actually resent vets.


Many veterans really can't handle civilian life at all. Did you know that more of our soldiers died after the Vietnam war than during the war, because so many of them committed suicide? 58,178 soldiers were killed in action during that war, but over 100,000 Vietnam veterans committed suicide after the war, and over 150,000 are still homeless on the streets. Our veterans don't need to be shrugged off and left to deal with these problems alone --- our society as a whole needs to understand and help them. One of the greatest difficulties soldiers deal with when trying to integrate back into civilian life is a feeling that no one around them understands what they've been through, that no one could accept or love them after the terrible things they may have done, that the only true friends they could ever make are out on the battlefield, and that society doesn't care for them and their problems. Our nation needs to stop looking the other way in the face of our wounded veterans, and to start really showing that we care --- before history repeats itself, and a new generation of soldiers walks the same path to self-destruction again.
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49 / F / Center of the Uni...
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Posted 4/14/13 , edited 4/14/13

ninjitsuko wrote:


Yes, there's always going to be a level of resentment that people have towards military personnel because of their lack of approval in regard to the foreign wars that we've been engaged in as of lately. I don't approve of them either, but it doesn't make me hate the military. Those whom are serving now made the conscious decision/choice to join; many of those locally that I have spoken to simply joined so they can get the rewards of going to college after their enlistment. If that's what they want to do, more power to them. I can't understand the whole "they're protecting our freedom" and all that good stuff, though.. if that's what they want to believe, okay. We're all entitled to our own views and opinions.


Armed service members put their life health, and , arguably, sanity on the line in the interests of their nation.

If that nation is a democratic one, then 'protecting our freedom' is a viable way of looking at it. Perhaps a little naive but... the profession of arms is nearly unique in that regard. the Hazard vs. Reward is all out of proportion unless they truly believe in their nation.

funny thing I've noticed about former servicemen playing the 'I risked my life for your freedoms/privilidges/wealth' card. The ones least likely to play it are the ones most entitled to do so. And the ones who trumpet the card the loudest, are the rear echelon staff, stay at home reservists and the non-military fans of the military. At least that's what I've seen. The one's who have 'Been in the shit' as they say. Don't like to talk much about it at all.

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35 / M / Texas
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Posted 4/14/13

Elektrawnik wrote:

The terrible effects of PTSD makes some veterans dangerous, as they can have episodes of total, lucid flashbacks to experiences they had in combat.


This about sums it up perfectly. I'm extremely thankful the VA has provide me with massive amounts of medication so I can live my life normally without flashbacks.
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32 / M / Raleigh, North Ca...
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Posted 4/14/13

papagolfwhiskey wrote:Armed service members put their life health, and , arguably, sanity on the line in the interests of their nation.


This part isn't always true, though. Locally (I'm in Maryland, but I'm speaking in regard to Washington DC/Virginia/Maryland), majority of those enlisted are only interested in how much money they get without as much education necessary (or to pay for their education, as they go in directly after High School graduation). It's very rare for me to find someone who sincerely cares about "dying for their country" in this area, outside of the few marines.


papagolfwhiskey wrote: If that nation is a democratic one, then 'protecting our freedom' is a viable way of looking at it. Perhaps a little naive but... the profession of arms is nearly unique in that regard. the Hazard vs. Reward is all out of proportion unless they truly believe in their nation.


Though, technically speaking, the United States of America is a Constitutional Republic under the guise of a pseudo-democracy? Considering that the majority of the wars as of late have very little to do with our freedom (or fear of us losing said freedoms), I don't understand it. At least with World War I and II, our "lifestyle" was at jeopardy if the United States were ever taken by the Germans, Japanese, or other invading parties at the times. All personal opinions aside, we haven't really had a war that would impose another country's direct influence on us since then. Nor has United States had a war on their own soil for quite some time (Civil War amongst ourselves is the last one I can recall, unless you count the occupation in Alaska and the bombing of Pearl Harbour during WWII).


papagolfwhiskey wrote:funny thing I've noticed about former servicemen playing the 'I risked my life for your freedoms/privilidges/wealth' card. The ones least likely to play it are the ones most entitled to do so. And the ones who trumpet the card the loudest, are the rear echelon staff, stay at home reservists and the non-military fans of the military. At least that's what I've seen. The one's who have 'Been in the shit' as they say. Don't like to talk much about it at all.


That's something I'm definitely going to agree on. The people that normally preach the most are those who didn't even make it out of boot camp. A former friend of mine was released from boot camp due to Asthma and he's rambled on about how great of a civic duty he gave to his country, etc etc... But those who I know who have gone through tours that were violent say absolutely nothing.
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Posted 4/14/13

kilikikero wrote:


Many veterans really can't handle civilian life at all. Did you know that more of our soldiers died after the Vietnam war than during the war, because so many of them committed suicide? 58,178 soldiers were killed in action during that war, but over 100,000 Vietnam veterans committed suicide after the war, and over 150,000 are still homeless on the streets. Our veterans don't need to be shrugged off and left to deal with these problems alone --- our society as a whole needs to understand and help them. One of the greatest difficulties soldiers deal with when trying to integrate back into civilian life is a feeling that no one around them understands what they've been through, that no one could accept or love them after the terrible things they may have done, that the only true friends they could ever make are out on the battlefield, and that society doesn't care for them and their problems. Our nation needs to stop looking the other way in the face of our wounded veterans, and to start really showing that we care --- before history repeats itself, and a new generation of soldiers walks the same path to self-destruction again.


I didn't know that but I'm not surprised. Poor treatment of veterans is not new, nor limited to the USA.

WWI was especially bad for it. and it is from that aftermath that organisations like the War Amps, The Legion, the Poppy Campaigns that led many nations adopting November 11th as a special day for recognising veterans arose. Someone who knows better can correct me if I'm wrong but the Salvation Army, I believe, was born in those trenches too. Unlike the Red Cross, the Salvation Army never charged for blood.

The sins of the powers that be, towards veterans in WWI can be seen as root cause for many of the problems that still haunt us today. The Hell's Angels were originally a motorcycle riding association of disaffected former fighter pilots. Many of the gunmen that made the twenties 'roaring' learned their trade in the trenches of Europe. Hitler got most of his early toughs from the 'Freikorps': illegal armies of former vets who refused to obey foreign rules about German war capabilities or even their own government. There have been songs, poems, books (fiction and non) written about this subject.For example: Ira Hayes, hero of Iwo Jima, who dies from drowning in a ditch after one alcoholic binge too many. I can't count the numbers of stories I've heard read, or watched about Former soldiers having to sell their medals in order to eat. It sucks, it always has. And yes it would be great if people stood up and tried to prevent history from repeating itself. We're not doing in my nation. Despite our conservative government's trumpeting of nationalistic values, they've denied funding to our wounded vets and altered the rules for disability to make them less expensive to the government. Now they're talking about cutting danger pay to our soldiers abroad. Personally I think it's disgusting that we let good people who hazard more than most of us ever dream could be at risk, suffer further and get shortchanged more, just so some suits in offices somwhere can save a few more cents on the dollar and get that fifth gold urinal to pee into.



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