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Veteran Status Debate
Flopping Aces ^ | 06-03-11 | CJ

Posted on 06/04/2011 11:17:42 AM PDT by Starman417

Yesterday, the local morning conservative talk show host brought up a question about the status of veterans. He said that words mean things and he's right. The issue was the Stolen Valor Act (which I disagree with, believe it or not) and whether veterans that never served in Vietnam, but served in the military during the Vietnam War, can be called "Vietnam Veterans."

The host was trying to make the case that if someone serves in the military during a time of war, there is nothing wrong with calling themselves a "[insert campaign/war name] Veteran." I wholeheartedly disagree. I see his point of view, but military personnel don't think this way.

For example, I was in the Army during Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Iraq, but I'm only an Iraq Veteran. I never served in those other conflicts (well, I head to Afghanistan in a few weeks) and would NEVER call myself a Kosovo Veteran or a Bosnia Veteran. I would never call myself an Afghanistan Veteran before serving there!

The next point was that many veterans are beginning to use the term "Vietnam-Era or Desert Storm-Era Veteran." I'm confused by this. My father served in the Navy (32 years before retiring) during the Vietnam War and has NEVER called himself a Vietnam-Era Veteran. He's a Veteran!

The status of "Veteran" is already - or should already be - an honorable title. I don't understand why some veterans seem to want to inflate their status by saying that they served during a particular war. The way I see it is that these people aren't satisfied with their service and are trying to puff themselves up.

For the veterans out there, this is what I'd like to know. I think it confuses civilians who have no clue about military service. They hear Vietnam Veteran or Iraq Veteran and the assumption is that this Soldier or Marine or whatever served IN combat!

The host thinks it's okay for veterans to just call themselves veterans of a particular war just by virtue of serving during a time of conflict. Now, I can see his point. To some degree, everyone that serves in the military during wartime is to some degree helping the effort. We still have a stateside mission of training and equipping forward deployed units, but it's a completely different job entirely. You can't be a veteran of war when you've never been in potential life-threatening danger. And I think that just the act of serving in and of itself is an honorable endeavor worthy of respect from Americans whether that honorable service lasted a month or 32 years!!

(Excerpt) Read more at floppingaces.net...


TOPICS: Government; Military/Veterans
KEYWORDS: combat; iraq; vietnam

1 posted on 06/04/2011 11:17:45 AM PDT by Starman417
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To: Starman417

If you served in Vietnam during time of war and you would be a Vietnam Veteran.
If you served in the military during that war but were not stationed in Vietnam, you would be a Vietnam era veteran.


2 posted on 06/04/2011 11:31:48 AM PDT by ruesrose (It's possible to be clueless without being blonde.)
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To: Starman417
Of course folks differentiate by war ~ it does make a difference ~ your WWI veterans might have faced poison gas, or known fellows who did. In WWII beach landings were a big item, and airplanes played an enormous role. In Korea there was winter. In the Nam there was rain and heat, and in preparation for possible service there, everybody in the combat arms (the only part of military service that counts eh) "they" made sure EVERYBODY got to train in places where there was lots and lots of rain and heat ~ jus' so's you didn't miss anything.

There's some overlap in ages among the veterans of the different wars, so knowing those differences simply helps folks communicate that much better.

I can't imagine a world where any vet would think it totally unimportant or useful to let folks know what war was going on during his period of service.

3 posted on 06/04/2011 11:32:38 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: ruesrose
One of the differences between WWII and Nam is that if you died in training during WWII you were still identified as a veteran of WWII. Folks who died in training during Nam were accorded only the distinction of being "another dead Viet Nam Era Veteran"

Doesn't seem fair ~ dead is dead ~ and whether you reached the battle field or died along the way in training, it was certainly YOUR WAR.

None of those guys who died in training are on the Memorial.

4 posted on 06/04/2011 11:35:16 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Starman417

The term “VietNam Era Veteran” is used by the military and government to indicate anybody who served during the VietNam War period. This applies to veterans benefits and such.


5 posted on 06/04/2011 11:42:54 AM PDT by G-Bear (Always leave your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark.)
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To: Starman417
My father signed up for the army as soon as he turned 18 to fight in World War II. While he was still in basic training, Japan surrendered. Although he went on to spend 12 years in the military and was part of the occupation force that was in Japan after the war, he never considered himself a World War II veteran. However, the military did consider him a Veteran because the war was still going on when he enlisted. In fact the grave marker the military supplied when he died in 2000 says World War II veteran on it.
6 posted on 06/04/2011 11:44:09 AM PDT by apillar
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To: ruesrose

So what if you were stationed in Thailand, Formosa, Philippines etc. in support of the war flying or otherwise?

Maybe lots of TDY from the states to Vietnam?

I guess it kind of depends on what your DD214 says.


7 posted on 06/04/2011 11:45:22 AM PDT by yetidog
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To: Starman417

Any time the left can elevate WWII service over Vietnam service, they do.


8 posted on 06/04/2011 11:49:28 AM PDT by ansel12 ( JIM DEMINT "I believe [Palins] done more for the Republican Party than anyone since Ronald Reagan")
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To: Starman417

I’m a Cold War Era veteran aka just a vet.


9 posted on 06/04/2011 11:53:42 AM PDT by Sparky1776
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To: Starman417

This seems like a shallow article to me. I guess people need to make up stuff for something to write about.


10 posted on 06/04/2011 12:04:54 PM PDT by mountainlion (A nation that forgets it's past has no future. WinstonChirchill)
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To: Starman417
The military makes it pretty simple: If you fulfilled the requirements to be awarded a campaign ribbon/medal, you are a veteran of that campaign i.e. European theater ribbon (WWII) Korean service (Korean war) Vietnam campaign medal (Vietnam) etc.

My wife (served 1966-1969) considers herself a Vietnam war era veteran as she was not awarded the campaign ribbon/medal.

11 posted on 06/04/2011 12:06:19 PM PDT by oneolcop (Lead, Follow or Get the Hell Out of the Way!)
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To: ruesrose; All

“If you served in Vietnam during time of war and you would be a Vietnam Veteran.
If you served in the military during that war but were not stationed in Vietnam, you would be a Vietnam era veteran”

That is exactly the way service organizations including The American Legion, the VFW, and AMVETS view it. You cannot join any of those organizations if your DD 214 (which a member presents for verification) doesn’t state that. The exception is the VFW where you must have served overseas and issued an overseas campaign ribbon issued during that era.

I am a member and have been an officer in the Legion and the VFW because I served in time of a declared conflict (Korea) and met those requirements .


12 posted on 06/04/2011 12:09:25 PM PDT by mosesdapoet ("To punish a province Let it be ruled by a professor " Frederick The Great paraphrased)
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To: Starman417
Perhaps the distinction should be those actually in the combat area, and those supporting them, such as the sailors of the coast, aircrew bringing in support, vs. those well removed from the theater. Out first segeant told us within minutes of setting boots on the ground at Danang, "you are now Vietnam veterans". Took a few rocket attacks to feel like one though.

Those that spent their time in Germany (or like a buddy, embassy guard in Copenhagen) are "era" veterans. Hard to call a guy that chased chicks in Denmark for 3 years a "Vietnam Veteran".

13 posted on 06/04/2011 12:15:09 PM PDT by doorgunner69
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To: Starman417

So all the WACs, WASPs, and WAVs who served during World War II — many of whom lost their lives moving aircraft around the country, for example — aren’t World War II vets in your book?

Bah. You’re wrong.


14 posted on 06/04/2011 12:25:28 PM PDT by Blue Ink
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To: Starman417

Personally I think, and probably moreso now than during WWII, is if you got combat pay then you’re a veteran of the conflict.


15 posted on 06/04/2011 12:41:02 PM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Socialism works great until capitalism hits a rough spot)
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To: Blue Ink

I served on a nuke sub during the vietnam war, does that make me a vietnam vet?


16 posted on 06/04/2011 12:43:05 PM PDT by brivette
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To: Blue Ink

I served on a nuke sub during the vietnam war, does that make me a vietnam vet?


17 posted on 06/04/2011 12:43:15 PM PDT by brivette
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To: ruesrose
Would a WWII vet who spent the war working at the Pentagon be a WWII vet or a WWII era vet?

Would a vet who worked - say - at 8th Army HQ in Tokyo and never set foot in Korea be a Korean War vet or a Korean War era vet?

18 posted on 06/04/2011 12:48:03 PM PDT by quadrant (1o)
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To: Starman417

For whatever it’s worth, my husband makes it clear that he enlisted, “...too late for Viet Nam.”


19 posted on 06/04/2011 1:04:49 PM PDT by Silentgypsy (You know if I don’t remember I’m gonna forget.)
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To: Starman417

If a person was in the military during the Viet Nam War but never was ordered in country should refer to themselves or others in that situation as Viet Nam ERA veterans to distinguish themselves from those who did go to Viet Nam.
I was in the service then as well as during the first gulf war..I did not deploy in either effort but from the state side I was very much in support as well as when I was in Okinawa during Viet Nam..so for me I just say I am a Veit Nam ERA veteran, my husband is a Viet Nam Veteran who served two tours,


20 posted on 06/04/2011 1:35:12 PM PDT by celtic gal
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To: Starman417; unkus

Ground pounders vs REMFs...

That’s where the distinction is clearly set.

LOL!


21 posted on 06/04/2011 1:45:12 PM PDT by JDoutrider
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To: brivette

I served on a nuke sub during the vietnam war, does that make me a vietnam vet?


I served on a pig boat during that time. Does that make me a pig ?


22 posted on 06/04/2011 2:07:31 PM PDT by maine yankee
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To: brivette

Yes.


23 posted on 06/04/2011 2:21:26 PM PDT by Blue Ink
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To: Blue Ink

thank you.


24 posted on 06/04/2011 3:17:17 PM PDT by brivette
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To: Starman417

“The issue was the Stolen Valor Act (which I disagree with, believe it or not) ... “

What exactly do you not agree with? Do you believe that people who never were in the military and who go around purporting themselves to be Medal of Honor or Silver Star recipients are just “exercising their rights of free speech”? I don’t.


25 posted on 06/04/2011 3:56:14 PM PDT by RightWingConspirator (The original "Cash for Clunkers" program: the DNC Campaign fund)
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To: JDoutrider

Ground pounders vs REMFs...

That’s where the distinction is clearly set.

LOL!


You got it, brother.

I saw Navy people who lived better in VN than us Grunts lived back in the States.

REMFs is REMFs.


26 posted on 06/04/2011 6:04:49 PM PDT by unkus
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To: mosesdapoet

Thank you for your service.
I have a family member missing in action in Korea. He was post humously awarded the DSC for his actions on Hill 851, Sept of 1951.


27 posted on 06/04/2011 6:26:53 PM PDT by ruesrose (It's possible to be clueless without being blonde.)
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To: ruesrose

I concur, having served from 1970 to 1992 I consider myself an era veteran.


28 posted on 06/04/2011 6:27:30 PM PDT by usacon (I love the USA.)
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To: unkus

I was in a hospital. I’ve seen nearly every MOS in the military shot, burned, and blown apart. Even the so called REMFs.


29 posted on 06/04/2011 7:52:12 PM PDT by Brucifer (Proud member of the Double Secret Reloading Underground.)
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To: Brucifer

I was in a hospital. I’ve seen nearly every MOS in the military shot, burned, and blown apart. Even the so called REMFs.


I certainly appreciate that.


30 posted on 06/04/2011 8:47:36 PM PDT by unkus
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To: unkus

You’re welcome. It needs to be said from time to time.


31 posted on 06/05/2011 12:04:25 PM PDT by Brucifer (Proud member of the Double Secret Reloading Underground.)
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To: Brucifer

It needs to be said from time to time.


Yes it does and we need yo be reminded of that from time to time, too.


32 posted on 06/05/2011 12:24:34 PM PDT by unkus
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