‘Thank You for Your Service’ and Other Automatic Phrases

Lance Corporal James Blake Miller, USMC - Iraq.
Lance Corporal James Blake Miller, USMC – Iraq.

“And damn it … say it like you mean it .”  

Paul Szoldra of the Business Insider published on Jan. 9, 2014 his interview of journalist Kevin Sites regarding his experiences as a civilian newsman embedded with US Marines during the Iraq War.

As Sites eruditely noted of the average American’s attitude towards those who serve us in the Armed Forces:

We’re happy to pat you on the back, buy you a beer, and say thank you for your service.

But we don’t really want to know much more than that.

Agree or disagree with the wars Iraq and Afghanistan, love or hate Barack Obama and/or George W. Bush, none of that really matters when it comes to honestly and truly appreciating what our troops have done for each and every one of us while on the field of battle.

The phrase to vets of “thank you for your service” has unfortunately started to become as automatic and as reflex an action as saying “God bless you” to someone who just sneezed.

Granted, there are more than a few that actually voice their heartfelt gratitude to those that have literally been-there-done-that-got-the-t-shirt,  but in all honesty, there are also more than a few who toss that particular phrase about with all the sincerity of “have a nice day.”

It’s to those I ask they consider just a handful of inconvenient truths.

  1. If it weren’t for our troops killing bad guys over there, the bad guys would be here killing us. I’m quite sure most of us remember something generically referred to as 9/11. Don’t kid yourselves … these maniacs actually believe they will attain not only heavenly salvation, but their version of sainthood by literally butchering as many American (and British, Canadian, Australian, etc.) men, women and children as they can. The more carnage and slaughter, the more pleasing to their sick and disgusting version of The Almighty.

    Cpl. Jonathan D. Porto bids farewell to his wife and unborn child. Cpl. Porto was killed in action in Afghanistan.
    Cpl. Jonathan D. Porto bids farewell to his wife and unborn child. Cpl. Porto was killed in action in Afghanistan.
  2. Personally I find active homosexuality not only to be sinful, but also physically revolting and repugnant. With that qualification given, I also don’t believe that active homosexuals be executed simply for being homosexuals. “Pressing” (also known as crushing) is a common penalty for homosexuals in Iran, Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, The Sudan, al-Qaeda-controlled Syria, etc. Possibly the LGBT community & friends don’t have it all that bad here in the mean ol’ USA. Thank a vet.
  3. I know this will come as a stunner to fellow dads, but I’ve had some disagreements with my daughter throughout the years [insert shocked look here, fellow dads]. Drenching our daughters with acid, strangling them to death or just the standard bullet to the head to “teach them a lesson” isn’t part of our child-rearing toolbox. No one will ever do that to my daughter, your daughter or anyone else’s little girl. Thank a vet (and of course, dad!).
  4. For those of us that regularly attend church or synagogue, it’s the veterans responsible for us not getting blown-up while worshiping. Unlike Christians and Jews from Morocco to Indonesia, we don’t have to be on the lookout for car bombs or snipers while at a House of God. Something else to consider, we usually don’t see our religious shepherds kidnapped, tortured or beheaded. The same can’t be said where the Taliban and/or al-Qaeda happen to be a force to be reckoned with. Thank a vet.
  5. Specifically to the ladies, next time you tell a vet “TYFYS,” take a quick look at how you’re dressed. The average Taliban or al-Qaeda scumbag would at a minimum beat the crap out of you for dressing “like a whore” as they believe. Shame on you for showing all that ankle. Thank a vet.
  6. Of course, this little list of mine could go on and on, but suffice it to say if any of you have ever bitched loudly and often (as I often do) concerning the IRS, Congress and/or the current occupant of the Oval Office, none of us have been taken to the public square and had our collective heads carved off.

Should we thank a reporter, lawyer, poet or elected official for our freedoms? Not only no, but hell no.

Thank a vet — and damn it … say it like you mean it.

One thought on “‘Thank You for Your Service’ and Other Automatic Phrases

  1. We, in the USA, take for granted what many people in foreign countries long for, but will never have-FREEDOM. As a child of a career military officer, I learned at an early age, that freedom is not free; that it comes with a price. Sometimes it’s an arm, a leg, a mind & often a life. It is indeed an honor & a privilege to shake the hand & look into the eyes of a vet & sincerely say: “THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!”

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