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" I Served" bumper sticker for war vets
Old 06-09-2010, 05:20 PM   #1
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" I Served" bumper sticker for war vets

Just ran across this offer for Vietnam vets (also Afgan and Iraq) to have something else to attach to your bumber.

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New! For our heroes who served in Vietnam.
Many veterans and their families have asked us for "I Served" stickers honoring those who served in Vietnam. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 1 million veterans who served in Vietnam are still alive today. To those who served: Thank You. We hope you will request these stickers as a small token of our gratitude for your service and that they will encourage those who see them to express a simple "thank you" for serving our country.
.

I Served Stickers | Supporting Returning American Military Personnel
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Old 06-09-2010, 05:43 PM   #2
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Don't know how you feel about this, but, as an ordinary citizen and voter, I like the idea myself. Vietnam vets never received the full respect they definitely deserve for serving...and it's about time.
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Old 06-09-2010, 06:19 PM   #3
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I don't know what to think of this. I've been trying to figure out what to think about the "welcome home/thank you ceremonies" for Vietnam vets. What do you think, MickeyD?

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Old 06-09-2010, 06:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by CuppaJoe View Post
I don't know what to think of this. I've been trying to figure out what to think about the "welcome home/thank you ceremonies" for Vietnam vets. What do you think, MickeyD?

Fort Benning
Hey CuppaJpe,

Thanks for the link to Benning School for Boys. It's been a long time since I trained there in infantry OCS.

As A VN vet I don't want any parades or honors or speeches on my behalf. It's enough for me to know that our current drop of warriors are being treated well when they return from the fight.
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Old 06-09-2010, 06:54 PM   #5
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As A VN vet I don't want any parades or honors or speeches on my behalf. It's enough for me to know that our current drop of warriors are being treated well when they return from the fight.
I totally agree. (Note: I am not a VN vet, only a veteran of the VN "era". The closest I came to Vietnam was about 30,000 feet.)
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:39 PM   #6
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I think they should require some proof of service.
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:53 PM   #7
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Wouldn't something like this get the point across to those who matter?
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File Type: png 106px-Vietnam_Service_Ribbon.svg.png (424 Bytes, 121 views)
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Old 06-09-2010, 09:13 PM   #8
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One thought is that those ceremonial event days might be helpful to some as reunions.
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Old 06-10-2010, 12:43 AM   #9
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Wouldn't something like this get the point across to those who matter?
I enjoy seeing those on vehicle bumpers. Very discreet display of pride.

Maybe many of our veterans on this board are too polite or tactful to say this, so I'll go ahead and spit it out to see if anyone else feels this way:
After several years of experiencing it, I'm still uncomfortable with the trend of thanking us for our service. When someone asks "What do you do?" and I say that I'm a retired Navy submariner, at least 3/4 of the time I'm now thanked for my service.

I'm just not sure how to respond to that. It doesn't seem appropriate for me to say "You're welcome", and it seems equally awkward to say "Well, thank you". It's certainly a bad idea to say "Hey, your tax dollars at work!" Best response I seem to have is "Oh, thanks" and then I move on to the next topic.

Its potential overuse seems to be taking it to the level of "Have a nice day". Maybe the phrase is a holdover from the days of conscription and societal guilt about "Welcome home" ceremonies. Maybe civilians aren't comfortable around veterans and figure that the phrase will put everyone at ease. Do we say it to doctors, police officers, and firefighters? Nurses & EMTs? Prosecuting attorneys? Sewage workers?

Fact is, when I joined the Navy I wasn't anticipating being thanked. I was eager to escape the family home to see the world, kick a little ass, and meet hot chicks (not necessarily in that order). "Service" was a means to an end, not an aspiration or an avocation. A few years later I was having too much fun to feel comfortable about being thanked, and for the back half of my career I was having too little fun to feel comfortable about being thanked.

I've never had another veteran thank me for my service. In fact, what's more likely to bring a smile to my face is hearing "Oh, great, another f$%^in' nuke, eh? When was your last haircut?" or "Oh, yeah? What boats were you on?"

I'm not criticizing the service-thanking practice, only explaining the effect it has on me. If it serves as a conversation starter and makes others more comfortable then it's fine with me. I just don't want people feeling obligated to thank me for something that wasn't intended to be an obligation in the first place.

But I'm not the type to have an "I served" bumper sticker or any other insignia on our cars. We don't keep much military memorabilia around the house, either-- my "I Love Me" wall is about two square feet in the garage. We don't even own shadowboxes.

It's the same way I felt when receiving personal awards for sustained superior administration. Yes, I did a great job and we all appreciated the benefits of having things run well because of our efforts. That felt good and that's good enough. Yes, the awards are necessary for promotion, and I earned those promotions, and we want people of my caliber promoted to those ranks. But it seems a bit inequitable to compare the citation on one of my personal awards to the citation on the same level of personal award received by an E-5 corpsman serving with a Marine unit. Usually accompanied by a combat action ribbon and a Purple Heart.

It's the same way I feel when I roll up to the base gate in my surfmobile with my ponytail and a four-day beard to be greeted by the civilian security contractor saluting my (retired) spouse's windshield sticker. Respectful, yes... but perhaps a bit misplaced and probably something they were told was the right thing to do.

And yeah, I agree with Feever-- no stickers without a DD-214 and a good discharge. Too many wannabes out there already.
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Old 06-10-2010, 07:22 AM   #10
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Count me among the vets who don't really know how to respond to "thank you for your service". I'm torn between a simple thank you or blurting out a confession: "Had it not been for the draft the closest thing I would have seen to military service would have been a war movie."
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Old 06-10-2010, 07:38 AM   #11
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I think people in general are having problems with how to respond to thank yous. "You're welcome" seems out of favor.
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Old 06-10-2010, 08:16 AM   #12
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I've never had another veteran thank me for my service.
Sure?

Thank you. Somebody had to take the head punches. Glad you came back.

Cheers, Squid.
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Old 06-10-2010, 08:53 AM   #13
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The first time anyone ever thanked me for my service was about three years ago. It was a National Guardsman who saw me getting into my car in a hotel parking lot (Ohio has a nice "Vietnam Veteran" style license plate that they gave me at no cost). He came over and shook my hand, and even said "Welcome home."

Honestly, I got so choked up that I was speechless. It had been 35 years since I "came home" (to scorn and derision), and this was the first time I had ever heard such a sentiment. It was deeply appreciated.

In the past few years, I agree it has become extremely common to hear such comments, and it may get a little trite at times, but I can assure you that some of us do like to hear it.

I think the bigger picture is that we Vietnam (and Vietnam era) vets have collectively changed the public mindset, so that despite what you may think about what our military has been sent to do, most people fully support the troops these days, and that's 180 degrees from how things were back then. It's a good thing.

My response to those thank you comments is simply "Thanks for your support."
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:05 AM   #14
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. But it seems a bit inequitable to compare the citation on one of my personal awards to the citation on the same level of personal award received by an E-5 corpsman serving with a Marine unit. Usually accompanied by a combat action ribbon and a Purple Heart..
Milton may have had it right; "they also serve, who only stand and wait", but for me, floating offshore doing 5" gun support and coastal interdiction there were others that deserved something, not me. Not at all sure that a thank you is what they deserved, nor an apology. No stickers here for me, but the campaign ribbon I understand and some that show them have seen and done things I don't want to ask about.
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:12 AM   #15
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It had been 35 years since I "came home" (to scorn and derision), and this was the first time I had ever heard such a sentiment. It was deeply appreciated.
9/11 changed everything in that regard. Immediately, it was no longer "fashionable" to heap scorn on Vietnam veterans, and immediately the anger over unpopular wars shifted away from those who were fighting them and toward the policy makers who made the decisions.
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:40 AM   #16
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And unfortunately the people who benefit most from having military experience (and who make it public, unlike the typical VN vet I know, who just does not want to talk about it) are people of all political persuasions looking for votes. Amazingly stupidly considering they are in the public eye and subject to major scrutiny both from their opponents and the media, they are still embellishing their records.
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Old 06-10-2010, 04:22 PM   #17
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Somebody had to take the head punches.
Glad you came back.
Cheers, Squid.
Thanks, that's the kind of tough-love sentiments I'm talking about!

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My response to those thank you comments is simply "Thanks for your support."
Very well said.
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Old 06-10-2010, 06:02 PM   #18
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it would be nice (after 40 years), to receive the "welcome home" that I (and a lot of young men/women of that era) never received...
OK, welcome home, my friend.

You're right that it means a lot (as I mentioned above).

How vivid it is in my memory. Coming in to Travis AFB was a total culture shock, then getting on a bus to get to the San Francisco airport for another plane to go home for a couple weeks leave before going to the next assignment. SF Int'l Airport at that time, wearing a uniform, was just about what you would expect, and an experience that still rankles.

Everyone has noticed that VN vets often tend to be a bit "prickly" and that kind of reception is a big part of the reason.

So yes, welcome home. We're all glad to be back, because there were times we wondered if we would ever get back, since we had friends who didn't make it.

Bill Sherman made it crystal clear back in 1879.
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Old 06-10-2010, 06:16 PM   #19
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I don't put anything on my car(s) bumper. Stickers or service indicators. Do have a a few of my old dog tags on my key rings for vehicles. My service numbers are from well before they started with the SSN on them.

When I get the thanks for your service comment, my reply usually is thanks for noticing.
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Old 06-10-2010, 06:17 PM   #20
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To all you vets, particularly Vietnam vets, Thank You.

I graduated high school in 1972 and my draft lottery number was 260-something, so it was off to college for me. At the time I was torn about the war. I didn't think it was a "good" war, but felt guilty about others fighting my battles for me. I asked my parents what they though about me volunteering and they hit the ceiling.

My father was a really conservative guy, so I was shocked that he felt so strongly about it. He was part of the occupation army in Japan, and I guess the experience permanently soured him on the armed services.
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