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Veterans - and attitudes about the draft (your thoughts?)

Aunt Spiker

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My children's elementary school held a small and touching Veteran's Day ceremony at school. Some of the students prepared speeches to read. One invited the veterans upfront and asked each questions about their service (such as how long they've been in, why they joined, and how they felt about their country).

Two of the Veterans were drafted several decades ago - and both made a point to bring this up and to emphasize that they "had no choice, they had to go"

One then explained that he was fortunate not to go and fight (war or mission unnamed) because he was injured during training.

Everyone else, however (my husband included) in that line *did* choose to go and several of the men took obvious offense to the attitude and response of these two veterans - openly emphasizing in their responses that they *chose* to go and would encourage others to do the same.

Overall: I think the entire tension (over the entire exchange) that ensued was inappropriate - we were at school in front of hundreds of children - PreK-4th grade. The tension might not have been sensed by most of hte students but my daughter DID notice- and I'm sure other kids did too.

But my thought on this, more so, was about the 'Veteran' who didn't actually deploy. . . technically - he's not a *Veteran* . . . nor was he proud of his training-service time, either. He was bitter and seemed to use the opportunity to point that out. . . Personally - I found that to be horribly offensive and highly inappropriate *in general* (not just referring to it being done so *at * the school-ceremony)

Your thoughts on his response and his attitude (because I'm sure his attitude isnt' *just* to him)
 
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ecofarm

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But my thought on this, more so, was about the 'Veteran' who didn't actually deploy. . . technically - he's not a *Veteran*

While federal and state definitions of veteran may vary, it is generally accepted as someone who has active duty service.

I volunteered during the Gulf War and did not deploy because the ground war ended before my training did. If the ground war had lasted 4 weeks instead of 2 weeks, I would have been among the first replacement paratroopers. Now, how is my service less than that of a mechanic serving well behind the front lines? Sure, he served during the war in a pretty safe place. I served during the war training to fight behind enemy lines. He didn't see combat because his job does not generally entail such. I didn't see combat because the war ended before I could get to it. Who served more? Personally, I feel that "go directly to combat, do not pass go and do not collect 200 - you will be surrounded" is a tougher card to play during wartime than "fix that transmission asap". My contract was 11x, 82nd Abn, and I signed after the 82nd was in Kuwait. I left a prestigious private university to do it.


Anyway, I'm entitled to join the VFW so I'm not too concerned about your slight.
 
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MaggieD

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My children's elementary school held a small and touching Veteran's Day ceremony at school. Some of the students prepared speeches to read. One invited the veterans upfront and asked each questions about their service (such as how long they've been in, why they joined, and how they felt about their country).

Two of the Veterans were drafted several decades ago - and both made a point to bring this up and to emphasize that they "had no choice, they had to go"

One then explained that he was fortunate not to go and fight (war or mission unnamed) because he was injured during training.

Everyone else, however (my husband included) in that line *did* choose to go and several of the men took obvious offense to the attitude and response of these two veterans - openly emphasizing in their responses that they *chose* to go and would encourage others to do the same.

Overall: I think the entire tension (over the entire exchange) that ensued was inappropriate - we were at school in front of hundreds of children - PreK-4th grade. The tension might not have been sensed by most of hte students but my daughter DID notice- and I'm sure other kids did too.

But my thought on this, more so, was about the 'Veteran' who didn't actually deploy. . . technically - he's not a *Veteran* . . . nor was he proud of his training-service time, either. He was bitter and seemed to use the opportunity to point that out. . . Personally - I found that to be horribly offensive and highly inappropriate *in general* (not just referring to it being done so *at * the school-ceremony)

Your thoughts on his response and his attitude (because I'm sure his attitude isnt' *just* to him)

Well, I don't know why you wouldn't consider him a veteran. When we had the draft, the greater majority of young men didn't volunteer. And, frankly, they don't today either. Nor in your hubby's time. The greater majority of men don't volunteer. And there's certainly no shame in that. I'm hoping I misunderstood you.

If this guy was bitter, then he should have been weeded out and not allowed to present. If, however, he was more or less apologetic about his service, well, that I can understand. There are a lot of guys who felt "lesser" because they were drafted and didn't volunteer for their service. And even more guys who felt "lesser" because they weren't deployed.

I think what we had here, was a failure to communicate.
 

Sidgaf

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Aunt Spiker I can see where this guy is coming from. I served from Mar85 - Mar89 US Navy and because is was during peace time some people don't considered me a vet at all. Matter of fact I can't join the The American Legion.

Eligibility Requirements for American Legion Membership
If you are currently on active duty, serving the United States honorably, anywhere in the world, or have served honorably during any of the following eligible war eras, we invite you to become a member of The American Legion.

April 6, 1917 to Nov. 11, 1918 (World War I)
Dec. 7, 1941 to Dec. 31, 1946 (World War II)
June 25, 1950 to Jan. 31, 1955 (Korean War)
Feb. 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975 (Vietnam War)
Aug. 24, 1982 to July 31, 1984 (Lebanon / Grenada)
Dec. 20, 1989 to Jan. 31, 1990 (Panama)
Aug. 2, 1990 to today (Gulf War / War On Terrorism)
Join the Legion | The American Legion | Veterans Serving Veterans

Bitter on my time in the Navy, NO.
Bitter on how others see my time in service, sometimes yes.
 

samsmart

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My children's elementary school held a small and touching Veteran's Day ceremony at school. Some of the students prepared speeches to read. One invited the veterans upfront and asked each questions about their service (such as how long they've been in, why they joined, and how they felt about their country).

Two of the Veterans were drafted several decades ago - and both made a point to bring this up and to emphasize that they "had no choice, they had to go"

One then explained that he was fortunate not to go and fight (war or mission unnamed) because he was injured during training.

Everyone else, however (my husband included) in that line *did* choose to go and several of the men took obvious offense to the attitude and response of these two veterans - openly emphasizing in their responses that they *chose* to go and would encourage others to do the same.

Overall: I think the entire tension (over the entire exchange) that ensued was inappropriate - we were at school in front of hundreds of children - PreK-4th grade. The tension might not have been sensed by most of hte students but my daughter DID notice- and I'm sure other kids did too.

But my thought on this, more so, was about the 'Veteran' who didn't actually deploy. . . technically - he's not a *Veteran* . . . nor was he proud of his training-service time, either. He was bitter and seemed to use the opportunity to point that out. . . Personally - I found that to be horribly offensive and highly inappropriate *in general* (not just referring to it being done so *at * the school-ceremony)

Your thoughts on his response and his attitude (because I'm sure his attitude isnt' *just* to him)

I don't know if you're asking only veterans to respond about the draft or if you're asking for everyone's opinion regarding veterans and the draft.

Personally, I'm glad that those who were drafted pointed out that they were forced to do military service. After all, there were people who were drafted who did not want to go. To ignore those veteran draftees who didn't want to serve would be disingenuous to history and to the truth.

Also, those "reluctant veterans" aren't the first veterans to have been critical of their service or critical of the government they served. One notable instance was the Bonus Army of veterans who camped out in Washington D.C. to protest the government to pay them monies the government promised them.

Bonus Army - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And it has not only been enlisted veterans who have been critical of our government. Veterans who were officers in the Continental Army during American Revolutionary War actually plotted a military takeover of the Continental Congress and force the states to pay the pensions owed to them and the enlisted men that the Continental Congress promised to pay to drum up volunteers but then refused to pay off as the end of the Revolutionary War came nearer. They were stopped only when George Washington addressed them and urged them to show patience to Congress.

Newburgh Conspiracy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

But, I have to be honest with you, such criticisms of how our veterans have been treated throughout the existence of our nation, whether they be draftees or volunteers, reluctant or willing, don't offend me at all. Rather, they remind me how important we should treat those veterans after their service, no matter if they be draftees or volunteers, reluctant or willing.

So I'm not offended at all by the stance of those two reluctant veterans. I'm glad that they spoke their opinion truthfully. After all, why shouldn't they be honest about how they feel about their service, even if it is of a critical nature?

Actually, I'm rather more disturbed that the volunteer veterans would encourage elementary children to join the military. While I think children that young may understand civic duty and service to country, I don't know if they can really comprehend and understand the real violence of warfare that our brave men and women in the military must go through.

Note, I'm not against military recruitment, nor am I against veterans or those currently serving speaking at elementary schools. I just don't think that such recruitment at that young of an age is really a good idea.
 

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It doesn't really matter how you got there, its the quality of your service to the country that weighs your status as a veteran in my mind. No matter what way you got in, you had to make sacrifices. Nobody should feel ashamed that they were drafted. I can understand feeling angry about it, but if you had the fortitude to answer the call when your country asked it of you and didn't run away or look for a way out of it, then you are deserving of respect.
 

tacomancer

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My children's elementary school held a small and touching Veteran's Day ceremony at school. Some of the students prepared speeches to read. One invited the veterans upfront and asked each questions about their service (such as how long they've been in, why they joined, and how they felt about their country).

Two of the Veterans were drafted several decades ago - and both made a point to bring this up and to emphasize that they "had no choice, they had to go"

One then explained that he was fortunate not to go and fight (war or mission unnamed) because he was injured during training.

Everyone else, however (my husband included) in that line *did* choose to go and several of the men took obvious offense to the attitude and response of these two veterans - openly emphasizing in their responses that they *chose* to go and would encourage others to do the same.

Overall: I think the entire tension (over the entire exchange) that ensued was inappropriate - we were at school in front of hundreds of children - PreK-4th grade. The tension might not have been sensed by most of hte students but my daughter DID notice- and I'm sure other kids did too.

But my thought on this, more so, was about the 'Veteran' who didn't actually deploy. . . technically - he's not a *Veteran* . . . nor was he proud of his training-service time, either. He was bitter and seemed to use the opportunity to point that out. . . Personally - I found that to be horribly offensive and highly inappropriate *in general* (not just referring to it being done so *at * the school-ceremony)

Your thoughts on his response and his attitude (because I'm sure his attitude isnt' *just* to him)

They should be honored for their service regardless, whether they wanted to serve or not, the important part is that they did. However, I don't think we, as a society, should portray being in the military as some romantic thing, as we tend to, so the draftee was right in telling his perspective.
 

Aunt Spiker

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Aside the 'veteran status' - I don't mind the mixed opinions and feelings that come from draftees and service and so forth. I never mind a good discussion or conversation. I think my end (negative) view came from the fact that the whole back-and-forth happened during a school assembly.

It was really inappropriate, to say the least.

After the assembly all the veterans were invited for coffee and donuts - to talk about things - without students. The tension was so thick we didn't stay. It was very uncomfortable between everyone.
 

braindrain

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Well, I don't know why you wouldn't consider him a veteran. When we had the draft, the greater majority of young men didn't volunteer. And, frankly, they don't today either. Nor in your hubby's time. The greater majority of men don't volunteer. And there's certainly no shame in that. I'm hoping I misunderstood you.

If this guy was bitter, then he should have been weeded out and not allowed to present. If, however, he was more or less apologetic about his service, well, that I can understand. There are a lot of guys who felt "lesser" because they were drafted and didn't volunteer for their service. And even more guys who felt "lesser" because they weren't deployed.

I think what we had here, was a failure to communicate.

Maybe I am just not reading what you worte correctly but did you just say that even today that the majority of service members dont volunteer. Cause if that is what you really meant that you might want to do a little more looking into todays millitary.
 

WI Crippler

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Maybe I am just not reading what you worte correctly but did you just say that even today that the majority of service members dont volunteer. Cause if that is what you really meant that you might want to do a little more looking into todays millitary.

You are probably going to be told that its made up of poor dumb people that don't have a choice.
 

jamesrage

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Your thoughts on his response and his attitude (because I'm sure his attitude isnt' *just* to him)

I can understand his attitude a little bit.What if someone extorted you to work for them? Although considering the fact he was talking to little kids he should have toned it down a bit.

But my thought on this, more so, was about the 'Veteran' who didn't actually deploy. . . technically - he's not a *Veteran*

I always figured that there were veterans and combat veterans.

nor was he proud of his training-service time, either.

Would you be proud of something you were extorted to do? I joined the military out of my own free will and everybody that I personally know that's been in the military joined out of their own free will. So its easy for people like us to take pride in our military service. Those who joined because they were threatened with prison time might have various outlooks on the military. Some didn't mind joining if they were called to service while others may have resented it.

He was bitter and seemed to use the opportunity to point that out.

You still have to admire the draftees who did answer the call the duty while the dirty hippy scum fled to Canada or tried to use their celeb status to weasel out of military service(Mohamed Ali).
 
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molten_dragon

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I have more respect for a veteran who was drafted and chose to serve honorably anyway, even if they are resentful about it later, than I do for one who chose to join.

That's not to say I don't respect vets who chose to join up, but serving honorably even though you're being forced to do it is more worthy of respect in my opinion.
 

VanceMack

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My children's elementary school held a small and touching Veteran's Day ceremony at school. Some of the students prepared speeches to read. One invited the veterans upfront and asked each questions about their service (such as how long they've been in, why they joined, and how they felt about their country).

Two of the Veterans were drafted several decades ago - and both made a point to bring this up and to emphasize that they "had no choice, they had to go"

One then explained that he was fortunate not to go and fight (war or mission unnamed) because he was injured during training.

Everyone else, however (my husband included) in that line *did* choose to go and several of the men took obvious offense to the attitude and response of these two veterans - openly emphasizing in their responses that they *chose* to go and would encourage others to do the same.

Overall: I think the entire tension (over the entire exchange) that ensued was inappropriate - we were at school in front of hundreds of children - PreK-4th grade. The tension might not have been sensed by most of hte students but my daughter DID notice- and I'm sure other kids did too.

But my thought on this, more so, was about the 'Veteran' who didn't actually deploy. . . technically - he's not a *Veteran* . . . nor was he proud of his training-service time, either. He was bitter and seemed to use the opportunity to point that out. . . Personally - I found that to be horribly offensive and highly inappropriate *in general* (not just referring to it being done so *at * the school-ceremony)

Your thoughts on his response and his attitude (because I'm sure his attitude isnt' *just* to him)

Perhaps he wasnt bitter at anyone but himself. Perhaps he is experiencing survivors guilt. For all we have learned and experienced, the reality is you will never know how you respond until you go. While some didnt (and dont), MOST people that were drafted served honorably. Most people that volunteered served honorably. People that never went also served honorably. People that never served in the military but worked, paid taxes, and kept the country running served honorably. Cops (and firemen, and oil field workers, and convenience store clerks) daily serve honorably. Families served honorably.
 

TheGirlNextDoor

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It doesn't really matter how you got there, its the quality of your service to the country that weighs your status as a veteran in my mind. No matter what way you got in, you had to make sacrifices. Nobody should feel ashamed that they were drafted. I can understand feeling angry about it, but if you had the fortitude to answer the call when your country asked it of you and didn't run away or look for a way out of it, then you are deserving of respect.

Agreed.....
 

Aunt Spiker

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Interesting responses - definitely different views on the whole thing.
Thanks for the feedback.

I'm not actually bothered by the non-school portion of the issue, right now. So I think just the school-setting of it bothered me more.
 

TacticalEvilDan

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Overall: I think the entire tension (over the entire exchange) that ensued was inappropriate - we were at school in front of hundreds of children - PreK-4th grade. The tension might not have been sensed by most of hte students but my daughter DID notice- and I'm sure other kids did too.

But my thought on this, more so, was about the 'Veteran' who didn't actually deploy. . . technically - he's not a *Veteran* . . . nor was he proud of his training-service time, either. He was bitter and seemed to use the opportunity to point that out. . . Personally - I found that to be horribly offensive and highly inappropriate *in general* (not just referring to it being done so *at * the school-ceremony)

As far as I'm concerned, this is what you get when you invite adults who have been through something as intense and life-changing as military service to address a group of young children.

It doesn't sound like anybody got vulgar, or that any inappropriate behavior was exhibited. You asked questions, and by God you got answers.

If you don't like the answers, that your problem and not theirs.
 

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if you got hurt in training and then got out i'm not sure that you are a 'veteran' any more than somone who goes to college and then drops out 'has a degree'. agreed that that particular individual should have recognized the situation and - if he felt that way - kept his mouth shut. you're talking to kids for crying out loud.
 

justabubba

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if you got hurt in training and then got out i'm not sure that you are a 'veteran' any more than somone who goes to college and then drops out 'has a degree'. agreed that that particular individual should have recognized the situation and - if he felt that way - kept his mouth shut. you're talking to kids for crying out loud.

so, you think the (non-combat) VETERAN should have been more politically correct in front of that audience when trying to educate our youths about military service, and those who experienced it

why?
 

VanceMack

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so, you think the (non-combat) VETERAN should have been more politically correct in front of that audience when trying to educate our youths about military service, and those who experienced it

why?

If I am reading his response correctly it sounds like he had an axe to grind and maybe the more responsible behavior would have been to politely decline the invitation in the first place.
 

justabubba

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If I am reading his response correctly it sounds like he had an axe to grind and maybe the more responsible behavior would have been to politely decline the invitation in the first place.

then he should have anticipated this level of disagreement during the Q and A session. that's a novel, if unrealistic, position to take

if they do not want veterans weilding axes to grind then maybe invitations to participate should not be extended to them
 

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Maybe I am just not reading what you worte correctly but did you just say that even today that the majority of service members dont volunteer. Cause if that is what you really meant that you might want to do a little more looking into todays millitary.

I think she was saying that a majority of men today who could volunteer to serve in the military, don't. Not that the majority of those in the military are not volunteers. (And, yes, I know, and I'm pretty sure she knows, that everyone in the military today volunteered, although I did serve with a couple of guys on the carrier who were in on one of those military or jail deals who didn't feel that way, but even then, I figure, they had a choice and they were probably some of the last guys to get that deal, from what I have been told.)
 

Aunt Spiker

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then he should have anticipated this level of disagreement during the Q and A session. that's a novel, if unrealistic, position to take

if they do not want veterans weilding axes to grind then maybe invitations to participate should not be extended to them

Well I don't know, now. . .Was *his* words the tension-drawing component - or were the responses?

Maybe having a Veteran's day ceremony with a student-led Q and A is just a bad idea?
 

cpwill

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so, you think the (non-combat) VETERAN should have been more politically correct in front of that audience when trying to educate our youths about military service, and those who experienced it

why?

i don't think he was a 'veteran'. he didn't even make it out of training. i got hurt in Boot Camp - if I had been dropped from the service then I certainly would not have gone around claiming to be a Marine; and if i had, any Marine would have been justified in thumping me for it.

and yeah, i think when you're talking to kids, you don't get up there and bitch about how your life was soo-oo-oo tough you had to go to training but :whew: at least you got out of it while others went on and carried your burden.
 
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