Thank You For Your Service

“Almost half of U.S. veterans and active service members feel uncomfortable with being thanked for their service, a new survey has revealed…

…The poll found that instead of saying the simple thank you, most veterans and service members preferred gratitude that went beyond simple platitudes and that tried to connect with them on a more personal level.”

—Tareq Haddad, “Veterans ‘Uncomfortable’ With ‘Thank You for Your Service,’ Ask for More Civilian Support This Veterans Day.” Newsweek. November 9, 2019.

Deeply uncomfortable with, “Thank you for your service.” In my experience, it is said by people that generally don’t know what that service entails and have naive notions that the U.S. military is promoting “freedom” around the world and is maintaining it at home. “Thank you” is often a performance, where the individual is erased in the service of a national mythology. It’s best not to ask what was done and how it effected the people who did it and the folks on the receiving end because it might be horrible.

Exhibit A of the kinds of damage done by false praise mentioned this morning.