“Thank you for your service” is a phrase commonly heard by many in the military. Yet, some combat veterans are uncomfortable when that gratitude is expressed – unless they perceive it as genuine. Here’s an explanation that I found on Military.com.
Lucas Johnson doesn’t want well-wishers thanking him for his military service in Afghanistan. The reason is that most people simply can’t understand what he’s been through in that war-torn, destitute land halfway around the world from Wisconsin.
But on a dreary, cloudy Friday morning at downtown Eau Claire’s Phoenix Park — just three days after he returned from a deployment with the U.S. Army’s bomb squad — someone approached Johnson with what he felt was a genuine thank-you.
“Thank you for protecting our country,” said a diminutive Flint Parisi, a 5-year-old kindergartner from Altoona. The two shook hands, and the battle-tested soldier showed Flint his Army helmet, which dwarfed the youngster’s small head.
“When a kid, a child, walks up to me and says, ‘Thank you for serving our country,’ I like that,” said Johnson, 25.
You can read the full article HERE.
My questions to all military members, veterans and their families:
- How do you want civilians to acknowledge your service?
- When is it appropriate to thank you and when is it not?
- What is the most memorable exchange you’ve had with a stranger?
- What comments have been hurtful or thoughtless?
My questions for civilians:
- How do you greet members of the military who are strangers?
- Do you avoid greeting military members because you don’t know what to say?
- Describe your most memorable interaction with a military member.
Add a comment below or send me a direct email at firstname.lastname@example.org.