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How do I approach a soldier?

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posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 10:16 PM
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Plz put this in the right topic if its wrong, Admin. I see men and women in the military while I'm out from time to time. Today was at a walmart. I passed this woman dressed in camo and tried to say hi and thank you but she just kept walking. Her eyes never broke from looking straight forward. This isn't the 1st time I've had this experience and the people were alone at the time when I've witnessed this. I spent almost 20 yrs in skill care nursing. In some cases of elderly or paralysis, reading the persons eyes was necessary to know to the mood of the patient and try to understand what they want. I look at this woman's eyes and saw nothing but a blank expression. Like looking at a picture. Detached I guess. I know a few people that were in vietnam. I'm aware that most brought the war back with them through endless nightmares.
I really would like to know what the best way to convey to those in the military that are not family and friends we've always known but still family by association and service. Reading through stories of depression tells me there are a lot of theses kids that are seeing themselves alone or separated from society.
edit on 16-8-2012 by GoldenRuled because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 10:20 PM
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I would just say excuseme Sir or Maam and then say thank you for your service or whatever you want to say. Im not sure how often military folks get stopped and thanked and unsure if it annoys them but probablynot enough and I doubt it. Direct approach always works. Well usually works.



posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 10:26 PM
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reply to post by Domo1
 


That's my usual approach. But more often than not, they look right thru me as if they don't see me.
I don't think I'm unique in not wanting to hear apologies or condolences in situations such as a funeral. I want people to talk about anything but. i mean, I'm fully aware of my loss. I don't want people lined up to remind me about it. I'm curious if the thank you might set them thinking in similar discontent.



posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 10:40 PM
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reply to post by GoldenRuled
 

I hesitantly say this...

Active duty from any conflict or theatre are not too happy right now with the entire situation. The last thing they want is to be stopped and blabbed to from us civvies. I know that sounds curt, but really they don't need you using them as your sounding board for your guilt about it. They don't know you from adam. Their world is so far separated from ours right now, its hard for them to convert or switch suddenly from military to civility and muster for you. They get enough of that in their units. When they come out on leave or furlough, they really want to unwind and not have to answer a bunch of damn fool questions about how is it, how do you feel, where are you stationed, etc.

Don't take it personal, just let them be. If they ask you something thats different. If you really want to help, there are buku opportunities at local veterans administrations where you can connect with people that really need help.

Difficult mission. Leave active duty alone. They are busy. Say hi or buy em a beer and keep quiet.

Am I wrong? Tell me. I am not a vet. I just got this from listening and meeting a lot of Vietnam vets. They appreciate the words, "Welcome home."



posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 10:44 PM
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Put a red checkered garment over your head. Then when he looks at you, put your hand over your mouth and go Aw Aw Aw Aw Aw Aw, like and Indian. It should get his attention.



posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 10:45 PM
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Originally posted by Domo1
I would just say excuseme Sir or Maam and then say thank you for your service or whatever you want to say. Im not sure how often military folks get stopped and thanked and unsure if it annoys them but probablynot enough and I doubt it. Direct approach always works. Well usually works.


lol domo
wonderful advice,
maybe OP should kiss the ground they walk too?


the op should approach military personnell just like one should approach any other human being
as an equal


edit on 16-8-2012 by DerepentLEstranger because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 10:50 PM
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Light up a fire-cracker and throw it on the ground behind them.

That'll get their attention.

On a serious note though, I think many of the returned vets would be suffering from some form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.


edit on 16-8-2012 by Pedro4077 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 10:53 PM
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reply to post by GoldenRuled
 

Friend, this is easy as pie. Walk right up and say Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Vets who wear an identifying cap.....
and just stick out your hand and say something like, Thank you for your service, solder/sailor, always address them my the branch of service they served in. I have been doing this ever since the 'Nam.



posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 11:00 PM
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reply to post by Jodlum66
 


Ignorant and insulting......

Did they not teach you anything in Kindergarten young one?



posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 11:06 PM
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My son is a Veteran of the War on Iraq. I can answer this! They don't see themselves as heroes, or understand why so many people wish to step forward and thank them. In their minds, they were only performing the job they were trained to do. He found it very awkward when people confronted him with words of thanks, and was unsure how to reply. He did not feel deserving of praise, so "you're welcome" felt wrong. But at the same time, he appreciated it. Get the soldiers attention so they know you are addressing them. Thank them anyway. They need to hear it. They have been through hell. Then go thank a Vietnam Vet. They are long overdue.



posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 11:10 PM
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Just say hey how are you, like you'd say to anyone else, if they don't reply, they probably got a million other things on their mind, so don't take offense



posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 11:17 PM
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First, Huah,.....

Second, Life sucks, vets know that more than most.

Third, If you run into a vet on a shopping trip, stand back, they are on a mission and if they are anything like me, 'I hate shopping, I want in and out with my target'

Fourth, They are probably cool, they just want to get the stuff, because Maj Snuffy or Pvt Joe have a kegger in thirty.

Fifth, they are in uniform, guys they just got off work, does anyone look 'happy' the minute they get off.....soldier probably got commands from the house commander, and 'Oh Joy, have to stop and pick up spam and diapers'....

Sixth, 'Thank you for your service'.....Gang, I and every other vet appreciate your thoughts, but you know, it gets old, we understand, but a lot of us didn't do it for you, we did it for those that went before that gave us our freedoms and for those that can't. This isn't meant to be crass, but i had a banker do that to me the other day, and i honestly thought, right, you went to harvard, worn a suit everyday to milk Americans of the money, while I bleed.....shallow words. If Americans want to support their vets, support them were it matters, with a vote, with a letter to a congressman, with a helping hand. That soldier you run into in walmart in camo, they are just fine...I promise.

Last, that 100 yard stare, soldiers pick that up quickly, whether in basic, AIT, OBC, SPLC, Ranger or anything else......it is our way of running thoughts to conclusion. A soldier or officer is trained as a leader and follower....there are times we give the orders or receive them.....we must intake everything, but can't always process it fully, so we take initially what we need, and save the rest. On down time is when we back track and process that which is stored. It isn't a bad thing, it is what is required.

Huah, Ours is not to question why, only to do and die.
edit on 16-8-2012 by pointr97 because: (no reason given)

edit on 16-8-2012 by pointr97 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 11:23 PM
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reply to post by GoldenRuled
 


Op we aren't trying to be rude man, a lot of us just aren't very proud of some of the things we havve had to do, and so when you thank us, we don't want to be rude and say " thank me for what?" So we just try to go handle our business and return to the "cumfort zone" of our lives.

Having said that, a lot of me reutrning battle buddies do get tired of being stopped every other step so every person we meet can ask us the same questions we would rather not talk about.

Also a lot these troops have just returned home from their 2nd or 3rd deployment and really just want to grab a beer or some ice cream and go home to spend time with friends and family that they don't get a lot of time with, and having to stop and talk to everyone in walmart takes hours we feel are better spent with our neglected families.

Or just like everyone else, they just want some space somtimes, as soldiers have bad days also.

Lastly, many mikght legitimatley not hear you, as weapons are very loud, I for one have a degenerative hearing disorder from being in the artillery for 6 years, and as such actually don't hear you. It is frustrating at times.

What ever the case, I assue you, most did hear you, and rather respond or not, they really appreciate it when those they protect show them appreciation. Just keep trying, most of us will stop and say at least of few words to you for supporting their battle buddies who are still in country, doing the job the ..gov told them needed doing.

In short, just talk to them like everybody else, they are just like you, they just have a ery demanding job that doesn't really pay well compared to the sacrifice they are expected to make.



posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 11:28 PM
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reply to post by inverslyproportional
 


with you on that.......99.9%.....been out for a while, and the Tinnitus puts the sanity on the line and drove the ex-wife nuts.....I would tell every kid, be good to your ears, they can't handle a ton of damage.



posted on Aug, 16 2012 @ 11:41 PM
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reply to post by inverslyproportional
 
Last time I flew a commercial flight, there were a number of soldiers on. The stewardess was seated behind us and asked if she should acknowledge the soldiers, she wasn't sure if she should. We, of course, said yes.

The whole cabin clapped and a number of people offered to buy the service=persons drinks.

I am a very private person, but I hope the enlisted people appreciated this.



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 12:19 AM
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Originally posted by Happy1
reply to post by inverslyproportional
 
Last time I flew a commercial flight, there were a number of soldiers on. The stewardess was seated behind us and asked if she should acknowledge the soldiers, she wasn't sure if she should. We, of course, said yes.

The whole cabin clapped and a number of people offered to buy the service=persons drinks.

I am a very private person, but I hope the enlisted people appreciated this.



that is a tad different than the scenarios that we are speaking of that, is group on group.....and i applaud you for the gesture.



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 11:45 AM
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I have learned and appreciate from majority of people on this thread. Thank you, especially pointr97. The rest look as if they could use a hand upside the head.
I do understand the point of wanting to be left alone. Been there myself but not for the reasons of the military.
edit on 17-8-2012 by GoldenRuled because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 02:14 PM
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Originally posted by coven83
reply to post by Jodlum66
 


Ignorant and insulting......

Did they not teach you anything in Kindergarten young one?


better than the firecracker


i would never do such a thing



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 08:07 PM
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reply to post by coven83
 


I was just joking, you speak to them just as you would another person. Maybe give them a little more respect because they are risking their life in fake wars. I was part of the military at one time. I also have friends from the middle east. We are all humans but our govt. wages wars for no particular reason. My comment was very rude, but in my defense I was in a bad mood. And I hope no one would take my remark seriously. My Saudi friends are awesome, I miss them.



posted on Aug, 17 2012 @ 08:27 PM
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I'm not a vet myself. But, I buried one this week. My dad. D-day, Omaha Beach, 1st Wave. He was one of the few left from that day.

So, there are a few vets that I've known rather well over the years. Just a few suggestions of what us civilians can do..

If you have vet in your neighborhood. Be a good neighbor. Say "Hi". See if they need help with anything. Invite them over. Have a beer with them. Be a friend.

Volunteer. The needs are many and the workers are so few...

VA Voluntary Service

Coalition for Iraq + Afgan Vets, Volunteer Opportunities

United We Serve

milserve.org...

DAV - Vol Opportunities

You want to thank a vet? Give the gift of your time to help them.

Carry on.







 
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