No “Thanks”, Please, Just KEEP Promises Made


11/11/2014 by syrbal-labrys

1benefitsI don’t get out much.  Part of that is intentional.  But I do go out on errands, and often now with my youngest son, the returned Afghan war veteran.  All of us here are veterans.  All of us have been “thanked” for our service.  Not to sound ungrateful, but I have a rant about that, ok?  Even if it isn’t ok, really.  Some folks DO mean it sincerely and I take those thanks as they come; but a lot of folks are just mouthing the current platitude and it pisses me the fuck OFF.

What the fuck does it mean, really, to “thank” us?

Does it repair the busted bodies?  Does it banish the PTSD?  Does it mend broken marriages and bring suicides back to life? Does it house the homeless veterans?  Does it find jobs for my two disabled veteran sons?  No, it fucking doesn’t.

I’m kind of glad I am not the only one annoyed at being offered “thanks” as if that is actually something real.  The only time I actually responded to a “thanks for your service” with more than a nod and fast turn-away, it turned kind of ugly.  I said to my thanker, “Well, you know, none of us did it for thanks.  We did it for a job, for each other, and for promises made by the government. We wanted a future, an education, medical care, a home loan, and such. We’d all just like promises made to us KEPT.”

Well, thanks got turned on its head then.  I got lectured about my “expectations of free hand outs.”  I got told I was lucky to not be spit upon like Viet Nam vets.  Wow.  Yeah, being a Viet Nam Era veteran, that one really pissed me off.  So we veterans, many of us who joined because there WERE no jobs in the civilian world, should just be happy to not be spit upon for doing our nations too often dirty work?  Work that military folks are ordered to do by civilians  — Congress-critters and Presidents?

How about that, veterans ARE the new scapegoats for society?  They put their bodies and minds at risk for a paycheck and to work for the government and now get told they should be grateful to be merely thanked?  It actually reminds me of my experiences as a woman, as a rape survivor — being told I should be grateful I wasn’t “hurt” — “no, honey, REALLY hurt, like killed.”  I should be glad I didn’t get pregnant or diseased.  I should stop bitching about what trauma was like and just be glad it wasn’t worse.  THAT is what I feel when I hear my husband or sons (or myself) being “thanked” — as if it fixes what ALL of us gave up, lost, or had taken from us by our service. As if I should just be glad to be inconveniently alive and shut the fuck up about any neediness resultant from trauma in service. And women vets? Oh, all us bitches need to stop crying about rape, btw — that shit is our fault for having the “equipment”, after all.

None of us should expect medical care that does something real, or jobs, or security for our families even is we were broken in service.  Being “thanked” should make us happy?  Cause, right, we are all just Uncle Sam’s “bitches” and ought to stay in our “place”.  Somehow, you know, as ungrateful and bitchy as this makes me?  That just fucking isn’t working for me.


9 thoughts on “No “Thanks”, Please, Just KEEP Promises Made

  1. DM says:

    I agree. All this BS about thank you. It’s lip service to make those who haven’t risked life and limb feel better. It’s a crime what we do to those who’ve served, who signed up to have a career and/or to work and support themselves and their family. Promises were made and should be kept as in any other job. The risks involved should be rewarded, too, as in any other high-risk job.

  2. mary jane s. says:

    My brother in law is a veteran of Vietnam and he still has ptsd badly, yet he has worked 31 and 1/2 years for an umbrella factory..He got his ptsd upgraded to 70 now 80 percent and gets a lot of benefits denied to him for 35 years, he only got 3 months in arrears for all the years he was screwed out of a monthly benefit..He never complained but his entire life he had to pay for psychiatric help and pay up the wahoo for medications he needed daily just to function. It affected him so much he married the wrong type lady and had 3 kids she abused, they were taken from him and adopted by a family thousands of miles where he was living, he had a total breakdown tried to kill himself that did not work, ended up living with a lovely lady with MD and she died after together for 25 years..He was devastated had to get lots of help but his job kept him from trying any bullshit and our help and love, we had never heard from him for over 25 years then his wife common law passed and he went nuts..It is truly shameful he never got what he needed and paid for what he could and suffered a lot. .I would love to see a congressman or woman or senator man and or woman have to live the way he did, now he gets the money and the help he truly needs, he is however alone and it is hard for him to meet anyone, he has flashbacks all the time, the meds help we take him to square dancing and nice places, he recently met a nice lady who is kind and gentle, she had a beast of an ex-husband and appreciates a good and loving human being, I say the heaven and hell is here don’t worry about passing away to those places we got it here and everyday in my opinion is a holiday!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. M Davis says:

    Dude, thanks for writing that! My VN vet hubby has watched his EARNED benefits shrink over the years to little more than nothing, so there is that. And when we got together one of the first agreements we made was he would never have to go to the VA hospital alone in case they want to thin down the rolls. Is it PTSD paranoia? Hmm… He has also had people bitch at his complaints, him just wanting the benefits he was promised. I always thought that unilateral changes to a contract amounted to fraud, but others seem to think such changes are part of a grand bargain with people who have nothing to lose from the changes.
    To have a really meaningful Veteran’s Day I would like to see our government redefine what is a necessary war, down to conflicts that matter to our people and F* the corporations. For a start.
    (ps – I know you are a female dude, just go with it.)

  4. […] a veteran, Herlander Walking gets thanked a lot, and tells us why she doesn’t like […]

  5. Blakenator says:

    I agree with everything you say. I would add, though, if the part about “free handouts” comes up around me, I will probably lose it. If one of these ignorant SOB’s can’t understand the concept of “contracts” I will be sure to explain it to him.

  6. Mike Robbins says:

    As a Viet Nam vet, it has become my practice to tell those I think are just blowing smoke to make themselves feel better that you are 35 years too late. Then add if you really want to do something take care of the kids coming back now. If I think they are a real creep, it is usually a curt piss off.

    My real rant is those my age who didn’t go because they wouldn’t enlist or got some kind of deferment that say I wish I had gone. Usually brings on a long rant about how there were plenty of openings and all you had to do was volunteer. To get to the real point I understand how you feel, and you are right.

  7. Big Bad Bald Bastard says:

    Well, thanks got turned on its head then. I got lectured about my “expectations of free hand outs.” I got told I was lucky to not be spit upon like Viet Nam vets. Wow. Yeah, being a Viet Nam Era veteran, that one really pissed me off.

    Bet that asshole still has a goddamn magnet on his SUV.

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The name of this blog, and my Dreamwidth blog, Herlander Refugee, is taken from a 1915 feminist novel "Herland". It makes my heart sing that modern women are experimenting with creation of a new "Herland"! Yes, comments are closed. Anyone who just MUST reach me can do so at syrbal6 at gmail dot com.

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