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“Thank you for your service” isn’t enough [excerpt]

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On this Veterans Day, we honor those fallen and herald those still fighting. We also examine what more can be done in terms of listening and understanding those who have seen the perils of war firsthand. In this excerpt from AfterWar: Healing the Moral Wounds of our Soldiers, author Nancy Sherman shares with us her time spent with a veteran of Afghanistan and his feelings on those who expect so much from soldiers and can only offer thanks in return. At a civilian-veteran gathering in Washington D.C. in early summer of 2012, a young vet came forward, turned to a civilian he hadn’t met before, and said: “Don’t just tell me ‘Thank you for your service.’ First say, ‘Please.’” The remark was polemical and just what was meant was vague. But the resentment expressed was unmistakable. You couldn’t be a civilian in that room and not feel the sting. The remark broke the ice and the dialogue began. I brought a Marine vet with me that evening who had just finished his freshman year at Georgetown.. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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