Saying "Thank You for Your Service"

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Slab

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Interested to hear general thoughts and I'm aware we've forum members who've served/are serving in the armed forces
  • As per thread title, is it just an American thing (if so should it remain like that)
  • If it already happens in the UK what is your opinion of it (& is that opinion based on being someone who has served or not)
  • And whether you've served or not would/do you actually want to be approached by others who are only doing so in order to offer their thanks?
  • Have you witnessed it as a 3rd party and if so did you then do/say anything yourself?

I should say that I was thinking of anytime of the year rather then concentrated round Remembrance events
 

Neilds

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I was in America this year and had it said to me a couple of times, even when just stood in the street waiting for transport. I felt proud and was not at all embarrassed by the comment, it felt good to be appreciated.
Do I think it would happen in this country, not really as our mentality is different and people are less inclined to speak to strangers - and also there are those who think the Armed Forces sole purpose is to run around killing people and not to keep the country safe
 

Liverpoolphil

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Interested to hear general thoughts and I'm aware we've forum members who've served/are serving in the armed forces
  • As per thread title, is it just an American thing (if so should it remain like that)
  • If it already happens in the UK what is your opinion of it (& is that opinion based on being someone who has served or not)
  • And whether you've served or not would/do you actually want to be approached by others who are only doing so in order to offer their thanks?
  • Have you witnessed it as a 3rd party and if so did you then do/say anything yourself?

I should say that I was thinking of anytime of the year rather then concentrated round Remembrance events
1. It’s mainly a US thing but you still do get people mainly older generation will say thank you in the UK

2. It happens a bit more since the military guys were allowed to start wearing the uniform in public But not the gushing overtones you get in the US

3. Don’t want or need to be thanked , we know some people appreciate the work being done even if some dont - the UK hold a Armed Forces Day and it’s always a good day

4. Unfortunately people are unable to seperate the choices of the government to the actions of the military - people will still blame the military for Iraq and NI etc when it was down to governments at the time , the guys were in the main just following orders as they are trained to do so - and I have seen guys in uniform being called “murderers” “scum” etc etc


At the end of the day people in the UK forces don’t want thanks and they know that a good percentage of people appreciate their work - it’s a shame though there is a growing population who don’t and will point fingers. As I always say - those guys allow you to point fingers in peace and safety , maybe just keep the fingers down and silently appreciate
 

Tashyboy

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Joined the Royal British legion a couple of years ago, never served but at the time Bro in law was chairman of the local branch. I went to the first summer ball and was " hooked". I had spare time through retirement and some of that time is now spent helping to fund raise etc for the RBL.
RE Ops questions, I think the whole American and UK forces mentality is differant. I went on a cruise a few years ago up the Baltic. Half of the ships passengers ( American) stayed on after the transatlantic crossing. A lot of American Veterans kinda advertise who/ what they fought in via baseball caps and polo shirts. One of the best I saw screaming eagles I think it was called. Anyway to that end you know they then fought in the services. And they get approached regularly and thanked. The guys that I know in the branch advertise there service history through tattoos, which tends to be covered up. In fact the last RBL mag had a good write up re service persons tattoos.
It's not just a UK/ USA service persons attitude that is differant from what I have seen. In America, even at airports. The serving and ex serving personal are given discount, priority and preference. In essence they are encouraged to show that they have served and are proud to do so. I think the whole public attitude towards American forces is differant to that of the U.K.
I am in no way saying that the attitude of the UKs Joe public towards the UK service personal is wrong, far from it. The recent poppy collection proves that. It's just that it is differant to that of the USA.
 

SocketRocket

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But not the gushing overtones you get in the US

4. Unfortunately people are unable to seperate the choices of the government to the actions of the military - people will still blame the military for Iraq and NI etc when it was down to governments at the time , the guys were in the main just following orders as they are trained to do so - and I have seen guys in uniform being called “murderers” “scum” etc etc


At the end of the day people in the UK forces don’t want thanks and they know that a good percentage of people appreciate their work - it’s a shame though there is a growing population who don’t and will point fingers. As I always say - those guys allow you to point fingers in peace and safety , maybe just keep the fingers down and silently appreciate
Americans tend to be proud of their Country and proud of their Veterans. Cant see how that can be described as 'Gushing Overtones'

Most people can and do separate the choices of Government from the actions of the Military, IMO its just a small minority who cannot.

Do you see a lot of finger pointing towards Service Personnel? There probably has always been some but I haven't noticed it myself.
 
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Interested to hear general thoughts and I'm aware we've forum members who've served/are serving in the armed forces
  • As per thread title, is it just an American thing (if so should it remain like that)
  • If it already happens in the UK what is your opinion of it (& is that opinion based on being someone who has served or not)
  • And whether you've served or not would/do you actually want to be approached by others who are only doing so in order to offer their thanks?
  • Have you witnessed it as a 3rd party and if so did you then do/say anything yourself?

I should say that I was thinking of anytime of the year rather then concentrated round Remembrance events
My impression is that it's very much an American thing. Having been to America this year (at sporting events) they seem to have an obsession with their military. At almost every sporting event some military veteran is wheeled out and given a standing ovation.
No harm to people who say it. Personally don't see it as something I would every feel the need to say, and given the American nature and the way it is almost trotted out so often the words have lost any significant meaning... I would only every say it in a joke context, putting on a fake American accent.

On the wider point - America do seem to have an obsession with the military and that anyone who serves is protecting the country etc. No harm to the people serving, but unfortunately with regards to American (& UK to a similar extent) the military forces have been getting utilised to exert power in other parts of the world far more than they have been protecting our shores or our people. Hence I very much don't get the fascination or obsession with the military.

Obviously right to make the distinction between the people who serve and the people who make the decision as to how they are deployed but only fair to say that a lot of conflicts have left a very sour taste in the mouths of many... and of course ended a lot of young lives and ruined many more.
 

SocketRocket

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Joined the Royal British legion a couple of years ago, never served but at the time Bro in law was chairman of the local branch. I went to the first summer ball and was " hooked". I had spare time through retirement and some of that time is now spent helping to fund raise etc for the RBL.
RE Ops questions, I think the whole American and UK forces mentality is differant. I went on a cruise a few years ago up the Baltic. Half of the ships passengers ( American) stayed on after the transatlantic crossing. A lot of American Veterans kinda advertise who/ what they fought in via baseball caps and polo shirts. One of the best I saw screaming eagles I think it was called. Anyway to that end you know they then fought in the services. And they get approached regularly and thanked. The guys that I know in the branch advertise there service history through tattoos, which tends to be covered up. In fact the last RBL mag had a good write up re service persons tattoos.
It's not just a UK/ USA service persons attitude that is differant from what I have seen. In America, even at airports. The serving and ex serving personal are given discount, priority and preference. In essence they are encouraged to show that they have served and are proud to do so. I think the whole public attitude towards American forces is differant to that of the U.K.
I am in no way saying that the attitude of the UKs Joe public towards the UK service personal is wrong, far from it. The recent poppy collection proves that. It's just that it is differant to that of the USA.
My Sons Father in Law (Sadly now Dead) was a veteran of the Korean war. He had free medial treatment and a good pension, I've attended their Veterans Day parade and its a really good event.
 
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I have a lot of involvement with American sports and the respect they show for serving and retired servicemen and women is totally genuine. I have seen top NFL officials randomly see military people in the stands and invite them down to the field pre-game. Players nearly always gravitate to them too to speak to them and show their appreciation. This is why Colin Kaepernick's actions were so reviled across the country.

I have respect for anyone in uniform even here in the UK and should the opportunity arise, will thank them for what they do. It is a small gesture, not done by many but always appreciated.
 

Lazkir

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I think part of it might be a reaction to the way Vietnam vets were treated when they got home. They were ostracized and scorned for their part in that war. I know a lot of Americans are very ashamed of the way their troops were treated back then.
There was always a big difference between the class of 45 and the class of 75.
Maybe this is going some way to try and make up for it?

We do appreciate our troops over here, but in a very different and 'British' way. I've seen it myself at funerals, the turnout by the public is respectful and dignified, but it is there!
 

Colonel Bogey

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My impression is that it's very much an American thing. Having been to America this year (at sporting events) they seem to have an obsession with their military. At almost every sporting event some military veteran is wheeled out and given a standing ovation.
No harm to people who say it. Personally don't see it as something I would every feel the need to say, and given the American nature and the way it is almost trotted out so often the words have lost any significant meaning... I would only every say it in a joke context, putting on a fake American accent.

On the wider point - America do seem to have an obsession with the military and that anyone who serves is protecting the country etc. No harm to the people serving, but unfortunately with regards to American (& UK to a similar extent) the military forces have been getting utilised to exert power in other parts of the world far more than they have been protecting our shores or our people. Hence I very much don't get the fascination or obsession with the military.

Obviously right to make the distinction between the people who serve and the people who make the decision as to how they are deployed but only fair to say that a lot of conflicts have left a very sour taste in the mouths of many... and of course ended a lot of young lives and ruined many more.
:eek::eek::eek:
 

Colonel Bogey

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We should follow USA in their appreciation of our military personnel. Not many jobs out there where your life is on the line. If you think differently to this idea, I suggest to sign up and see how it feels to be called upon to be shot at.

PS I have never served, and hopefully will never have to, but my God do I thank every man and woman who puts their life on the line so I can live safely.
 

Bunkermagnet

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I fully appreciate what our military do and have done. However if we are comparing us with the Americans, I would suggest it’s probably a lot easier for some to be so obvious in their appreciation when they don’t have very recent conflicts with very near neighbours and even still on going to some degree. I can imagine there are many of us who have Irish friends but we don’t engage in political dialogue over the troubles for fear of creating an arguement or issue.
 

Wolf

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Interested to hear general thoughts and I'm aware we've forum members who've served/are serving in the armed forces
  • As per thread title, is it just an American thing (if so should it remain like that)
  • If it already happens in the UK what is your opinion of it (& is that opinion based on being someone who has served or not)
  • And whether you've served or not would/do you actually want to be approached by others who are only doing so in order to offer their thanks?
  • Have you witnessed it as a 3rd party and if so did you then do/say anything yourself?

I should say that I was thinking of anytime of the year rather then concentrated round Remembrance events
Not really possible to give a short reply but answer your points in order.

  • The way in which the thanks are given at pretty much every sports event, or daily in the street is very much an American thing, as is the way that even when wearing civvies they'll often have something be it a hat, pin badge etc showing their militarily service whether t that be current or past. But they're proud of their nation and service personnel so fair play if they feel that's how they want to express it.
  • it is done in the UK but in a different way, we have rembrance day, Armed forces day & other events that are done tastefully and celebrating what our service personnel do for us. We don't need to do it each and everyday in the street or at sporting gatherings to feel appreciated.
  • I've never been approached in the street or randomly & thanked, but I have been part of parades that have drawn people in their droves out in support to watch us, clap as we marched by showing support. Likewise my only experience of a public thanks was from my FiL during part of his speech at our wedding, it made me smile but also made me feel a little awkward as I don't expect thanks for my past service and prefer those that have given their lives to receive the real praise for their sacrifice which imo is what most servicemen or women will probably prefer. But if someone is kind enough to go out of their way with a heartfelt thanks, I'd merely shake their hand and thank them in return for their kind words.
In summary I think it's just a different culture we have here we do it our way and they do it theirs neither is right or wrong just different.
 

Colonel Bogey

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No right or wrong, but one is certainly BETTER than the other. We've been to the USA three times and both of us are very impressed with how the USA treats and respects their military service personnel. I would like to see the UK do the same.
 

Kellfire

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It’s utterly cringeworthy in my opinion.

And there ends my involvement in this thread. No point getting into an endless cycle of arguing, eh? :)
 

Wolf

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No right or wrong, but one is certainly BETTER than the other. We've been to the USA three times and both of us are very impressed with how the USA treats and respects their military service personnel. I would like to see the UK do the same.
That's only a matter of opinion though. You think their way is better but that doesn't make it a fact that its better only in your opinion.

Saying thankyou to someone publicly at every opportunity doesn't make make it necessarily better to everyone. I've known many people that don't want thanks for their service or expect it, I've also known people that are scared from their service that they don't wish to acknowledge it at all so thanking them at every opportunity can make it worse for them.

What we have in place to respect our forces personell is already a good way of doing things, the only way it can get better is to offer better support for serving personnel with equipment, living arrangements, adequate pay structures, better help when resettlement into civvy life occurs with assistance finding homes, jobs and medical treatment where required. All of those things are how we can better help show our thanks and mean a lot more to those individuals than a fanfare at a ball game or public display of appreciation. Get those things right and yes then there is a Better way.

By all means if you wish thank people it won't go unappreciated generally speaking but there are many other ways to show appreciation that will be better for the people that have served.
 

Liverpoolphil

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No right or wrong, but one is certainly BETTER than the other. We've been to the USA three times and both of us are very impressed with how the USA treats and respects their military service personnel. I would like to see the UK do the same.
I don’t see it better and certainly wouldn’t like to see what they do in the US over here , our forces are a bit more understated , do the job quietly , not looking for over gushing off support etc.

The people who treated me with respect because of my service are the only ones that matter - maybe we are far more humble as a military ( and far better of course )
 
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