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How many get questioned about being in the military?

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Old 09-30-2013, 06:39 AM   #1
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How many get questioned about being in the military?

I ask because this past weekend I wore my "Retired Marine" hat to the state fair (Virginia) and had a bunch of nods and hand shakes, but also a fella who asked when I retired (3 yrs ago), how many years I served (20), and what unit I was with (last command)? Now, the what unit I served with question is retarded since you don't serve with any one unit for the entire time...lol, which he asked (the entire time?) duh!!. But, I guess I wasn't prepared for anyone questioning my service. 20 and done I say! On the other hand, I do hear about people who fake being in service and stuff for whatever reason and I do happen to look really young I guess.
So, who else has come upon this? Would you question someones service?

Just so you know, the pentagon has a great collection of b&w photos of MOH recipients and many look like everything under the sun.
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Old 09-30-2013, 06:52 AM   #2
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My father was in the marine corp, vietnam vet, 2 PH recipient. Sometimes when we are out he wears his purple heart hat and he get a lot of hand shakes and thank you's. But never the 2nd degree about his career in details. I think often times it may be other veterns looking for people who have been or were stationed in the same spot or did a tour somewhere in the same area.
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:06 AM   #3
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I too was in the Marine Corp, 9 1/2 years. I am 30 now and look like I am 22, so I get people guessing all the time if I am giving the correct years. Though they all figure I must be a Marine because I "look it" they say. I think those who are not ask because it was something they have wanted to do, but never did for whatever reason. Which means that they are living in regrett. This is usually what our conversations end up being their answer. I hate the questions about what unit and where I was stationed by someone who was not in... pointless, but hey, I entertain. I am sooo glad I made my move and never sat around, I hear too too many regretts from people.
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:13 AM   #4
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I do get asked a lot when I wear my Marine ball-cap. I think to a lot of people a Marine is still someone who is looked at with a slight sense of awe for someone who has never served. So I take all their questions as just a means of filling their curiosity. I have had some strange questions, but the most common was if I had ever seen combat. I always answer the same: "I was never provided that honour while I served." After that many tend to ask if I was upset that I never got the chance to fight. I tell them I did fight. I fought long and hard to make sure that the equipment that I serviced and repaired was in perfect working condition, so that the men and women who DID see combat would know that it would work. Sometimes people think the "behind the lines" jobs are menial, or for sub-par Marines. I always tell them that without us mechanics, the tanks would never make it to the front lines, nor would they fire. Without the cooks, the men would starve, and without the mail, men and women would loose faith. All jobs in the Corps are important.
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:56 AM   #5
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Absolutely correct Bama! It always makes me laugh when I see commercials or posters of Navy Seals for the Navy when the percentage of operators are so small. Or, when everyone thinks the Air Force all flies! Hello....it takes a tremendous amount of ground support to keep the birds flying.
Anyway, I guess I just wasn't in the mindset of being questioned since I've always lived that life and have been so proud as many of you have no matter what service. Later on that day I stood around eating a funnel cake with a Vietnam Vet who I shook hands with and thanked...and then a Navy vet walked over to say hi....it was pretty cool because we were easily 3 generations of service members who automatically had an instant connection regardless of our age difference or even service.
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Old 09-30-2013, 09:46 AM   #6
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I do understand your point on it all, with the tons of questions. For me I just treat it as natural curiosity and I do my best to talk to them and answer any questions. Some people I have talked to I ended up finding out that they had a relative who was serving, or had died while serving, and to me it helped them a little bit with dealing with the issues they have had. Maybe I am totally wrong with what I am thinking, because it is an assumption, but it is my assumption to believe in. lmao. SEMPER FI MARINES!
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:47 PM   #7
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Sometimes when I wear my Coast Guard Retired hat I get the old "what's that"? Other times I end up getting a 10% military discount.
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Old 09-30-2013, 08:00 PM   #8
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I've received "thank you's" and hand shakes here and there. I always respond with "no need to thank me, it's what I want to do." I've been in the AF for 7 years now and I'm a F-16 mechanic. I love it and I don't think I could ever work a desk job after working in such a fast paced environment for so long now. When I go on leave I usually have a mohawk and grow my beard out and if I wear a military related shirt out to the gym or somewhere I've had people ask if I was special forces, as much as I would like to be a badass and say yes I tell them no and that I'm an F-16 mechanic. I've also had people (usually the younger crowd getting ready to join or who just got out of basic) call me fake because of all my exposed tattoos. When I joined you could have tattoos waived, but now they're really strict on them. In the end though I wouldn't trade my last 7 years in the AF for anything. It has taught me so much. I'm almost 30 years old and have 7 years in and still have a lot left to learn. We are all here for the same thing, to support the mission and carry it out. A while ago I got the chance to talk to a few PJ's and they mentioned the awesome feeling they get when a jet is inbound, they basically just sit back and watch as "shit gets fucked up" lol. It was a great feeling and still is knowing that what I do is what puts these jets in air.
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:43 AM   #9
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Yeah! I try to get the military discount everywhere...it's awesome! The Coast Guard gets a lot of respect by my department because of the enormity of their mission. It's all in understanding. Thanks!
As I said earlier....it's the ground crew that keeps the birds flying. For every hour it's up there....you know there are plenty of hours of maintenance. Keep up the great job. Any "boot" (as the jarheads like to call them) that thinks your faking the front should get a "boot" up their ass for even thinking they know more than you.
I forgot to mention, when I get asked about my service....I don't question the motive usually....but it was just kind of weird this guy did it standing 30 ft away in front of a bunch of people and nothing more than question.
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:27 AM   #10
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30ft away in a crowd is a little weird. With the way things are these days it's hard to question what their motive is for asking. I almost feel like at times that if someone asks I now have to worry about whether they're going to be appreciative of my service or start questioning it and give me the third degree, ya know. Either way I'm gonna keep doing what I love.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiend13 View Post
I've received "thank you's" and hand shakes here and there. I always respond with "no need to thank me, it's what I want to do." I've been in the AF for 7 years now and I'm a F-16 mechanic. I love it and I don't think I could ever work a desk job after working in such a fast paced environment for so long now. When I go on leave I usually have a mohawk and grow my beard out and if I wear a military related shirt out to the gym or somewhere I've had people ask if I was special forces, as much as I would like to be a badass and say yes I tell them no and that I'm an F-16 mechanic. I've also had people (usually the younger crowd getting ready to join or who just got out of basic) call me fake because of all my exposed tattoos. When I joined you could have tattoos waived, but now they're really strict on them. In the end though I wouldn't trade my last 7 years in the AF for anything. It has taught me so much. I'm almost 30 years old and have 7 years in and still have a lot left to learn. We are all here for the same thing, to support the mission and carry it out. A while ago I got the chance to talk to a few PJ's and they mentioned the awesome feeling they get when a jet is inbound, they basically just sit back and watch as "shit gets fucked up" lol. It was a great feeling and still is knowing that what I do is what puts these jets in air.
You have some balls, I will give you that. When I was in it didn't matter if you were off for a few days, or on leave, if the hair on your head or hair on your face was not exactly as it should be, you found your butt under a Page 11! When I was at 29 Stumps a friend of mind didn't shave one morning because he was on leave for a week. Gunny saw him at the PX and hauled his ass in. They canceled his leave. Of course that was Old Corps. I have heard things have gotten pretty damn relaxed since I was in.

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Originally Posted by virginiamarine View Post
Yeah! I try to get the military discount everywhere...it's awesome! The Coast Guard gets a lot of respect by my department because of the enormity of their mission. It's all in understanding. Thanks!
As I said earlier....it's the ground crew that keeps the birds flying. For every hour it's up there....you know there are plenty of hours of maintenance. Keep up the great job. Any "boot" (as the jarheads like to call them) that thinks your faking the front should get a "boot" up their ass for even thinking they know more than you.
I forgot to mention, when I get asked about my service....I don't question the motive usually....but it was just kind of weird this guy did it standing 30 ft away in front of a bunch of people and nothing more than question.
OK, 30 feet away and asking you something IS a little strange.
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:15 PM   #12
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You have some balls, I will give you that. When I was in it didn't matter if you were off for a few days, or on leave, if the hair on your head or hair on your face was not exactly as it should be, you found your butt under a Page 11! When I was at 29 Stumps a friend of mind didn't shave one morning because he was on leave for a week. Gunny saw him at the PX and hauled his ass in. They canceled his leave. Of course that was Old Corps. I have heard things have gotten pretty damn relaxed since I was in.
AF is probably WAY more relaxed than the corps, lol. I mean, for gods sake, they let them have their cell phones in basic training now! AND if the trainee is "too stressed" they have time-out cards they can pull out so the TI has to leave them a lone for a bit. Things were nowhere near this when I came in, but I can now see why other branches make fun of us, lol.
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:22 PM   #13
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Wait a minute, are you saying that in the AF they have cell phones, and TIME OUT???? Are we in kindergarden again?

Holy shit our military has taken a serious dump in quality.

If we got "too stressed" in Basic it was simple, we either dealt with it, or we ended up getting our asses handed to us.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:22 PM   #14
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Wait a minute, are you saying that in the AF they have cell phones, and TIME OUT???? Are we in kindergarden again?

Holy shit our military has taken a serious dump in quality.

If we got "too stressed" in Basic it was simple, we either dealt with it, or we ended up getting our asses handed to us.
sadly, it's true...

with all of the SAPR stuff going on lately at Lackland, it's a whole new place.

I re-trained this year and the "kids" were bragging about how lax it was.

Luckily the kids in my class were all pretty much on it.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:32 PM   #16
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People thank me alot when im in my ACU's when i grab a bite to eat in a sit down restaurant.

In a way i dont feel like i deserve anything ya know? All i've done is went to Ft.Benning and worked/sweated for 16 weeks becoming an Infantryman.

Im now a cadet in college, and seeing how the kids who didnt go to basic/ait treat the uniform and the rules kinda pisses me off.

I do enjoy the pictures people take with me and getting the discount. Alas i digress.
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:31 PM   #17
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Tell me about it. When I went through it was the same for as you. You either put up and shut up or get your ass reamed and pushed back to zero week.
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