Not All Veterans Deserve Respect

United States
November 11, 2017 2:46am CST
This is probably a controversial sentiment, but I am a firm believer that people do not automatically deserve respect just because they served in some branch of the military. I have known too many horrible people who were veterans to respect all vets. Take my biological grandfather for example. He served in WWII. He was a horrible person. A child rapist and sociopath who had absolutely no remorse for sexually abusing his own daughters. I found his letters home to my grandma from when he was in the war and they were awful. He was a hateful person and I will never have any respect for him. Then there was my second and fourth cousin Martin (yes, he was twice related.) He served in Vietnam. He had a choice: Serve in Vietnam or go to prison. He chose war. He was a nasty person and a thief and none of my relatives (other than my dad) would allow him in their homes -- because he had robbed so many of them. He used to show up every couple of years wanting to stay at our house and the summer I was 13 he camped out in our yard, even though he had his own home with a wife and kids living in it. He stayed for about a week and then left when he claimed he heard my mother screaming about him (which she hadn't) and I never saw him again after that. He called my dad once when I was a teenager, hootin' and a-hollerin' that he was going blind from being sprayed with Agent Orange back in Vietnam, and he was glad for it. He had finally "beat the system." Then there was this dad that I babysat for a few years back, who had served in the air force. I had been babysitting his children for a couple years when, to my surprise one night, I found his photo on the local police department's website, under the sex offender's registry. He had been dishonorably discharged from the air force for distributing child pornography. He failed to tell me that bit about himself. I felt completely betrayed and disgusted and torn on whether I should continue to watch his boys or not; fortunately, their family moved not long after that, so I didn't have to make that decision. I never saw any evidence of abuse with his boys, but after that I always wondered. Then there's my partner's horrible-excuse-for-a-human-being ex who served in the air force. Not to mention all the countless ex-marines you always hear about who beat their wives. So no, not all veterans automatically are worthy of respect. I appreciate MOST of the men and women who serve so that I can enjoy the freedom to write my thoughts on the matter. But I do not honor or respect the ones who are crappy human beings who have done nothing but bring damage and destruction to the lives they've "touched."
14 people like this
13 responses
@JolietJake (39719)
11 Nov
Couldn't agree more. I know a few people that are basically worthless examples of human flesh that think just because they are a veteran everyone should bow down to them.
7 people like this
• United States
11 Nov
When I worked at Taco Bell many years ago, there was a military recruiter who would come in every day who acted like that. He would sexually harass the ladies (and teenage girls) who worked there. Eventually he got banned from the store, but not after he made all the females who worked there feel unsafe. I always hated waiting on him because he acted so entitled and he was a huge pervert and a jerk.
3 people like this
@moffittjc (34460)
• Gainesville, Florida
11 Nov
I wouldn't bow down to someone like that just because they are a veteran; I would simply say thank you for your service to this country and leave it at that. By keeping it simple like that, I am honoring their service, but not necessarily honoring them.
2 people like this
@RasmaSandra (12495)
• Riga, Latvia
11 Nov
Well you certainly have seen the dark side of veterans. So I completely agree with you. It is people like these that make being a veteran seem dishonorable and that is not the way it should be.
5 people like this
• United States
11 Nov
Whenever I see people sharing things saying "Thank you to ALL Vets" or hear them carrying on about how ALL vets should be put on a pedestal, it makes my skin crawl. I wish I could share their sentiments, but unfortunately I cannot. I do appreciate the ones who are not vile human beings who have served. But as with all walks of life, there are bound to be bad apples everywhere.
3 people like this
@LadyDuck (118309)
• Switzerland
11 Nov
You are so right, some people were "forced" to join the army and this does not make them good persons or people who deserve to he honored.
3 people like this
• United States
11 Nov
Sometimes the military attracts aggressive people also, who willingly join because they can act out their aggression. I see nothing honorable about that.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (118309)
• Switzerland
11 Nov
@Srbageldog You are right, many violent people join because of their aggressiveness.
1 person likes this
@jstory07 (56995)
• Roseburg, Oregon
11 Nov
Most veterans are people and they have good and bad in their personality.
3 people like this
• United States
11 Nov
Yes, exactly. Some are awesome people and some are horrible. And some fall somewhere in between.
@bagarad (7844)
• Paso Robles, California
11 Nov
As you have stated, many vets did not join the armed forces willingly, especially before the Army became all volunteer. There are bad apples in every line of work. Not all doctors and lawyers deserve our respect either. It's not the profession we chose our our level of education that entitles us to respect. It's the character we develop. Some people join the military for honorable reasons, and some probably join because it's a place where they can act out aggressive tendencies that they had before they joined. The being in the military displays the character one already has. It sometimes develops better character in those who join by teaching them discipline and helping them grow up. It may have the opposite effect on some others. It's hard to generalize about any segment of our population.
2 people like this
• United States
11 Nov
Very well said. I just don't understand why many people seem to believe that ALL people who have served in the military are deserving of hero worship.
1 person likes this
@TRBRocks420 (60802)
• Banks, Oregon
11 Nov
That is very sad and, yes it doesn't automatically make someone a good person.
2 people like this
• United States
11 Nov
I hate it when people say that ALL vets are heroes when some are most definitely not.
2 people like this
• Jacksonville, Florida
11 Nov
Your absolutely right. There are good and bad people everywhere and just because they served does not mean they are good.
2 people like this
@Emmlex1000 (1229)
• Lagos, Nigeria
11 Nov
That is sad one but mean all that serve in military are corrupt
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Nov
Not all who serve are corrupt, but it could be argued that the military itself is corrupt.
1 person likes this
@rebelann (30969)
• El Paso, Texas
12 Nov
You hit the nail on the head, people are people first then vets and not all vets are good people.
1 person likes this
@FourWalls (9501)
• United States
11 Nov
You won’t get any argument from this old Sailor. If anyone doubts this, look up what these veterans did: Charles Whitman (Marine) Lee Oswald (Marine) Timothy McVeigh (Marine) And just last week, Devin Kelley (Air Force) You raise a good point. YES, the military has bad eggs; and NO, they don’t all get weeded out.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (34460)
• Gainesville, Florida
11 Nov
I think what needs to be clarified here is what we are actually respecting on this day. I feel that we should respect the fact that people served and put their life on the line for this country. Their act of serving is what constitutes my respect. It doesn't necessarily mean I respect the person who is the vet. If they were an honorable person, then I respect them as a person AND their act of service to their country; but if they are a horrible person, then I don't respect them but I do still respect the fact that they served this great nation. Hope that makes sense.
1 person likes this
@LoriAMoore (9662)
• United States
11 Nov
Makes sense. I hadn't thought of it that way before.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
11 Nov
This is sadly true, and same goes for any person that has retired from what society perceives as an honourable position. Like presidents or even teachers, who you are is not defined by what your position/job was.
1 person likes this