…“They were rolled out like some sort of orphan kid,” the officer wrote in an e-mail. “I’m sure the organizers meant well. I know they did. But it wasn’t respect, really. It was pity.”…
… The troops are lavished with praise for their sacrifices. But the praise comes with a price, service members say. The public increasingly acts as if it feels sorry for those in uniform.
“We aren’t victims at all,” said Brig. Gen. Sean B. MacFarland, who commanded troops in Iraq and will soon leave for Afghanistan. “But it seems that the only way that some can be supportive is to cast us in the role of hapless souls.”…
I’ve often thought about the many veteran support groups and programs and I tell you, it does feel a lot like pity sometimes and that makes me angry. I can accept the public’s view of the soldier with pity although I don’t like it or think it’s appropriate but what angers me most are the many veterans and active soldiers whining like little babies. I swear sometimes the “poor me’s” are infuriating. It’s not the majority of course.
(Now the following isn’t directed at all and there are legitimate groups that are doing great things with the wounded so this is not about not helping those that truly need it.)
We don’t need pity; we don’t need “help”. A little respect is enough. I don’t need to you to buy me a meal; I can easily afford my own. We are volunteers, we asked for what we got and I for one am damn proud of my choice. Don’t demean my profession by acting as though we are helpless and can’t find jobs when we transition. We are not. If you’re a vet don’t demean yourself by letting these people use you to make themselves feel better and usually a profit.
Most of us aren’t PTSD burn outs, we aren’t looking for handouts, and we don’t need a “jobs program” which will be BS anyway. If I apply for a job I want to be hired because I’m capable and better than that other applicant that probably can’t make it to work on time.
We will make it regardless of the challenges. That’s what we do.