Posted on Feb 20, 2020
SPC Richard Zacke
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I served from 1978 to 81 and when someone says thank you for your service I feel like I'm stealing the thunder of the troops that are seving in these two wars. Mainley because I don't remember anyone saying it before. I remember being called baby killer or being spit at.
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Lt Col Robert Canfield
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Edited 4 y ago
As I remember it, the 60s-80s were peak decades of the cold war. One of the key missions was nuclear deterrence...i.e. convincing the Soviets that engaging in ANY type of nuclear exchange would be a very bad idea. Its a scenario where both parties lose (although one may lose more than the other), or... both parties win. It involved keeping a strong, active force that could respond rapidly under a variety of scenarios. Fortunately a nuclear WWIII never occurred and many would say that, in the end, the US won more than the Soviets. But, again deterrence worked and the unthinkable did not occur. Sun Tzu said that it is best to win without conflict. I think that applies to the cold war. Whenever folks say that the US was not engaged in any major conflict during the 70s and 80s (after Vietnam), I remind them of what could have occurred if the US and NATO had not put forth a credible deterrent. A deterrent that required effective weapon systems, well trained personnel, and a commitment to win....and that's not chopped liver. If you served during those years then you deserve a handshake & a word of thanks. The world would be so much worse had the cold war deterrence mission failed.
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SPC Daniel Rankin
SPC Daniel Rankin
3 mo
I am thankful to be alive, I was a recovery specialist in the Gulf war and one day I went out to recover a tank and found instead a tank full of dead soldiers of which some were women who had been violated and had their heads cut off. And then on the way back got hit with nerve gas, did not know at the time my suit was faulty. Ten years later I found out. Still in my system this day. I had to drag that tank and those bodies back to the rear. It was a sad day for me and my tank commander. Nightmares did not hit for a long time though. It was war. I was in the first one in 91.
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SPC Matt Ovaska
SPC Matt Ovaska
2 mo
We were not committed to win in Nam. We definitely lost the conflict. If we call it a war, then the stripes we wear should be pointing down. Congress has not declared a war since WW II.
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SGT John Overby
SGT John Overby
1 mo
Nam: The writing on the wall that I saw when in the field at Ft. Gordon was: We the unwilling, doing the unnecessary, for the ungrateful.
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PO2 Scott Smith
PO2 Scott Smith
29 d
Thank you for this response. You're exactly right. I can still hear the constant roar of those B-52 engines that were on alert 24/7.
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LTC John Griscom
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You served; you earned it.
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Sgt Greg Nowark
Sgt Greg Nowark
11 mo
SCPO Rick Hunter - Thanks for the (non-surprising) link, Four Full Pages to say six words: "Soviet Union, Soviet Union, Soviet Union," instead of "communist threat 1946-2023+".
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PO1 Howard Barnes
PO1 Howard Barnes
11 mo
I served during the cold war, understanding that just because no one was shooting at us (at that moment) it doesn't mean that they won't start shooting at a moments notice. the most tense moments were when we were operating the the sea of Japan near North Korea doing exercises. fortunately nothing happened but it could have. so in short i am not and have never been ashamed about being thanked for my service and i don't think anybody else should be either, whether they were shot at or not.
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Col Dan Ketter
Col Dan Ketter
6 mo
agreed
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CPT Retired
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4 mo
Whether you served during Viet Nam (1958-1975 dates could be off) or Grenada (1984) or the Gulf War (1991) or Gulf War II (2001-2022) or anytime in between as I did. You did swore an oath to defend the United States against enemies foreign and domestic. You agreed to put your life on the line at that point. If someone says Thank you for your service, accept it graciously.
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MAJ Ken Landgren
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Edited 3 y ago
One should never be ashamed for serving. It's that simple. Civilians don't understand what it means to fight for your buddies on the 9 and 3 o'clock. They don't understand hold at all cost orders because another unit is counting on yours. They don't understand the bond and love we have for each others as we train hard, fight hard, and share pictures of our families. They don't know what we are willing to sacrifice on behalf of our buddies and the country. We understand it, they do not. We should keep our heads up high regardless of where you served.

Nobody should be punished when the deity favors and smiles upon some military members in this random universe of chance. When someone exhibits guilt in regards to not going to war while I converse with the person, I tell the person that I am glad you did not go to Vietnam. Don't sweat it. It was not your time to go. I am glad you did not go.

I can sort of empathize with guilt. Sometimes it bothers me and humbles me when I think that I never experienced a war like WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War.
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SGT Infantryman
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7 mo
Anyone serving rather it peace time or war should be honored. They served this country no matter what time period it was.
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SGT John Gillmore
SGT John Gillmore
7 mo
Cold War Warrior here, I'm proud of my service in the Army Infantry in the 80's. Life in the Infantry is not for weenies even during so called peace time. There were a lot of things going on in the 80's and 90's, Grenada, Lebanon as a couple of examples. I've endured injuries, a couple that plague me today. If I wanted an easy job, I could have just stayed at home, I wasn't one of those timid souls who stayed home and held on to their mama's aprons.
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COL Chief, Observer Trainer Coach Team
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2 mo
Well said Major.
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CPT Ronald Barker
CPT Ronald Barker
29 d
Of course I don't feel guilty! We served the nation, even when it went to war. Like it or not, having a military is important to any nation's security. Fewer than a percent or two ever wear the uniform, so we deserve to be proud. I've learned that when people say Thank You, I simply thank them back for their sentiments.
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