Posted on May 6, 2014
1LT(P) Executive Officer
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This one has come up a lot in conversations with my peers and Soldiers: Should you be allowed to claim veterans status if you have never deployed?

Personally, I'm an ROTC graduate who chose to go straight into the ARNG in 2011, knowing full well that my chances to deploy would be next to none with the changing op tempo. Realistically, had I been actively searching out a deployment the whole time, I still may not have gotten one. I'm sure there are Soldiers out there who served honorably in a reserve component without deploying, despite their best efforts. So, for example, should a Soldier who completed basic training, had a clean service record, excelled in their peer group, but ultimately served 10 years as a reservist with no deployment and less than 180 days on non-ADT active service be prevented from calling themselves a veteran?

I have my own thoughts, but I'm more interesting in hearing your opinions. For clarification, I'm speaking more towards the legal definition of veterans status - even if the laws were changed here, there would still be an immense difference between a legal veteran and a legal veteran with several deployments, combat experience, decades on active duty, or a combination of all three.
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Responses: 590
PO1 William "Chip" Nagel
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You signed the Dotted Line, You were eligible to go anywhere, anytime. You trained to serve your country in an emergency, You are a Veteran. Just because there was no call for you to deploy is not your fault. Now if you served during wartime you are eligible for the American Legion, If you deployed to Theater during wartime you can join the VFW. I belong to both.
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PO1 William "Chip" Nagel
PO1 William "Chip" Nagel
17 d
PO2 Tom Sage - I Like the Way You Think ST2!
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A1C Javier Garcon
A1C Javier Garcon
17 d
I served during wartime in special operations but my records will not show secret information, To top it off it was very hard for me to get my disability rating because of that, I am now 100% but it took 20 years to get it, a senator and the Director of the VA to confirm my story. Not all veterans have a cut-and-dry record of war on their dd214. These VFW's were made for WORLD WAR vets which are slowly passing away so it would be smart to evolve those laws to include secret "7 men soldier" operations behind enemy lines in undisclosed locations around the world. We are talking about thousands of combat locations.
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AB John Doe
AB John Doe
12 d
I was stationed in Germany during the entire Berlin Wall fiasco. Every week or so there was a threat that the Russians would evade West Berlin and take over Europe. We were put on alert a hundred times and moved towards Berlin. Our mission was to prevent the Russians from invading Europe. It was pure hell but I was never in a shooting war. When I got back stateside, the VA refused to treat my illnesses because I was not in service at a time when the US had declared war. I am still to this day called a peacetime veteran. I was there ready to die for my country but my efforts were never acknowledge.
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Lt Col James Tipper
Lt Col James Tipper
9 d
Thanks. i didnt know the difference in VFW or American Legion
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SPC Charles Brown
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I spent 12 years serving my country, and now some one says that because I didn't deploy overseas to a "combat" zone that I am not a veteran. Just exactly where does this crap come from? I am proud of my service and despite what anyone says I am and will remain a veteran. Of all the things that can be taken from me, however, my veterans status isn't one of them.
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SPC Albert Blosser
SPC Albert Blosser
5 mo
PO1 Steven Lipe - Don't consider peacetime service a curse. I was a grunt in Vietnam and I can tell you that while we were humping the bush that every one of us would have traded you for peacetime service. I was just telling you what the VA criteria for veteran services from them are. Travel on, on peaceful trails.
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SSG Gregg Mourizen
SSG Gregg Mourizen
1 mo
PO3 Jeff May - I think you have your events mixed up. The USS Cole was bombed October 12, 2000. Are you refering to the Marine Barracks bombing 1983 in Lebanon?
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PO3 Jeff May
PO3 Jeff May
1 mo
SSG Gregg Mourizen - You know what? You're probably absolutely right. It was a long, long time ago...
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SSG Richard Linck
SSG Richard Linck
1 mo
Cold War Veteran. Stationed in Berlin from Oct 72 - Feb 76. Eligible for American Legion and VFW. Berlin Brigade was still classified as Army of Occupation.
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MAJ Deputy Director, Combat Casualty Care Research Program
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All who served are vets. Just don't ask them to operate on your dog.
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SP5 Leo McCormack
SP5 Leo McCormack
7 mo
Any person that took the the oath of service and spent time on active duty is a veteran in my opinion. US Army reserves 1958 to 1964 Spec 4
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PO1 Robert Ryan
PO1 Robert Ryan
7 mo
Anyone who m wore the uniform is a veteran. You did your duty as you were told to do. Doen"t matter where you served, or what your Jog was. You earned the right to be called a veteran,
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SGT Tim Tobin
SGT Tim Tobin
15 d
I can do that!! My advanced medical training at Fitzsimmons AMC including suturing in a dog lab
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SFC Observer   Controller/Trainer (Oc/T)
SFC (Join to see)
12 d
Ok.... that made me laugh.
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