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: 593
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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PO3 Robert Muir
PO3 Robert Muir
29 d
You can't send all people into combat who going to support them?
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PO3 Robert Muir
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SPC Nutrition Care Specialist
SPC (Join to see)
28 d
My wife tells me to go for my disability benefits with the VA since I am considered a veteran. But I could never really bring myself to do so because I got oulled from my deployment the day before due to falling out during the Battalion run in the 3rd mile. I had been training 3 months with a cold that had developed into full bown pneumonia. I healed and stayed at an MRPU site in Ft. Hood for 6 months doing nothing but hospital appointments. I feel like i didnt earn the benifits still. Any advice on getting past that?
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Brad Miller
Brad Miller
5 d
"They also serve who only stand and wait". Think of what a mess things would have been, if you hadn't been there to keep the apoointments sorted!
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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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PO3 Jeff May
PO3 Jeff May
3 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
3 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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PO3 Kevin FitzGerald
PO3 Kevin FitzGerald
1 mo
SPC M F - The voice of reason has been heard from ,no need to go any further .
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SGT Kathleen Regan
SGT Kathleen Regan
1 d
SSG Richard Linck - Ha! Unless you were a female, (and there were hundreds of us!) you cannot join the fraternal orders as a veteran of a foreign war. And a woman, in a Berlin Brigade, during ANY period, is still NOT eligible at all. Ever. Good old boys don't need the ladies unless their butts are in a bind. And there we are, ready to help. But even then, no way will we ever be let into "the groups". I am a veteran of that same era, in that same geographical area, and I have been turned down for true membership based on gender for years! Still am. I wonder what some of those old farts will say to their female counterparts abou the last 25 years of all-gender deployments, who not only served, deployed, (returned alive and living or posthumously)- "sorry honey, but your parts mean you're not really a soldier". EVERYONE KNOWS real soldiers are men!"
So, a VFW wife can join the auxiliary, but that same wife who might also be a veteran, with honorable service, gets relegated to the back hall of the V when the REAL members conduct business. The US military forces utilize their female officers, warrants, enlisted, and all ranks, making very few concessions based solely on gender. But civilian organizations still deny us the privilege of membership based on our own merits. Keep us in the kitchen, rattling them pots and pans, but don't let us inside the membership. We night pollute the very air they breathe!
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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
9 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
9 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
2 mo
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)
2 mo
Ok.... that made me laugh.
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