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: 443
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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SPC M F
SPC M F
2 y
Again, I am a combat MOS veteran. Trained for 14 months in the desert of California. No real ammo, but we ran two battles a day, for 14 months. People died during this training, wrecked tanks, I am an armor veteran. Crashed planes, crashed copters. No it wasn't war. People didn't generally mess with us during Reagans years as President. But, oh I wonder about the Iran hostage situation. I was in during that period. Actually called into alert status when it failed. But since we didn't go over there immediately no connection to that situation. Guessing actually hoping the soldiers with boots on ground there are giving membership to the VFW, or American Legion? Are they?
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LCpl Russell Wallace
LCpl Russell Wallace
2 y
SPC M F - There are clubs open to all veterans. The Marine Corps League is for anyone who served in the Marines. There's only about a bagillion veteran organizations in the US, and if you really cant find one to be a part of then go back in a do more time. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_veterans_organizations
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Lynda Hall
Lynda Hall
2 y
SPC M F - low self esteem?? Only you can define yourself.
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SSgt Keith Stanton
SSgt Keith Stanton
9 mo
SPC M F - There were approximately 16 million US military in uniform during WWII. Only about 6 million actually went overseas to the various theaters of operations. The rest were in CONUS or US Territories. Does anyone propose we tell the other 10 million they are not "veterans" because they didn't deploy?
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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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CPL Lynn Brown
CPL Lynn Brown
2 y
I spent 8years active duty as a 91B/91C, and was deployed multiple times, just no combat duty. But I. Had to stand a post and most job applications don't see me as a veteran. Pisses me off.
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CW4 Head Of Household
CW4 (Join to see)
2 y
Chuck, I deployed twice and consider myself a Veteran, not a combat veteran. I didn't do any gun truck missions or kick doors in or do RCP's. I have seen troops get to spend whole tours in a R&R area without even leaving and yes it's part of the system . You are as much of a Veteran than those that got to wear that patch that never left the wire. Those that say any different can go pound sand.
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LCpl Russell Wallace
LCpl Russell Wallace
2 y
Dude, no one said you're not a veteran.
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SGT Luis Lalama
SGT Luis Lalama
>1 y
weter you are deployed or not you are always on the ready to deploy list, therefore you are and always be a VETEREAN
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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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CPL David Thompson
CPL David Thompson
2 y
I bestow upon you, sir, first prize for commenting.
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Cpl Benjamin Long
Cpl Benjamin Long
2 y
They taught me in boot camp how to operate on dogs... with a leatherman folding knife... Don't believe the fools out there with the wild "I'm a butcher" stories.. they are just jealous...
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SPC Jp Ladner
SPC Jp Ladner
2 y
All who served are Veterans. Those who deployed should be recognized and afforded the title of Combat Veteran. I was never deployed but recognize that those who did offered up much more than I and I am truly grateful to them. I can not put myself on the same level as a Combat Veteran because my experience wasn't the same. However you see yourself and your contribution, just be proud, yet humble, and know you have our respect. We are stronger because of how much, or little, we contributed. :)
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SGT Luis Lalama
SGT Luis Lalama
>1 y
Cpl David Staats - if you got out with a honorable discharge you are a veteran, if you were discharge with an other than honorable discharge, you are a veteran without benefits
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