Posted on Nov 11, 2013
SFC Gateway Manager
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<p>I was asked a very interesting question by a civilian, due to today's holiday: What is a veteran? Is it somebody that was "just" in the military, or someone that actually deployed?"</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>While there are various legal standards that define the word "veteran" in specific terms, I could see where the confusion lies. Is a veteran anyone to have ever worn the uniform? Must you be a combat veteran to receive benefits?</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>While various regulations and laws spell this out, I'd like to know - what do YOU consider to be a veteran, especially in the context of Veteran's Day?</p>
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SSgt Combat Instructor
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I saw the word veteran defined as anyone past or present who has put their name on the dotted line and actually served or is serving in the armed forces. That being said there can be specifications as to what type of veteran you are ie a World War II vet, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan ect. I know in the service we tend to look at each other in terms of our deployments but when it comes down to it we all make sacrifices big or small. Regardless of the size of the sacrifice they all go into the melting pot that keeps this machine that we call the military successful. &nbsp;
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SFC Gateway Manager
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Great insight, A1C. There certainly are some dramatic differences between those different timeframes...
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SGT Thomas Lucken
SGT Thomas Lucken
8 y
And your quite correct!  And that is coming from an old Cav Scout!
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CPT Air Defense Airspace Management (Adam) Cell Oic
CPT (Join to see)
6 y
Well put
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PO3 Joseph Gormley
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What is a Veteran: A Veteran is someone, who at one point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount up to, and including, their life.
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SSG Retired
SSG (Join to see)
8 y
and has never been relieved of his oath to protect and serve the constitution from all enemies both foreign and domestic
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SSgt Forensic Meteorological Consultant
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8 y
That was profound and why it is anyone's guess when our time is up.   Like my friend in Germany who died in a C-5A crash.  He was a veteran and really who is ever really safe in the military.
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LTC David Brown
LTC David Brown
>1 y
I have taken care of many or known of many who died on active Duty, ordnance explosions, roll overs , aircraft accidents, people I. The wrong place, it is a long sad list. I explain to people that just being in the military is dangerous.
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PO1 Disaster Survivor Assistance Specialist
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MSG (Join to see) This is an age old arguement. There are veterans that swear if you haven't been in combat and taken a bullet you're not a veteran. Then there are those who have signed up for the reserves, did the minimum and decided it wasn't for them.

My response and answer is: if they have a DD-214 (or equivalent for earlier wars) that says they served in the military for more than one day and that service is characterized as either general under honorable or honorable service it's good enough. Whether you served overseas, in combat, or simply sat your butt down and watched a radar scope in Alaska - doesn't matter.
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CPO William E. Mahoney
CPO William E. Mahoney
7 y
A Veterans is any member who served more then 180 days of honorable service for any branch of them military. They reason for 180 days is if a member is discharged before 180 days they normally receive no benefits unless wounded or injured in combat.
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MSG Logistics (S4)
MSG (Join to see)
7 y
So, a member with a General or less than Honorable discharge is not a Veteran?
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PO1 Disaster Survivor Assistance Specialist
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CPO William E. Mahoney I believe that is the definition of veteran required for services and benefits for the Veterans Administration. Other than that, I know of no reason that someone who has not served the 180 days to not be called a veteran.
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