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Discussion Starter #1
I got an issue that is kinda causing me a considerable amount of....concern.

For the most part I respect a lot of the opinions of the people that post here, so I'm gonna kind of lay this one out for comment.

And I will ask that anyone that responds do it in the most brutal and honest manner that they feel appropriate, I can handle it.

I am 59 years old. I joined the Air Force when I was 19 years old and I never deployed as an active duty member.

I did four years active duty, got out and right away got hired by a Air National Guard Unit. I served that unit for the next 32 years, retireing as an E9.

I did two tours in Iraq, both of them at Balad AFB. The time that I was there we flew Air to Ground support for Army Rangers in the field.

While I was there I drew combat pay.

While I was there we took a number of rocket and mortor attacks.

While I was there I NEVER felt as if I was in any real danger because there were so many Army Rangers between me and the guys that were throwing mortors over the fence.

Two days ago I was invited to join the local Combat Vets Association. I consider that a tremendous honor.

Here is my dilemma.

My older brother is a disabled Viet Nam Vet.

He has never talked much about what he went through in 1966/67 but I know it was pretty bad and he has the physical and mental scares to prove it.

We've got drunk a couple times and he starts talk'n about some of what went on, then he just kinda doesn't say anymore.

You guys know what I mean.

I really like that Combat Vets patch.

"Technically" I've earned it.

But out of respect,.....for what my brother went through.....

I just am not sure I'd feel right wearing it.

Does that makes sense ?

I love that Combat Vets patch.

I've earned that Combat Vets patch.

But no where to the degree that my brother has earned it.

And I just struggle with the idea of wearing that patch, and knowing that my brother deserves to display it so much more than me.

Comments.
 

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I was at Fob Sharana, Afghanistan 09-10 in a FSC unit and I wear my patch. I have other family members that has been in WW2, Korea, and Vietnam. I look at it this way, different wars fought in different ways and you was a part of it. Wear the patch with pride.
Just my two cents.
 

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Wear the thing. The Army wouldn't even take me because I have a bad back. Born with it. I've been ashamed all my adult life because I wasn't there like everyone of my friends. You could have died just the same. Do you think you would not deserve to be buried? Wear it man!!!
 

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I am a member of the Legion. I was able to join from the day I was discharged but didn't feel I deserved it. That's until my nephew was deployed to Iraq. That's when I decided it was a great way to support him and others. That was 10 years ago.I have also since joined the Legion Riders. I did this and continue to do this for those of you who came before me and after me. You have earned the right more than I earned my right to the Legion. Put that patch on and be proud of your service and show off your pride. Thank you for your service.


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I understand the reluctance. Beyond the brother rivalry you served our great country. The enemy tried to kill you and your brother. By the grace of God you and your brother survived to share your stories. You not only deserve to wear it but you are entitled to wear it. Lots of our military brothers and sisters paid the ultimate sacrifice so that you could be proud to wear it. Man up and sew that bitch on and ride! Don't hide behind your brother's story anymore.

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Sew it on and wear it to honor the ones that are no longer here to wear it.
To be brutally honest as you asked; THANK YOU for your service.
 

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How about putting the patches on the shirts and you and your brother share the shirts. Or isn't that acceptable ?
 

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I will hit 20 years in November. I have seen people come in and try to dodge deployments and milk the system. This is a very very small percentage though. We spent more time in Afghanistan and Iraq then we did at home between 2005-2010 and then our unit began the transition to the new 4 bladed helicopters so we had 3 years at home without a deployment. There were many people that came in and only had time for one deployment and some never made it to the sandbox, but they signed up with that intention.

I do feel that we all play a part over there. Wear the patch with pride! Most people I know wear it in support for what they did and the people they served with. I wear it as a sign of pride not a sense of entitlement. Plus it does generate some positive and interesting conversations when I am out and about.
 

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I have no right to speak on this topic, I'm not a combat vet and greatly respect those who are.

But I can comment on the reluctance I have seen is common in other Veterans to be honored.

My son went to the the desert 3 times as an activated Marine Reserve C-130 tanker maintenance crew,

They did (I think) all the mid-air refueling, 7x24, helicopters and warplanes alike on the early trips,

then later when the air war was over they ran countless deliveries of fuel to remote posts

after it became obvious that fuel tanker convoys were a flaming deathtrap,

I have commented here before he is reluctant to feel entitled to combat veteran status,

he avoids the local VFW because he feels like something of a pretender

because of his highest regard for all the guys who truly lived in the battle

An honored forum combat veteran, Paladin, we sadly don't see much since his return

He trained and crewed and led the security squads on fuel convoys, said to tell my son

that he has no idea how many of our guys didn't burn to death because of their tanker ground delivery duties.

Oddly enough, from working at a Warplanes Museum he met a lot of guys regarded as real heroes

of previous conflicts WWII B29 and B24 crews, Fighter pilots from WWII, Korea, and Vietnam

and he talked about seeing that same reluctance to be honored for their service

he said some of those guys would get mad at being called heroes, one insisted the heroes didn't come back

so I'd suggest your reluctance to be honored as a combat vet is probably common to many combat vets.

Same phenomenon that part of the hero's makeup is being embarrassed at being called a hero.

:notworthy

..
 

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Discussion Starter #15
My brother and I have a really good relationship, he is truly my best friend and I realize he would kick my ass for even having such thoughts, he seems to be more proud of my service than I am.

It's just knowing a little of what he went through I always kinda feel alittle self conscious around him when the subject of service comes up, knowing the kind of treatment he got when he come home was nothing like the way I've been treated.

I just want to say that all the comments here really mean a lot to me and are a great help, I'm still gonna mull it over for awhile before I decide.
 

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Par of being the silent professional is accepting the fact of what you have done. It is not comparing war stories of who had the worse time during combat. If this were the case, the only Vets deserving of the patch would be buried with it as they gave the ultimate sacrifice.

I am also a combat vet, not a member of the Combat Vets by choice. I think that your comparison of service between you and your brother is typical.

I say, you have earned the patch, wear it with pride!


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You don't have to be shot at to be a veteran or a hero. You did a job for which you were highly trained to be part of a team doing a very dangerous job. Like in football, not everyone carries the ball, but it takes the entire team to play the game. You have every right to wear that patch with pride and honor.
I was particularly impressed with Nathan's post. You earned the honors for being part of the team and you should not be embarrassed for the recognition although we who have worn the suit understand how you feel. And I think you'll understand that we here will be proud of you whether you elect to wear the patch or not.
 

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wear it with pride. my generation was not given a choice to serve or not. some felt because they served only because they were drafted that they didnt deserve the honors that went along with being a veteran. you deserve it just as older vets do.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
After reading all the great comments I realize there is something I neglected to point out.

I fully realize that it is not about the patch, it is about the service the Combat Vets Organization provides for fellow veterans, certainly something to be proud of.
 

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Viper,
You proudly served your country and put yourself in harm's way countless times. Get that patch on and puff out your chest. Many of us have a needle and thread if you need help getting that baby on.
 
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