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BashiChuni

Military appreciation has jumped the shark

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Guys, the military “hero” / “thank you for your service” / “veteran” culture has jumped the shark. 

At the airport today waiting to board, and the Delta gate agent announces “anyone w a active duty military ID can now preboard”. Damn near 25 people made their way up to the gate...including a brand new 2LT RPA pipeline student wearing his flight suit (very tacky). Now it’s not these individuals fault they took advantage of Delta offering them early boarding. But as military members we need to think of what that’s doing to the general public’s perception of its military. If I’m a first class passenger I’m going to be slightly annoyed that some 19 year old dressed in cutoff jeans and a tank top is boarding before me just because they’re holding an active duty ID card. thats certainly not endeering me to any of those young 20 something year old airmen. Again, not a shot at the airmen, but a call to reflect on how some of this has gotten out of hand. 

next example: in Texas anyone with a qualifying military medal gets that medal displayed on their license plate along with other perks (I think free parking fees some places, along with other smaller perks).

now fellas you’d think after parking on Randolph AFB you were in the god damn Medal of Honor parking lot with the amount of “meritiorious service medal” (super lame), “expeditionary war on terrorism medal” (lame), “air medal” (not as lame) and other frivolous displays of military “heroism”.  I’ve never seen so much bling on cars! Honestly it’s a bit off-putting. Again not a shot at those who have these plates...More of an argument at the state of Texas for allowing it. What happened to serving honorably with humility and quiet professionalism? Why is there a need for military members to have a medal saying “look at my meritorious service?” I know a lot of us on here are annoyed when random people come up and thank us “for our service”. These license plates don’t do anything to stop that from happening. They are helping promote a hero culture for all veterans which is harmful to our profession in the long run. 

We’ve already identified there’s a growing civilian/military gap. Having all of these perks is nice for sure, but I’d argue it’s doing nothing to close that gap. Having civilians awe at your meritorious service medal (to them they don’t know it’s lame, they just see an award) shows how out of touch the avg American is with its military. Silver star or higher? Hell yeah put that on there  that’s legit  but that leads me to my next thought...

Not everyone who serves is a hero. Quite the opposite. Most of us are simply doing our jobs, quite well no doubt. But there are really few heroes. If everyone’s a hero then no one really is. few military members deserve the amont of recognition that the American public is showering all of us with. Deep down we all know this...am I really a hero for doing 20 missions in afg at FL260 in the ISR orbit, not getting shot at,playing angry birds on my iPad? Hell no. 

Eddie Rickenbacker left WWI as a major, but used the rank of captain for the rest of his life cause that’s what he felt he earned. I really hope we can return to that level of humility. My grandfather fought in Italy as a tank gunner in WWII and had a finger blown off (no big deal). While in England recovering, his tank, along with his friends, was obliterated. When he came home from war he didn’t slap a Purple Heart on his license plate. He didn’t get thanked for his service or board  airplanes first. He didn’t even talk about the crazy shit he did or saw. He simply thought that he did his duty along with millions of other Americans. That type of thinking was common.

Now Yes I know a lot of this over the top military hero culture has come from how poorly America treated her Vietnam vets. I’m certainly not arguing to return to those days... and I wish those dudes didn’t have to endure that pain coming home. But there’s a healthy middle ground, and right now we’re not standing on it. 

Thank you...for reading. 

Edited by BashiChuni
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Why are people in such a hurry to board a plane with assigned seats?  Turns out  you sit in the same spot whether you’re the first one or the last one to walk down the jet bridge. Now SWA is a different story...

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12 minutes ago, FUSEPLUG said:

Why are people in such a hurry to board a plane with assigned seats?  Turns out  you sit in the same spot whether you’re the first one or the last one to walk down the jet bridge. Now SWA is a different story...

Overhead bin space.

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59 minutes ago, joe1234 said:

Overhead bin space.

Exactly. I wish airlines would charge for overhead bins and make a checked bag free. Some of these carry ons are insane. 

I agree with the point of the OP. But I also do not mind my 10% off at Lowe’s. It’s a cognitive dissonance I live with. 

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I think the 10% at Lowe’s is different. 

Thats more of a personal thing and not something where we’re “cutting in line” basically of the paying American public (boarding before 1st class) 

I don’t like getting put on a pedestal for recognition around the general public. “Look at me I’m in the military/I’m a veteran!”  Feels dirty. 

Edited by BashiChuni

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1 hour ago, BashiChuni said:

I think the 10% at Lowe’s is different. 

Thats more of a personal thing and not something where we’re “cutting in line” basically of the paying American public (boarding before 1st class) 

I don’t like getting put on a pedestal for recognition around the general public. “Look at me I’m in the military/I’m a veteran!”  Feels dirty. 

Do you wait and board in your assigned seating group?

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1 minute ago, uhhello said:

Do you wait and board in your assigned seating group?

I do. Not saying that’s better than those who don’t. That’s just me. 

Watching 25 military members all in civilian clothes board first just was weird. Huge deal? Nah. Just weird to me. 

Edited by BashiChuni

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1 hour ago, BashiChuni said:

I think the 10% at Lowe’s is different. 

Thats more of a personal thing and not something where we’re “cutting in line” basically of the paying American public (boarding before 1st class) 

I don’t like getting put on a pedestal for recognition around the general public. “Look at me I’m in the military/I’m a veteran!”  Feels dirty. 

So you're ok with the perks...just as long as civilians/non-veterans don't know you're receiving the perks?  

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You shouldn't have hedged.

2 hours ago, BashiChuni said:

...Now it’s not these individuals fault they took advantage... Again, not a shot at the airmen...Again not a shot at those who have these plates...

It's absolutely their "fault".  It's one of two things:

1. Attention whoring / seeking recognition

2. Akin to a Colonel jumping to the front of the chow line in front of all his troops that just came in from the field.  Yes, he can exploit his status for personal benefit, but it's a detestable trait.

A few months ago I watched a guy argue with a gate agent because early boarding was only for active military in uniform.  He made it known that since he was a retiree with 20yrs service he had sacrificed more than anybody who was still active.  I was embarrassed to be in the room for it even though nobody around could have known I used to belong to the same fraternity as that guy.

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I agree. Makes me cringe seeing all the stuff and advertisements at sporting events

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I agree. Makes me cringe seeing all the stuff and advertisements at sporting events

Especially after finding out the DOD was paying millions for “patriotic displays.”

I also do not take advantage of early boarding, I usually take that to mean active duty in uniform even if that isn’t stated. I also have no desire to board early to sit on the plane longer.

As for the license plate thing, I used to have Air Force plates on my truck, but after being at Creech for years I’m leery of putting anything on my vehicle that says I’m military. Maybe I’m selfish, but I don’t want the next crack pot lone wolf ISIS sympathizer to target me because I wanted to show off some medal I was handed for a PCS. Especially since I’m not ever armed going to or from base.

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Mixed feelings:

I agree it's unseemly.

I also usually take advantage of early boarding for the overhead bin space reason.

I think it's downright weird when the gate agent specifies "military in uniform," because IMO you've got to be dumb (begging for that lone wolf ISIS sympathizer's attention) or attention whoring to be traveling in uniform. (I understand the other branches might require you to travel in uniform on official travel. If so, those branches are dumb or attention whoring.) And I think the airlines do it for the same reason the NFL pays for patriotic symbolism—making us their damn mascots.

I have no sympathy for the feelings of that first class passenger since I often pay for first class upgrades myself or get them for "free" with a mileage program, and I'm usually the only one traveling in a blue blazer and slacks while everyone else in first class is in sweat pants. At least in the armpits of America we base our bombers in, first class does not directly correlate to "the respectable bourgeoisie," rather it's "more of the unwashed masses, only with more money." 

The airlines brought this on all of us when they made air travel a Hobbesian state of nature—a war of every man against every man—by nickel and diming us over luggage rather than a pleasant experience one looks forward to.

I'd prefer it if the airlines got rid of the early boarding thing altogether, but as long as I live at least one connection away from the rest of the world, and as long as my checked bags only have a 0.9 Probability of Arrival, I'm going to take a carry-on with the essentials and I'll do what it takes not to have to put it where my feet go.

Completely agree on the license plates. I imagine for most veterans there's an inverse correlation between the degree to which a decoration was earned for legitimate heroism and their eagerness to put it out there for public display.

Edited by Disco_Nav963
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11 hours ago, FUSEPLUG said:

Why are people in such a hurry to board a plane with assigned seats?  Turns out  you sit in the same spot whether you’re the first one or the last one to walk down the jet bridge. Now SWA is a different story...

Agreed.  You mean I get the privilege of sitting in this tin can with no leg room for an extra twenty minutes?  Gee, thanks.

 

Quote

 in Texas anyone with a qualifying military medal gets that medal displayed on their license plate along with other perks (I think free parking fees some places, along with other smaller perks).

The biggest perk is that the registration is free, and renewing it is $5 instead of the standard $80~ish.  You better believe I'm willing to display an Air Medal to save $75.

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I understand all feelings about this and I definitely agree about the license plates.  

If I did live in TX though, I’d probably have one of those plates just bc of the perks TX gives military vets.  

(Free parking at airports, free tolls, free access to parks, etc...).  

Those three alone can save you a lot of money just bc you have a stupid medal/decoration on your license plate.  

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Tennessee at one point included the Air Medal (meritorious) as one of the military plates that qualified for free lifetime registration and exemption from emissions testing. That ends up being about $100 per year for life. Word was the legislature quickly did a 180 once they saw the data on just how many Tennesseans has an Air Medal on their records (3x flying wings in the state ANG) i.e. lost revenue for the state! I simultaneously think it’s unwarranted for a relatively easy-to-come-by medal, while also knowing I would have absolutely gotten one had I lived in TN when that window of opportunity was open. Something about the duality of man...

I agree with the general sentiment that the military appreciation oftentimes feels or should feel embarrassing for service members. People would much rather give you 10% off and unfurl an enourmas flag before kickoff if it means they don’t have to take your place on the front lines someday.

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Jeez, of all the things to bitch about, this is pretty low on the list...

It doesn't bother me that someone with three months of service is leaving San Antonio and getting to board ahead of the boatload of retirees who did 20+ years any more than it does someone in uniform going to the head of the line during one of my rare visits to the commissary.  Those perks were offered to us when we were in uniform, and it was our choice whether to use them or not.

Nor do the free tags bother me, and you see a ton of them here in "Military City USA" (as S.A. likes to proclaim itself).  If the state wants to offer free tags to certain individuals, that's their decision.  At least the recipients did something to earn the perk, unlike many other government benefits.

However, I will agree on the overhead bin issue.  I am getting sick and tired of being told I need to stuff my small backback under the seat in front of me because some buffoon who is bringing half of what they own onto the plane needs to stick their obviously over-the-limit sized roller bag into it because they also need to jam their backpack under their seat.  Tough shit, if the airline isn't going to enforce their own rules I am not going to reduce the meager legroom I am already getting because someone can't check their shit like the rest of us!

When people thank me for my service, I just smile and thank them back.  They are trying to be nice and I sure as hell am not going to piss in their Wheaties for it.  Only a complete jackass would do so.  Such gestures are getting less and less common in our society these days, so if someone feels compelled to show a little appreciate towards a servicemember than I for one will be grateful to them.

Cheers!  M2

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The medal plate free registration only applies to one vehicle.  I've got 2 cars with medal plates.  When I found out that I would no longer have to park in the hail storm bullseye DFW employee parking lot, ride the employee bus, and endure the pain in the ass 20 minute ride to or from the terminal squashed in a mass of humans with questionable hygiene habits during our tremendously enjoyable summer heat waves and I could utilize covered parking at the terminal for free, HELL YES I got a medal plate. 

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Damn right I have Air Medal tags on both of my vehicles. Free tags for life are hard to argue with and will save me a ton of money. 

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I asked the TX DMV if i could get regular plates instead of the military honor plates under their program so as to not highlight my vehicle, unfortunately it wasnt possible. But saving $80/year for the next 40 years seems like too good a deal to pass up.  

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Only one set are tax free, just like DV tags...

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20 hours ago, HeloDude said:

So you're ok with the perks...just as long as civilians/non-veterans don't know you're receiving the perks?  

...I’m ok with this, yeah. Allowing Lowe’s to sell you something for $50 less is much different than cutting in front of weary travelers.

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Annoyed by being thanked for your service? First class customers upset by young military volunteers boarding first? Having anything military affiliated on your car is unseemly bragging?

In a country where a significant portion of the population worships celebrities, you guys are concerned about people and companies doing some surface-level things to appreciate the troops?

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You’d all be surprised how much of this goes away when you retire, even with the retired ID.

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8 hours ago, Lord Ratner said:

Annoyed by being thanked for your service? First class customers upset by young military volunteers boarding first? Having anything military affiliated on your car is unseemly bragging?

In a country where a significant portion of the population worships celebrities, you guys are concerned about people and companies doing some surface-level things to appreciate the troops?
 

I’m pointing out how these perks further the understanding gap between military and civilian. 

And how “appreciating the troops” is very superficial and makes Americans feel good about sticking their heads in the sand as they send their military all over the world. 

And if you have a meritorious service medal it’s lame you put it on your license plate to avoid $80 registration fee. 

Edited by BashiChuni

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36 minutes ago, BashiChuni said:

I’m pointing out how these perks further the understanding gap between military and civilian. 

And how “appreciating the troops” is very superficial and makes Americans feel good about sticking their heads in the sand as they send their military all over the world. 

And if you have a meritorious service medal it’s lame you put it on your license plate to avoid $80 registration fee. 

And avoid parking fees at the airports and road tolls.  

Depending on where you live in TX (Houston for example), your MSM license plate could save you $500-$1000+ annually.  

 

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