You Don’t Need to Thank Me for My Service. I Needed It More Than It Needed Me

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I’m proud of my service. Let me get that out of the way up front. But I don’t parade my service around. I don’t wear clothes that advertise it. There are no bumper stickers on my car. I rarely bring it up in conversation.

Most people are surprised when they learn I served. “You don’t look like any veteran I ever met,” they often say—whatever that means. Almost inevitably, that is followed up with “Thank you for your service.” I respond with a polite “thank you” and try to move on.

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