Short stories and essays by Shaun Costello, as well as excerpts from manuscripts in progress.

Posts tagged “Thank you for your service

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE – SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE – SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS

Thank you for your service.

Thank you for your service.

All too often, popular phraseology diminishes the message. A soldier should not automatically be thanked for his service. Putting on a uniform does not elevate the wearer to heroic stature. How that soldier performed while wearing that uniform however, is quite another matter. I served in the Army during the Vietnam era, and can tell you first hand that the military is made up of just as many respectable citizens, racists, slackers, assholes and potential felons as any other slice of the American population. Respect for the men and women in uniform comes easily to Americans in this era, partially perhaps as compensation for the horrific treatment the American civilian population gave to soldiers returning from Vietnam‘s battlefields. Respect for the uniform is one thing, uniform-worship is quite another. I’ve seen people using the catch phrase “Thank you for your service” to honor TSA personnel at airports, sanitation workers, bus drivers, and the crew of the Staten Island Ferry. And why? Because they’re wearing uniforms. In a perfect world, each individual would be judged on merit, not on wardrobe. But this world’s far from perfect, and we all watch too much television. How many times have we heard Detective Lenny Briscoe on ‘Law and Order’ say “Sorry for your loss” to some murder victim’s relative. Television’s catch phrases have become the lingua franca of civilization. We no longer need to react individually to moments of joy or crisis – we just use the scripted dialogue of the cop show. Any time I have lost friends or loved ones, and there have been many, mindless, cop show culture dialogue would have been unwelcome, to say the least. If someone you care about has suffered a loss, for God’s sake, take some time to share in your friend’s situation, and express yourself as a caring individual, not a cop show culture parrot. Your expressed concern will be so welcomed by your grieving friend.

Sorry for your loss.

Sorry for your loss.

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