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Thread: What is your definition of a combat veteran?

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    Member Shmoo's Avatar
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    Default What is your definition of a combat veteran?

    If this has already been discussed, link me to the original thread and delete.

    I checked into a vet center recently and my counselor explained that she was retired Air Force and a combat veteran. I always thought a combat veteran was someone who had actively engaged targets while being engaged, or got blown up. Anything involving direct contact.

    I've heard others say a combat veteran is someone who served in a combat zone, regardless if they left the wire or even fired their rifle. I still respect these individuals wholeheartedly, I just feel its a title they shouldn't label themselves with. Veteran is still respectable.
    Last edited by Shmoo; 10-30-2010 at 08:23 PM. Reason: grammar

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    Going Rogue seraosha's Avatar
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    It was explained to me that being in a combat zone was enough, but I don't buy it.
    Taking and sending fire was my benchmark, but ymmv.

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    Senior Member plato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seraosha View Post
    It was explained to me that being in a combat zone was enough, but I don't buy it.
    Taking and sending fire was my benchmark, but ymmv.
    remote controlling UAVs from an air conditioned room somewhere in the states. Does that count?

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    Senior Member Al-Bundy's Avatar
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    Face scars(cool ones), bullet wounds, photo with captured enemy personnel..... does the trick for me.

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    Can't wait to hear her "war stories". "and there I was ........."

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    hobo in the hills 2495's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plato View Post
    remote controlling UAVs from an air conditioned room somewhere in the states. Does that count?
    Yes because they have eyes on the enemy and are directing large amounts of fire power for the ground troops. hence why they get combat ribbons and a fair few air medals so far.

    As for my definition? 'Veteran' if they didn't engage the enemy but served in the war zone, but if they laid rounds down in any form then 'Combat veteran' should apply.

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    Senior Member Zoomie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shmoo View Post
    If this has a already been discussed, link me to the original thread and delete.

    I checked into a vet center recently and my counselor explained that she was retired Air Force and a combat veteran. I always thought a combat veteran was someone who had actively engaged targets while being engaged, or got blown up. Anything involving direct contact.

    I've heard others say a combat veteran is someone who served in a combat zone, regardless if they left the wire or even fired their rifle. I still respect these individuals wholeheartedly, I just feel its a title they shouldn't label themselves with. Veteran is still respectable.
    So, just because she's retired Air Force, you're immediately dismissing her claims? (As you've not provided anything substantiative otherwise)

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    hell on hookers ibstolidude's Avatar
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    Are you asking an opinion or a definition.... because DOD dairly clearly defines Combat Zones, HFZ/HFP Areas, & IDP Areas and the reqs to qualify as combat service. The VA rep should REALLY know this, as it would be core to their job - VA claims & services are based upon these definitions... hence her use of the term.

    I don't think I have a very broad definition for the term... but I also don't really care. I don't really "grade" someone lower for not having shot on a two way range.
    Last edited by ibstolidude; 10-30-2010 at 04:52 PM. Reason: can't spel

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    Hellfish Junior gaijinsamurai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seraosha View Post
    It was explained to me that being in a combat zone was enough, but I don't buy it.
    Taking and sending fire was my benchmark, but ymmv.
    x2. I served in a combat zone, but don't consider myself to be a combat vet.

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    Going Rogue seraosha's Avatar
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    I guess the VA would be the final judge, regardless of the 'tip of the spear' vs REMF/FOBBits discussion.

    But I know who I'd buy a drink for.

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    Member Marshall_Nord's Avatar
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    My definition is being in combat = you are firing at the enemy and they are firing at you. I'd go as far to say that all real Combat Veterans go to the front of the line at the VA, regardless of rank and time in service. A retired REMF who spent 30-years stateside gets whatever benefits are left over after the combat veterans are taken care of.

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    Senior Member JVeld's Avatar
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    All I have to say is ' CIB ' ( Combat Infantry Badge ) you'll bleed even if you didnt get injured in the actual combat !!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshall_Nord View Post
    My definition is being in combat = you are firing at the enemy and they are firing at you. I'd go as far to say that all real Combat Veterans go to the front of the line at the VA, regardless of rank and time in service. A retired REMF who spent 30-years stateside gets whatever benefits are left over after the combat veterans are taken care of.
    What happens if you can't fire at the enemy and you are at combat zones receiving fire (ie. Tank driver, Chinook pilot,..), are you still consider a combat vet? just asking.

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    There is an official definition for it but if you're looking for something unofficial it's a very broad definition but I believe that it's all the same as other bragging rights, as soon as somebody "bigger" comes around they should know to sip their beer in silence.

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    Senior Member LineDoggie's Avatar
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    My Personal Definition is anyone who faced death by Enemy action, while in a "Combat Zone"

    To me If a Navy Mailman at Camp Victory is dodging Mortar fire, that qualifies. Fire your weapon with the intent to Kill- Qualifies, Wounded-Qualifies.


    Not everyone is a Fixed Bayonet Marine going door to door in Fallujah, or a Ranger fast roping under fire into a compound during a raid, etc.

    Some of the bravest people I've met never would qualify for a CIB. Whining that someone who works in a trailer or can go to a BK doesnt qualify is ridiculuos.

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