Are You Entitled to Freebies as a Military Veteran?

 Common Sense By Mike Weisbecker.

I served honorably in the military for over 20 years.  I receive a pension for my service.  I retain access to base services for the rest of my life and am eligible for medical and dental care through Tricare.  I am proud of what I did while I served and who I served with. 

I didn’t do this for glory or to be placed on a pedestal.  Most who serve feel it is the right thing to do.  I’ve always had a hard time explaining why I did what I did for as long as I did.  I got a good trade that I enjoyed immensely.  Even with the long days and lost weekends at home station.  Even with the numerous temporary duty trips and deployments.  The missed life events.  Births and deaths.  Weddings and funerals.  Cancelled vacations and missing concerts (Pink Floyd three times, Bryan Adams twice to name a few). 

I’m not one to ask for a military or veteran’s discount wherever I go.  If the wait staff or cashier ask, I accept it.  But I don’t go out of my way to get one.The recognition accorded by individuals, groups, and companies is a double edged sword to me.  I like to see folks recognized but I don’t want to be one of them.  I’m proud of the fact I never wrote my own award or decoration package for what I received.  I got into several heated discussions with my leadership over awards they wanted to submit me for that I did not feel I deserved.  I fought with the same vigor for my folks I did submit for awards and decorations (some of which fought not to be submitted for the way I did with my leadership.  Chips off the old block). 

I had a heated discussion with one of my troops years ago.  He came back in from lunch and was complaining about the establishment he had dined at.  Specifically that they didn’t offer a military discount.  He was very vocal about not gracing them with his business again; which is his right.  I couldn't let that go.  I proceeded to let him know that I was offended with his decision.  Now I can’t recall if it was a local place, regional or national chain.  It’s up to the establishment to whether or not they wish to do this.   Maybe it would affect their bottom line too much. Maybe they make donations to causes helping the military community in lieu of offering a free soft drink to military members.  Or maybe they just don’t care.  What rankled me the most was the sense of entitlement.  They owed him something.  It smacked of a cop expecting graft from shops on their beat.  It’s not an attitude a military member should have. 

Be grateful for what is offered.  Be humble as you accept it.  Discounts or free items come out of a business’s bottom line.  Especially if it is a local establishment. 

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