Often, when someone recognizes me as a Vietnam veteran, I will hear “Thank you for your service.” Though that statement is much appreciated I am usually flummoxed for a response and just politely return a “Thank you.” What I really want to say is, “to me, it was a matter of citizenship and duty to my fellow citizens.”
I had no issue with those who objected to military service as long as they served in some capacity of public service (e.g. Peace Corps) or if they held a true religious doctrine that prohibited them from combat service.
I share this thought in view of the recent campaign for and against the formation of a local hospital district. I have health care taken care of by you citizens through the Department of Veterans Affairs —and for that I thank you! As a low-income retiree, I could not afford it otherwise. Yes, it will cost me, yet I support the campaign for the hospital district for the same reasons I felt duty-bound to serve my country in the military: It’s what one does for the benefit and good of fellow citizens and the community.
— Franklin Gerber