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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  The Lobby  |  Topic: Something interesting happened to me this evening
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Author Topic: Something interesting happened to me this evening  (Read 4920 times)
ande.boyer
Member

Posts: 81

« on: August 19, 2006, 07:10:58 PM »

So we get back from a SAREX today around dinner time; I decide to stop for food on my way home.  I decide to go to "Country Vittles" which is very much a mom & pop family restaurant that serves the best country fried steak I've ever had.

I'm wearing BDU's for the first time since I was a cadet in the 90's.  As soon as I walk in the door, pretty much everyone in the place is looking at me.  I get seated in a booth next to a family of 4 with 2 little kids and their little girl in the is staring and smiling at me....so, I smile back at her and say hello.  I hear her mom say something to her daughter and then reaches across the table to shake my hand and says "I'd like to thank you for your service. We really appreciate what you're doing."  This kinda stunned me and I was really too flattered to come up with any kind of a respose.  After I finished and paid my check, I noticed that the cashier had figured in their (25% !!) military discount. I felt kinda bad about taking the discount (since I'm not actually in the miltary), so I went back to my table to leave the difference as a tip for my waitress.

Anyone ever had anything like this happen to them? 

-ande
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dwb
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,333

« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2006, 08:30:50 PM »

Yep, several times.  My standard response is to smile and say thank you.

People just want to show their appreciation, so think of it as accepting their thanks on behalf of people in uniform.  It's a little awkward, but then again, I think I'd find it awkward even if I was in the military.
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mprokosch11
Forum Regular

Posts: 103

« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2006, 09:19:59 PM »

Once after a parade and elderly citizen came up to me and said "I like to thank you for your service to our country." It happens a lot because not many people know the difference between CAP and the military.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2006, 10:00:25 PM by penguinmaster113 » Logged
C/Capt Matthew A. Prokosch, CAP
New York Wing
Utica Cadet Squadron (NER-NY-162)
CAPChap
Recruit

Posts: 6

« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2006, 09:31:16 PM »

I've had this happen a few times. The most gracious response is to smile and say "thank you very much." 

The first time it occurred it was rather disconcerting. I had been at a meeting of other chaplains and military ministry leaders. I was in BDUs because I departed that meeting to go to our Wing Encampment. It was warm summer day, and I was running with the windows down (no a/c).

Pulling up to a traffic light, I noticed the gun rack (and the bumper stickers) on the pick up truck beside me.  I tried not be as inconspicuous as possible. But after the second time the guy next to me yelled, "HEY YOU!"  I could no longer ignore him. I smiled, said Hi, and he said, "Hey, thank for your service!" 

Since I couldn't very well explain who we were, etc., I smiled and said, "Why thank you very much!"  and he drove off.  I darn near sat there through the change of the light....stunned.

I figured it was much easier to be gracious about it than to try to explain it away to everybody.

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lordmonar
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 10,629

« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2006, 09:55:23 PM »

I've back in the states now for about a month and a half and this has happend to me 5-6 times.

It has been over 10 years since I last spent any real time in the states and in uniform so this has never happend to me before.

It is kind of neat. 

Don't sweat that they mistook CAP for Active Duty, just say thank you and press on.
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
Pacific Region
Becks
Seasoned Member

Posts: 331

« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2006, 10:03:26 PM »

Yup, this happens quite a bit, both the thank yous and the military discounts, just smile and say thank you.
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BBATW
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 28,555

« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2006, 09:26:38 AM »

YES, YES, YES!  Smile and say thank you.

Engaging them in the socio-political-economic issues regarding the big "A" vs. little "a", etc., is so counterproductive.

Remember, in some places of the US, we are the only "military" anyone ever
sees, this is why it is so important to look good and be on our best behavior at all times.

We represent the good 'ol US of A and if it makes someone's day to buy us lunch once in a while or a cup of coffee, so be it.

This is NOT the same thing as blowhards walking around salute trolling or demanding discounts and special deals.

If someone DOES engage you in a real conversation in this case, be the best recruiter you can be, and though humility is always a good idea, don’t down-play your service.  Again,
we do a lot for Uncle Sam, people should start hearing about it.  Also, the general public wants to feel patriotic and as if they are doing their part.  The warm-and-fuzzies you spread today are worth more than you can imagine.

The common reaction when I discuss all the time spent in CAP activities with members of the RealMilitary® is “you do this for FREE?!?”
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lordmonar
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 10,629

« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2006, 12:14:56 PM »

And of course you answer...."No sir....I pay for the privilege to serve!" :clap:
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
Pacific Region
Smokey
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 501

« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2006, 06:50:19 PM »

I've had it happen too.....I just smile, thank the person and go on.  Remember , we do perform a service to the country.  We may not perform combat missions, but by CAP performing the non combat missions such as SAR for the AF we free up the regular AF to perform those missions.   Plus CAP got it's start protecting the shores of the country during war time.
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If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
To err is human, to blame someone else shows good management skills.
c/LTCOLorbust
Recruit

Posts: 44

« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2006, 07:04:08 PM »

Yeah it has happened a lot to me, and I used to try and tell them the difference and that there was no need to thank me. But after a day at the fair helping at our booth, when a very nice older man said thank you and I tried to tell him other wise, all he said was he knew who I was and I still needed to be thanked... after that I smile give them a thank you and if they ask I tell them the difference..

But then there are the other people that have another idea of the military and do some pretty mean stuff... and I hate it when its to some of our cadets in the SQ... We were at a event helping with parking and our color guard was there with the colors... getting ready to leave one of our cadets got a hamburger for the ride home from one of the booths... as he was eating the burger a younger kid... had to be in Jr. high past him spit on his boot and said some slang word (that shouldn't be used) soldier... Thankfuly the cadet just kept eating and it didn't even get at him but some of our seniors were pretty up set(and they should be) 
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1Lt. Joshua M. Bergland
Yakima Composite SQ.
WA Wing
CLB
Member

Posts: 66

« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2006, 07:07:33 PM »

FYI: Tuesday is Military Discount day at Hooters...... >:D

Haha, Just kidding.  It happens to us quite a bit, especially at the Waffle House just off Charleston AFB.  As Drew said, just smile and say "thank you". 
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Capt Christopher Bishop
Coastal Charleston Composite Squadron
jacklumanog
Recruit

Posts: 41
Unit: GLR-MI-001

« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2006, 01:14:56 PM »

I'm in agreement with all the previous posters  --   be gracious and respectful and thank them for their generosity. 

On a side note, my Wing CC just told us a story of him being in the corporate whites with grey slides at the airport on the way to NB and his waitress gave him the airport employee discount when he was eating at the terminal cafe!
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Ch, Lt Col Jon I. Lumanog, CAP
Special Assistant to the National Chief of Chaplains for Diversity of Ministry
smj58501
Seasoned Member

Posts: 222

« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2006, 06:27:36 PM »

And of course you answer...."No sir....I pay for the privilege to serve!" :clap:


Interesting you say that (although in jest). I have been stopped in both types of uniforms (CAP and Military) and thanked for my service. I have always feel uncomfortable accepting thanks and kind words. Maybe going to Catholic Schools did that to me.

At any rate, I started saying "I am honored/ priviledged to serve this great nation" whenever someone thanked me. In a way it helps shift the spotlight a bit. ... just a suggestion.

PS-
FYI: Tuesday is Military Discount day at Hooters...... >:D
No Hooters around Bismarck, but I never miss a chance to patronize this chain when I go TDY. Besides the obvious assets found in any of their restaurants (get your mind out of the gutter.... I was speaking of their wings and adult beverages), this chain really does do an excellent job supporting the military.
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Sean M. Johnson
Lt Col, CAP
Chief of Staff
ND Wing CAP
capchiro
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 577

« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2006, 12:33:56 PM »

Fellow Cap'ers,
This is not an unusual thing to happen to anyone in uniform at this time, unlike the attitude during the Viet Nam era.  I would like to remind you all that less than 10% of any military service serves in a combat role.  90% serve in support roles and usually are not placed in jeopardy.   CAP members also serve their country and do so voluntarily, without pay.  We have lost members in this service to their country and fellow man.  We are in fact patriots and should not forget it.  Wear your uniform with pride and accept your fellow Americans thanks with Grace and Pride.  You not only represent the  Air Force, you also represent the Civil Air Patrol, a patriotic, honorable, noble organization that has served this country for over 60 years.  I am not downplaying the role of our fellow active duty soldiers, sailors, or fliers, for I have been one of them, I am only reminding one and all that we are part of a great organization and rightfully deserve the thanks we so seldom receive.  That is all, carry on.
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Lt. Col. Harry E. Siegrist III, CAP
Commander
Sweetwater Comp. Sqdn.
GA154
flyguy06
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,195

« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2006, 11:54:12 AM »

This goes to my point. People on here constantly tell me "We are not the military" But to the general public we are. So, since this is the case, we need to carry ourselves as such. ANd that mean enacting military standards when it comes to dress and behavior.
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MAJORZ04
Recruit

Posts: 22

« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2006, 12:08:47 PM »

Sirs;
All the above has happened to me many times.
On 9/11 all the neighbors, where I live, knocked on our door and asked if I have
to go, or what is happening.  Some folks I've never talked to, but they saw me
in uniform, coming home or getting the mail after a SAREX or... whatever, think
I'm in the military.  We do impress people... thus.... we must act professional and wear whatever uniform to look our best ...
A big hhhuuurraaah to all the responders to this thread... you understand the big
picture... Maybe our National Leadership could learn from the "real" CAP..... "US"
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flyguy06
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,195

« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2006, 03:02:08 PM »

Tank you for the comments and compliments MAJORZ04. One thing though and its minor.

There is no such word as SIrs. I correct soldiers of this all the time so dont think I am singling you out. When addressing multiple male senior officers, the correct term is Gentlemen. Thats all. No slam, just a pet peave of mine  ;D
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c/LTCOLorbust
Recruit

Posts: 44

« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2006, 05:22:18 PM »

There is no such word as SIrs. I correct soldiers of this all the time so dont think I am singling you out. When addressing multiple male senior officers, the correct term is Gentlemen. Thats all. No slam, just a pet peave of mine  ;D

Sir what if it is a group of female higher grading officers or a group of male and female?
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1Lt. Joshua M. Bergland
Yakima Composite SQ.
WA Wing
thefischNX01
Forum Regular

Posts: 133

« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2006, 06:48:01 PM »

There is no such word as SIrs. I correct soldiers of this all the time so dont think I am singling you out. When addressing multiple male senior officers, the correct term is Gentlemen. Thats all. No slam, just a pet peave of mine  ;D

Sir what if it is a group of female higher grading officers or a group of male and female?

At the SLS, the proper greeting we were taught is "Ladies" for a group of females.  I regret that I do not remember weather or not it was "Sir and Ma'am" for a group, or "Ladies and Gentileman"
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Capt. Colin Fischer, CAP
Deputy Commander for Cadets
Easton Composite Sqdn
Maryland Wing
http://whats-a-flight-officer.blogspot.com/
flyguy06
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,195

« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2006, 11:38:37 PM »

There is no such word as SIrs. I correct soldiers of this all the time so dont think I am singling you out. When addressing multiple male senior officers, the correct term is Gentlemen. Thats all. No slam, just a pet peave of mine  ;D

Sir what if it is a group of female higher grading officers or a group of male and female?

You say Ladies if it a group of female officers and if it both you would say "Good morning ladies and Gentlemen"
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Nathan
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 686

« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2006, 11:31:20 AM »

My story was really bad...

There were about nine guys from Kansas at NBB 2004, and we all rode together in a CAP van. On the way back home, we stopped at Wal-Mart for some munchies, and those who didn't want anything (including me) just stretched our legs outside of the van. Of course, only a couple of hours out of NBB, we were wearing our berets.

Next thing I know, this guy with a fake leg, battle scarred, and wearing a Vietnam service hat walks up to us very somber-like. He just walks up and hugs the SM captain in charge of us, and say, "I want to thank you guys for what you're doing for our country. I was in 'Nam as a Green Beret, and I understand what you guys are going through. Thanks..."

No one knew what to say. This guy was being so emotional that to tell him that we were only CAP and then start spurting off nerd-facts about us would probably severely embarrass the guy, so the captain just said, "Thanks, and thank you for your service." They guy walked away, and we were all a little awed.
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Nathan Scalia

The post beneath this one is a lie.
NIN
VIP

Posts: 4,854
Unit: of issue

« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2006, 05:50:38 PM »

I have this big ass scar on my neck, and when people see it, they go "Holy jesus, what the hell is that from?"  so I always (jokingly) say "Helicopter accident.."

I'm at Fort Bragg this summer, and I say that, and the Sergeant Major standing to my right says "[Goshdarn] right, I got a [goshdarn] Huey shot out from under me 30 [goshdarn] feet  over the [goshdarn] LZ.." while the Navy Command Master Chief on my right goes "Yeah, me too!" and whips out x-rays of his neck after they put the steel plates in following his helo crash..

Now I'm stuck: Do I say "uh, guys, that was a joke" and look like a real idiot, or just slink away?

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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
Sq Bubba, Wing Dude, National Guy
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 28,555

« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2006, 10:02:23 PM »

Heh - if there is one I've learned, one place to avoid comparing tales is with RealMilitary®
.

Something similar happened during the encampment this year, I was unpacking some crates that I use to carry basically everything CAP. 

I jokingly made a remark about how I was still shaking out Mississippi sand from the containers after being "deployed" to Katrina relief (HEY! It's a big deal to me!).

The RDC I was with (great guy) immediately replied "Yeah, know what you mean, I just can't get the Afghanistan sand out of mine..."

Whoops.

A quick scan of the racks of those in the room told me they had ALL seen recent duty "over there".   Heh, double whoops.

(Don't get me wrong, these guys are awesome, and later in the weekend when we did the full Katrina presentation, we got the typical thanks and "You do this for FREES?!?!", I just learned quick about the term "big dog").

 :D
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afgeo4
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,566

« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2006, 08:39:25 PM »

Let's not all forget that we do serve this country and its citizens... so is it so odd that someone should thank us for our service?  Okay, okay.  It's odd cause no one knows about us, but that doesn't mean we don't serve and don't deserve a thanks.  Just smile back and say, "No, ma'am, thank you for supporting us!" or if you have time, talk about CAP and make sure that the next time these people thank someone with blue name tapes, it's for their actual service.
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GEORGE LURYE
ryan s
Recruit

Posts: 11

NY 135 website
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2006, 05:01:30 PM »

I'm only a 13 year old cadet so i obviously do NOT look old enof to be in the military so whenever i wear my BDU or blues in the public like in a gas station after one of our meetings i get a lot of weird looks. i never Know what to say.
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cadet airman Ryan scott
ner-ny-135 compsite sq.
CAP428
Seasoned Member

Posts: 218

« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2006, 02:04:39 AM »

I was offered the military discount at Bass Pro Shops once and a Kwik Trip employee once asked me "How long you been in?" like I was in prison.  :D  I just chuckled and politely said, "I'm in Civil Air Patrol."

Then my friend who works at Little Caesar's said "I never knew you werein the Air Force!"
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CLB
Member

Posts: 66

« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2006, 03:10:17 AM »

Just smile back and say, "No, ma'am, thank you for supporting us!"

I never thought to say that.  Will certainly use the next time.   ;)

To the cadets:  Perhaps the best thing you can do in a situation like aforementioned is to listen to any experience the engaging party wishes to share.  You're probably doing them more good than you know, and it's obvious that they're proud of a young man or woman taking time away from the PS2 to do something worthwile for the community/nation. 
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Capt Christopher Bishop
Coastal Charleston Composite Squadron
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