A couple of years ago, a bunch of my veteran friends and I came up with a list of things we hated hearing from civilians. Here's 12 of my favorites.
1. "I could never join the military. I hate when people tell me what to do."
2. "Ever kill anyone?"
3. "I totally get what you went through because I play 'Call of Duty' and that shit is HARD-CORE."
4. "Isn't it like the movies? Like 'Full Metal Jacket'"
5. "You know you're brainwashed, right?"
6. "I would've joined if I didn't have [insert here: flat feet, bad back, asthma, etc.]."
7. "You went to Afghanistan? I bet you've seen crazy stuff, like, stuff you can't even talk about, huh? I couldn't even imagine doing the things you've done."
8. "I would've joined, but I'd miss all my friends."
9. "I would've joined, but I like weed way too much."
10. "How are you a veteran? You're not even old."
11. "I would have joined, but I got into college."
12. "People in the military seem so stiff. Do y'all still get to have fun?"
Being totally snarky isn't really my thing so I want to flip this discussion. If you are a veteran or a service member, what kind of questions do you WANT to be asked? What are some of the best conversation-starters a civilian can offer that you don't find off-putting or clueless? Hit me up on Twitter or my Facebook page.