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  #16  
Old 23 Dec 12, 07:04
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The term is overused and everyone isn't one. It has the unintended effect of cheapening the term.

It's the same thing with teenagers and the word 'awesome.' They use it to describe everything and everything isn't 'awesome.' It makes the term meaningless.

The first mass use of the term 'hero' I think was when we returned from Kuwait in 1991. We certainly didn't feel like, and knew we weren't 'heroes.' We just did our job and were glad to be home.

Sincerely,
M
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  #17  
Old 23 Dec 12, 14:13
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It's the Stephen Ambrose and Tom Brokaw generation. In a tribute to those who served who are passing away, a public effort has been made to lionize all those that served. Oddly, it wasn't the initial publication of Stephen Ambrose's Band of Brothers (mid-late 80's?) but the mini-series that really kicked this off. The interviews with the real veterans showed the real faces and stories of the characters in the series. Then Tom Brokaw painted a broad stroke and called them the Greatest Generation. Subsequently every book trying to feed off this popularism of personal accounts labelled everything "Hero" this or "band of" this or "brotherhood of" that. Sell high, offer low. In no way do I denigrate the service and dedication those that served and suffered in ALL forces, services, and even civilian duties to the most brutal event in the world's history, but it has become too easy to lionize everyone as a hero or being dutiful as if this latest generation must hold them to a standard.

I recently listened to a podcast interview from a few years ago of Alex Winter who wrote about Lt Bouck's I&R platoon action at the start of the Battle of the Bulge. His platoon's action, 18 men against a battalion, was very commendable, however, listening to Mr Winters description made me irate. Everything he described was over the top: "it was the greatest battle in WWII", "the coldest winter ever", "the biggest bombardment of the war". Story telling is one thing, not doing your research and hyping it up is another.

What happened to the modest personal accounts? My personal favorite accounts are Company Commander and If You Survive, very raw accounts by the actual participants. These days, personal accounts are edited by others (understandably), but the need to venerate them is a little too much just to sell books.
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  #18  
Old 23 Dec 12, 20:26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunnigan View Post
It's the Stephen Ambrose and Tom Brokaw generation. In a tribute to those who served who are passing away, a public effort has been made to lionize all those that served. Oddly, it wasn't the initial publication of Stephen Ambrose's Band of Brothers (mid-late 80's?) but the mini-series that really kicked this off. The interviews with the real veterans showed the real faces and stories of the characters in the series. Then Tom Brokaw painted a broad stroke and called them the Greatest Generation. Subsequently every book trying to feed off this popularism of personal accounts labelled everything "Hero" this or "band of" this or "brotherhood of" that. Sell high, offer low. In no way do I denigrate the service and dedication those that served and suffered in ALL forces, services, and even civilian duties to the most brutal event in the world's history, but it has become too easy to lionize everyone as a hero or being dutiful as if this latest generation must hold them to a standard.

I recently listened to a podcast interview from a few years ago of Alex Winter who wrote about Lt Bouck's I&R platoon action at the start of the Battle of the Bulge. His platoon's action, 18 men against a battalion, was very commendable, however, listening to Mr Winters description made me irate. Everything he described was over the top: "it was the greatest battle in WWII", "the coldest winter ever", "the biggest bombardment of the war". Story telling is one thing, not doing your research and hyping it up is another.

What happened to the modest personal accounts? My personal favorite accounts are Company Commander and If You Survive, very raw accounts by the actual participants. These days, personal accounts are edited by others (understandably), but the need to venerate them is a little too much just to sell books.
Hi Dunnie, it is very simple,it was the same for us in WW2 as it was for our fathers in WW1. We found ourselves in uniform and carrying lethal weapons,we were given orders and carried them out to the best of our abilities.The majorities of us were not Heroes we were ordinary blokes and sometimes we were scared but still pressed on hoping for the best and just wanting to get it all done and get back home again! Some of us were lucky and some were not.Hear of some Vets that never wear their service medals or talk about things,we that do, are respecting those almost forgotten faces that did not make it back home and are reaching out our hands into that darkness that we so easily could have shared. But Heroes? No!! lcm1
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  #19  
Old 23 Dec 12, 20:54
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word inflation took care of the value Hero.

the word has been printed so freely for the most trivial events
that the value of the word resembles the value of paper money.
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  #20  
Old 23 Dec 12, 21:37
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word inflation took care of the value Hero.

the word has been printed so freely for the most trivial events
that the value of the word resembles the value of paper money.
WE,is an important word.It is self effacing,when you do not wish to appear over whelmed by your own self importance. One could say, a good example of modesty. lcm1
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  #21  
Old 23 Dec 12, 22:46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcm1 View Post
.............when you do not wish to appear over whelmed by your own self importance. One could say, a good example of modesty. lcm1
self importance. Now that's lodestar talk!!
Did I ever tell you all about the time I took a 10.45 metropolitan bus instead of my usual 9.00 workhorse?
Make your hair stand on end!
Make Verdun look like a Sunday school picnic!!

Let me set the scene........

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  #22  
Old 24 Dec 12, 01:38
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Originally Posted by lodestar View Post
self importance. Now that's lodestar talk!!
Did I ever tell you all about the time I took a 10.45 metropolitan bus instead of my usual 9.00 workhorse?
Make your hair stand on end!
Make Verdun look like a Sunday school picnic!!

Let me set the scene........

Regards lodestar
No you have never ever told me ls,I can't wait.It will go down in my diary as a milestone in my career!! lcm1
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  #23  
Old 24 Dec 12, 04:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Massena View Post
The term is overused and everyone isn't one. It has the unintended effect of cheapening the term.

It's the same thing with teenagers and the word 'awesome.' They use it to describe everything and everything isn't 'awesome.' It makes the term meaningless.

The first mass use of the term 'hero' I think was when we returned from Kuwait in 1991. We certainly didn't feel like, and knew we weren't 'heroes.' We just did our job and were glad to be home.

Sincerely,
M
Do you think it has to do with the fact that today all service is volunteer based, even during wars, as opposed to the draft base service of previous wars?
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  #24  
Old 24 Dec 12, 05:53
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Do you think it has to do with the fact that today all service is volunteer based, even during wars, as opposed to the draft base service of previous wars?
I would have to say no. I think we owe a volunteer more gratitude than one who is compelled to serve no matter the field, but I don't see how volunteer and hero are synonymous.

Some volunteering used to be compulsory. Back in the days when I was a young buck judges gave certain juvenile offenders the choice between a vacation at a state institution and enlistment in the service.

Regards,
Dennis
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  #25  
Old 24 Dec 12, 06:12
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Originally Posted by D1J1 View Post
but I don't see how volunteer and hero are synonymous.
Obviously it isn't, but since the amount of servers is significantly small and the extreme most of the population doesn't have the first clue of what it's like, I can see how it can lead to that.

Again, I'm not saying that's the reasons, I just asked for opinions.
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Old 24 Dec 12, 06:18
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That's a good point, I think, and sometimes those who haven't served are either intimidated or in awe of those that do.

There are also those in society who hate the military service for myriad reasons, none of which makes any sense.

And unless there is a war on, the military services are basically invisible in the US except in the communities around the major bases.

Too many just don't get it.

Sincerely,
M
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  #27  
Old 24 Dec 12, 06:20
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Seems like now hero is more of a buzzword then anything else now - used enough to the point it loses much of it's punch. When politicians or sports stars or heroes, you know it's getting bad.

I made the mistake of calling a World War 2 vet a hero - he had served on Kokoda. I was a youth at the time, the mistake was understandable, but he set me straight. I'd wager that most, if not all, combat veterans don't consider themselves heroes.

Another vet offered an interesting opinion once - he once described bravery as simply enduring battle without running away. To him, heroism and courage wasn't simply a matter of charging machine gun nests or dragging wounded away from battle. It was about sticking it out.
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Old 24 Dec 12, 06:24
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That's a good point, I think, and sometimes those who haven't served are either intimidated or in awe of those that do.
I know what you mean. Growing up as a kid interested in military history, I was always in awe of veterans. I only met a few, which made it more, well, romantic for me. To me, it wasn't so much about emulation, but just respect - respect for enduring hell on earth.
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  #29  
Old 24 Dec 12, 06:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crackshot View Post
Seems like now hero is more of a buzzword then anything else now - used enough to the point it loses much of it's punch. When politicians or sports stars or heroes, you know it's getting bad.

I made the mistake of calling a World War 2 vet a hero - he had served on Kokoda. I was a youth at the time, the mistake was understandable, but he set me straight. I'd wager that most, if not all, combat veterans don't consider themselves heroes.

Another vet offered an interesting opinion once - he once described bravery as simply enduring battle without running away. To him, heroism and courage wasn't simply a matter of charging machine gun nests or dragging wounded away from battle. It was about sticking it out.
Hi Cs,that is right you just look forward to when it is all over! lcm1
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  #30  
Old 24 Dec 12, 18:07
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Originally Posted by lcm1 View Post
WE,is an important word.It is self effacing,when you do not wish to appear over whelmed by your own self importance. One could say, a good example of modesty. lcm1

the problem with "We" is when the person really is referring to "I".. and uses that word to add strength to their argument.

now if it was a guy like you referring to his service to his country
WE would be perfectly acceptable when referring to his unit

Mary Christmas
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