For those who have served in the military, it’s often seen as a badge of honor.
But are there certain circumstances that should disqualify someone from being considered a “veteran”?
Redditor xaj13 has recently become fed up with their uncle’s claims of being a veteran and wondered if they would be wrong to confront him about it.
So they turned to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) to ask:
WIBTA (Would I Be the A**hole), if I told my uncle to stop acting so entitled about being a ‘veteran’ in the Navy when he only served 6 months & got dishonorably discharged?”
The original poster (OP) explained their uncle’s annoying behavior.
“The title pretty much explains it but I’ll elaborate. So my uncle 52M(ale) feels like he’s entitled to everything in his life because he served in the Navy.”
“Okay well he only served 6 months & was discharged for reasons I won’t discuss. He acts like he’s so much better than everyone & I’m tired of it.”
“Some examples, if he doesn’t get discounts at a restaurant, he makes a scene. If people don’t acknowledge him wearing a military hat, he makes it known.”
The behavior is especially frustrating for the OP given their grandpa’s history in the military.
“My grandfather was in the military & served in the Vietnam War, & I never once heard him boast about it.”
“He would simply talk about his experiences if it came up. He’s always been very humble about it.”
“My uncle now decides to treat everyone a certain way because he’s a ‘veteran’ who fought for this country. No he sat on a sub for 6 months & didn’t put his life at risk at all.”
Now the OP is wondering if they should give their uncle a dose of reality.
“Would I be the a**hole if I finally told him he doesn’t have a right to treat people any kind of way cause he feels like he can or should I just keep letting him go?”
“It’s honestly insulting to my grandpa who actually fought on the front line & sacrificed himself.”
Redditors weighed in on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
They were disgusted with the uncle’s behavior.
“NTA, but your uncle is on a couple different levels.”
“Claiming to be a veteran after serving for 6 months and being dishonorably discharged is
bordering onstolen valor. Which is an a-hole move by itself.”
“Even if you fully completed your service honorably, you are not ‘entitled’ to anything as a veteran aside from your official veteran’s benefits. I know plenty of veterans who hate ‘that guy’ who constantly reminds people of his service every chance he gets and expects to get special treatment/discounts because of it. That type of guy is also an a-hole even if he is a veteran.”—sk9592
“Hello. Veteran here. I f**king hate people who do this stuff.”
“It’s rude and entitled and it just makes things unpleasant and awkward.”
“NTA, op. But your uncle surely is.”—wombatbattalion
Many also pointed out that getting dishonorably discharged automatically means the OP’s uncle isn’t considered a veteran by the military.
“Pfft ha ha ha! NTA”
“If he was dishonorably discharged the man isn’t a veteran. Yeah he served but did something so horrible it was worth getting kicked out over.”
“Whether this was assaulting a superior officer or what have you. It doesn’t matter.”—michaelscott1776
“Exactly, a dishonorable discharge would be the equivalent of getting fired from your job because you committed a misdemeanor or felony in the civilian world. You don’t get brownie points for that.”
“People make mistakes and deserve second chances. But you gotta take the L and move on. You don’t deserve to be celebrated.”—sk9592
“NTA but… Are you sure it was a ‘dishonorable discharge’? If so he has to be a convicted felon.”
“You can only get that level of discharge at a courts-martial after convicted of the more serious crimes. Think murder and rape.”
“Most civilians think if it wasn’t honorable then it was dishonorable. Nope.”
“There are 5 characteristics possible. The worst 2 are reserved for courts-martial. Honorable is obviously the best. DD is the worst.”
“Regardless if you served less than a year and never saw combat get off your high horse. There are 5 medals I take notice of.”
“Anybody else is just a veteran. Like me. We served. But we didn’t ‘serve’.”—MilitaryJAG
One helpful Redditor even laid out what the levels of discharge are.
“There are 5 different types of discharges:”
“General, Under Honorable Conditions”
“Under Other than Honorable Conditions”
“Bad Conduct Discharge (Big Chicken Dinner)”
“Honorable is when you complete your tour in good conduct.”
“General, Under Honorable Conditions is when you are administratively discharged, mainly medical problems.”
“Under Other than Honorable Conditions is normally for bad conduct, (being an a**, insubordination, infidelity, etc)”
“Bad Conduct Discharge (Big Chicken Dinner) is what happen to a fellow co-worker (he smoked hash) and is normally a court martial or trial. It’s for the lesser crimes such as shop-lifting, drug use, not paying your bills, etc.”
“Dishonorable is the big deal. That’s by trail and it’s for murder, rape, treason, etc.”
“I’m thinking your Uncle was Under Other than Honorable Conditions or the BCD since you wont discuss it and the fact he only did 6 months.”
“Navy is usually a 3-year term and even if it is medical, most can milk out the enlistment until it’s over, so to kick him out in 6 months means he did something pretty messed up where they just didn’t want to deal with him any more.”
“Either way, so not NTA and as a 20 veteran, his attitude disgust me.”—capricorn40
The OP responded to say they were certain it was a dishonorable discharge.
“I’m honestly just glad to be informed about the different discharges but it was definitely a dishonorable discharge, & I’m sorry he thinks he represents the rest of the military, I truly apologize on his part, thank you for your service.”
Many weighed in to agree that most veterans don’t even like to talk about their service—and certainly don’t brag about it.
“NTA. As the daughter of a vet who’s served in Iraq, and never boasts about his accomplishments in the Army, this enraged me. Your uncle sounds awful, and I hope he gets his sweet, sweet karma.”—Soldier_Wolf2007
“My Dad told me people who have been in battle don’t talk about it. They were lucky to come home when their friends didn’t.”—sassymaggie
“My grandfathers never spoke about their World War 2 service nor did my uncle and his time in Vietnam. None of my great uncles either for any war or my great aunt who served in World War 1.”
“It just wasn’t spoken about (although I finally got to hear some amazing stories of the people they met and things that other extended family did).”
“One grandfather was deployed doing communications for years and the other was naval supply and support. I don’t think either one of them ever asked or expected a discount even once.”
“They only said anything when I asked, and their fellow veterans and friends were the same way.”
“One finally told me despite the dangers he faced he felt like he wasn’t as deserving as those who were on the front lines in getting some benefit. I think he only utilized the GI bill to finish college.”—S3xySouthernB
One military member had a bit of advice for the OP.
“NTA. I currently serve and I don’t like the attention I get in public while wearing my uniform nor do I discuss my military service with any civilians I know.”
“Please put your uncle in his place before an actual veteran does it and it won’t be pretty.”—No_Corner8541
If the OP does end up approaching their uncle, here’s hoping he heeds their warning.