After months surrounded by fellow service members, returning to the civilian world can be tough. Who are these strange, informal creatures? What's the deal with their strange habits? And when they ask me questions about my military service, what are they really asking me?
To that end, we've put together the Task & Purpose Civilian-To-Veteran Lingo Translator, a brief cheat sheet to help you make sense of all the awkward questions that well-meaning civilians may lob at your during your time at home.
What did you do in the military?
Translation: Did you ever kill anyone?
Did you ever kill anyone?
Translation: Please say yes.
Did you ever, like, go anywhere?
Translation: Did you deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan?
Did you see combat?
Translation: I still want to know if you killed someone.
What was it like coming home?
Translation: Please tell me you don’t have PTSD.
It must've been pretty crazy over there.
Translation: You definitely have PTSD
What are you doing now?
Translation: I don’t care and will forget immediately
Thank you for your service
Translation: Thank you for your service! Wait, did I sound too earnest? Or did I sound sarcastic? Oh God, please don’t blast me on your podcast.
My cousin is a Special Forces green beret
Translation: My cousin went to the Army recruiting station once and I have no idea whether he actually ended up enlisting.
I thought about enlisting.
Translation: Then I got high.
I work for a startup/media company/non-profit/any civilian job
Translation: I read Facebook and take BuzzFeed quizzes while I try to avoid doing as much work as possible.
Is ‘Top Gun’ accurate?
Translation: I think this movie is about the Air Force.
I loved the opening sequence of ‘Saving Private Ryan.’
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
Airman 1st Class Isaiah Edwards has been sentenced to 35 years in prison after a military jury found him guilty of murder in connection with the death of a fellow airman in Guam, Air Force officials announced on Tuesday.
A Russian man got drunk as all hell and tried to hijack an airplane on Tuesday, according to Russian news agencies.
So, pretty much your typical day in Siberia. No seriously: As Reuters notes, "drunken incidents involving passengers on commercial flights in Russia are fairly common, though it is unusual for them to result in flights being diverted."