What is a Combat Veteran?
The VA states:
Veterans, including activated Reservists and members of the National Guard, are [Combat Veterans] if they served on active duty in a theater of combat operations…and have been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions.
[However, the above definition is for eligibility for VA benefits]
The American War Library states:
What is a Veteran? – A veteran is defined by federal law, moral code and military service as “Any, Any, Any”… A military veteran is Any person who served for Any length of time in Any military service branch.
What is a War Veteran? – A war veteran is Any GI (Government Issue) ordered to foreign soil or waters to participate in direct or support activity against an enemy. The operant condition: Any GI sent in harm’s way.
What is a Combat Veteran? – A combat veteran is Any GI who experiences any level of hostility for any duration resulting from offensive, defensive or friendly fire military action involving a real or perceived enemy in any foreign theater. Wartime medals also define various levels of individual combat involvement, sacrifice and/or valor.
The above statements are pretty broad and do not adequately describe the troops of Charlie Company. So here are my definitions of an Army Combat Veteran who served in Vietnam:
– You were eligible and received a Combat Infantryman Badge.
– You were eligible and received a Combat Medical Badge.
– You may have received a Purple Heart.
– You may have received various medals with V device for valor.
– You were assigned to Charlie Company and humped the boonies.
Fast Freddy says:
if you lived behind wire, if you were in the rear echelon, if you slept in a bed, if you ate hot food, if you took hot showers, if you used a flush toilet, if you got laid regularly, you were NOT a Combat Veteran