I realize that most people in the media today have no military experience, but please stop referring to every veteran as “retired.” Just as in a civilian business, retiring from the job means putting in 20 or more years, not just a few. I commend Mr. Smith for his service, I am a Marine Corps Vietnam veteran. But seven years is not “retired.” I spent 50 years at the News-Post, get Medicare and Social Security, so I consider myself “retired.” But had I worked there seven, or 10 or 15 years and left, I certainly would not be “retired.” Honor veterans, yes, but say it correctly. Another mistake is calling veterans “decorated.” If they have a major award, such as the Medal of Honor, Silver Star, Navy Cross, etc., yes, rightly so. But not every veteran is “decorated.” I have three medals and three ribbons, but I am not “decorated” as they are campaign (Vietnam) and unit medals, not individual awards (two are from the Republic of Vietnam government). Please try to check these things out, when I was in the newsroom I was often asked about military ranks or awards by younger reporters who didn’t know a corporal from a captain; they never had the experience. Thanks to all veterans whether during an official war period or not.

Ed Waters


(13) comments

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Andrew Schotz

Hannah Himes wrote a good, careful story. She did fine. She did not write in the story that the Marine retired. Reporters generally do not write headlines.

Comment deleted.

If you do not know what it means, perhaps it is you who is inexperienced

Comment deleted.

"The inexperience of the reporter is obviously lacking." When inexperience is lacking, we all benefit.


When people retire, institutional knowledge suffers. Now they know they can call you.


Last draft was in 1973. After that all military is made up of volunteers. Seems to be working.


Well done!


Excellent article but Mr. Waters should have pointed out that the correct terminology is former marine, never a retired one.


I have noted that this phrase and sentiment is used when a former marine does something good, but not when they do something bad.


I didn't know they get 1099 f (former) forms (which don't exist) for tax purposes rather than 1099 r (retired forms) if they truly retired from the military regardless of the branch of service.


Once a Marine, always a Marine. Never a former Marine.


Correct! Should just call these people a Vet if in doubt. But most of the time a persons prior service has nothing to do with the story. Just extra padding.


Sorry...as my BIL would tell me “once a Marine ALWAYS a Marine”!


There are no "former" or "retired" Marines. Just Marines.

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