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Why do some people get so awkward talking to veterans?

Jul 10, 2015

Actress Scarlett Johannson doesn't seem to have a problem knowing what to say to veteran Russ Dotson.
Credit Photo courtesy Russ Dotson

You've heard it before: "Thank you for your service." Maybe you've even said it.

Veterans hear it a lot. And what we've heard from talking with veterans across the Armed Forces is that there's nothing wrong with being thanked. But then the conversation stalls.

What should you say instead? One Desert Storm veteran suggests, "If it were up to me, well wishers would say 'welcome home.'"

Erin Smith, a psychologist with the Veterans Administration Health Systems in Ann Arbor, gave us a few tips on Stateside with Cynthia Canty. Listen to their conversation, "What civilians get wrong when talking to veterans."