Many moons ago, G. Gordon Liddy* stated on his radio show that the only proper way to respond to someone who introduces himself as an American veteran is, "Thank you for your service." I'm down with that. After all, my father's a veteran.
He was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean War and served at White Sands Proving Grounds in New Mexico. His gimpy eyesight, which he lovingly passed on to me, kept him off the battlefield. Consequently, his war stories revolve around weekend passes in Tijuana, making fun of the awful movies that were screened for the boys, and pranks they'd pull on each other in the barracks. Not really the Stuff of Legend, but I'm pretty thrilled things worked out the way they did.
So, thanks Dad, and thanks to the men and women who have honorably served in their posts.
*Talk radio programs were thin on the ground in late 1990's Baltimore. I took what I could get.