A guilt-ridden man strummed heartstrings on Reddit when he revealed why he doesn’t want people to thank him for his service. The problem was, he never served, at least in his mind. Here is his whole story.
He Was Struggling
When OP was a young man, he went to Navy boot camp. But after two weeks, it was clear he was having big troubles.
They Wanted Him to Leave
After reviewing his case, the Navy strongly encouraged OP to return home.
He Was Going to Hurt Himself
According to the official military separation papers, OP was exhibiting suicidal ideology. Staying any longer would have endangered his well-being.
Guilt Is His Burden
Ever since then, OP was riddled with guilt over not completing the obligation he signed up for.
He Can’t Get Away From It
And, thanks to his job, OP’s past with the Navy always seems to be in his face.
They Made Him Tell
According to OP, he was forced to disclose his military service, as it were, during his initial interview. His employer told him it was for tax reporting purposes.
They Shared a Bond
Once he was hired, OP met an army veteran, and they talked about their shared experiences. Though things turned out much differently for the army man, it was still a common bond.
He Couldn’t Hide It
Since OP works in a small company, everyone knows everyone else’s business. Once his military history was out there, it was only a matter of time before the whole place knew.
They Always Bring It Up
So now, whenever the military comes up, someone almost always mentions that OP was in the Navy.
He Dreads Every Word
And when that happens, OP knows what’s coming next. It fills him with dread every time.
He Stops Them Right Away
In particular, some well-meaning person or another always seems to want to thank OP for his service. He always corrects them immediately and says he didn’t serve because he screwed up.
He Feels Awful
Whether the other person understands what he means or not, OP knows it’s the right thing to do. But it always makes him feel terrible.
It Was a Special Day
Recently, OP ordered some ice cream at the company cafeteria. He had forgotten it happened to be a holiday to celebrate veterans.
His Money Was No Good
The coworker behind the counter refused to accept OP’s money for the ice cream and again thanked him for his service.
He Ran for Cover
That was almost more than OP could bear, so he took his ice cream and headed to his car.
His Tears Melted His Treat
OP spent several minutes crying in his car while trying to get his ice cream down.
He Wants to Make It Stop
The guilt continues eating at OP, and he wonders if he should do something else to head off all the thanks he knows will come his way.
He Feels Like a Thief
Even though OP tries to correct people, he still feels like he’s getting some stolen valor. And it’s taking a toll on him.
Redditors mostly think that OP is being way too hard on himself.
They say whatever caused him to leave the Navy is long behind him. And the fact that he is quick to correct people who thank him means he’s not trying to steal valor or anything else.
However, a few suggest that OP should not tell future employers or work acquaintances about his time in the Navy. Since the stories get around
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The post Haunted by His Service Never Fully Served – One Man’s Heartbreaking Struggle With Unearned Gratitude first appeared on Career Step Up.
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