Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

How to talk to a vet

It has come to this: Alex Horton, who gives a hoot, has written a piece on his VA blog about how to talk to a veteran without insulting him or pissing him off. The whole piece is worth reading, but here are his basic five Dos and three Don’ts : 1. Do: Ask About Our ...

The U.S. Army/Flickr
The U.S. Army/Flickr
The U.S. Army/Flickr

It has come to this: Alex Horton, who gives a hoot, has written a piece on his VA blog about how to talk to a veteran without insulting him or pissing him off.

The whole piece is worth reading, but here are his basic five Dos and three Don'ts :

1. Do: Ask About Our Buddies

It has come to this: Alex Horton, who gives a hoot, has written a piece on his VA blog about how to talk to a veteran without insulting him or pissing him off.

The whole piece is worth reading, but here are his basic five Dos and three Don’ts :

1. Do: Ask About Our Buddies

2. Do: Listen

3. Do: Try To Learn Something

4. Do: Have an Open Mind

5. Don’t: Talk Politics

6. Don’t: Be Cavalier with Questions. (Especially that old favorite about how many people you killed.)

7. Don’t: Assume Everyone Is Crippled With PTSD

8. Do: Something

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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