5 Ways to Thank a Warrior for Their Service (Learn More, Multi-Video)

To help American’s thank warriors who protect our freedom, Warriors Heart Clinical Director and Gold Star Mother, Annette T. Hill, recommends 5 sincere statements versus to “Thank a Warrior for Their Service.”

While many intend to show gratitude to a veteran by saying, “Thank you for your service,” this often-used statement is not always received well.

Annette is an addiction and trauma expert, who specializes in healing our warrior-protectors (military, veteran, law enforcement, fire fighters, EMS and first responders) at Warriors Heart.

(Learn More about how Warriors Heart in Texas helps Veterans. Courtesy of Goody PR and YouTube)

This peer-to-peer residential treatment program is the first private healing center in the US solely dedicated to warriors struggling with chemical dependencies, PTSD, and other mild-co-occurring disorders.

When asked to define “warriors”, Annette explains, “A warrior is someone whose job it is to run into the crisis when everyone else is running out.”

The peer-to-peer program at Warriors Heart allows our warriors to heal in a unique like-minded facility.

Along with being Clinical Director for Warriors Heart residential treatment program, Annette is a volunteer clinician for Operation Freedom Bird.

This group supports 50 combat vets on an experiential Healing Journey to Washington D.C. every year.

The goal is to reduce symptoms of PTSD, unresolved grief and moral injury.

One question discussed is, “How do you feel when someone you do not know says, ‘Thank you for your service.’” To the staff’s surprise, this question continues to result in contentious debates.

To help all Americans thank our warriors for their service, Annette urges civilians to express thanks “with sincerity and some humility”, and offers five ways to express gratitude:

1.    Thank you for all you do, for the sacrifices you make to defend us.
2.    I will always feel greatly indebted to you for your willingness to serve and protect us.
3.    I want to give you my gratitude for your willingness to sign on the line.
4.    Thank You for being willing to sign on the line to do this job, not sure I could do that.
5.    Thank you for being willing to do this job that brings with it everything that it does.

Annette explains the complexities behind the statement “Thank You for Your Service” and why a well-intended thank you may trigger a negative reaction.

Some of the reasons include:

  • Vietnam Veterans were not appreciated when they came home in the 1970s, and may still harbor bad feelings.
  • There are many younger veterans who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq as well, that don’t appreciate the statement “Thank you for your service.”
  • When you thank a warrior, you are expressing gratitude for their dedication to serve and acceptance of the potential of high costs, and maybe the ultimate cost – so sincerity is a must.
  • Many veterans are still dealing with trauma and may be thinking, “You don’t even know why you are thanking me”.

Many civilians continue to be surprised how much the statement “Thank you for your service” may be upset a warrior.

Annette emphasizes that many veterans are still dealing with trauma, and encourages everyone to take the time to express sincere gratitude to our warriors over this July 4th holiday for protecting our freedom as Americans, and really every day.

(If you are a warrior and you need help for addiction, mental illness, PTSD, or just need someone, there is hope. Courtesy of Warriors Heart and YouTube)

Annette T. Hill (MC, LPC, NCC) is the Warriors Heart Clinical Director in Bandera, Texas, near San Antonio and Gold Star Mother. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, and EMDR Certified Therapist.

Annette has a private practice and has 15 years of experience as a dual diagnosis therapist in residential treatment settings, including The Meadows, and eight years with Journey Healing Centers’ Sundance Center.

Warriors Heart is the first private treatment center for warriors only (military, veterans and first responders) in the US for addiction and PTSD founded by Josh Lannon, Lisa Lannon and Tom Spooner.

Warriors HeartThis rehabilitation program provides a unique peer-to peer based solution to help the over 13.3 million American Warriors faced with the self-medicating struggles of alcohol addiction, prescription and drug addiction, PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and mild TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) in a private, 40-bed facility on a 543-acre ranch.

While other rehabilitation centers have a veteran track, the veterans are still mixed with civilians during treatment compared to Warriors Heart that is solely dedicated to warriors.

There is a 24-hour Warriors Heart hotline (844-448-2567) answered by warriors.