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Why we shouldn’t just have military discounts

Every time I see a sign taped to the cash register or to windows of businesses that says something along the lines “10 percent Military Discount,”  a wave of indignation passes through me.

I do not think that discounts from businesses should be restricted to military personnel. Let me explain.

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First off, I believe when businesses, such as Banana Republic, Lowe’s, Apple and Disney World handout military discounts, they are doing two things. They are establishing an uncouth definition of what it means to serve this country and encouraging a hierarchy that discredits the work of other heroes in our country, treating military personnel better based on their willingness to volunteer.

It isn’t that I am appreciative unappreciative (correction) of the risks they have taken. It’s that I recognize that the military is not the only group of people serving this nation.

I am advocating for reconstructing our definition of what it means to serve this country. I am thinking of the word ‘serve’ in the sense of yielding a service or product for others, not limiting it to just those who have enlisted in the military.

I figure that if we were to think of it in those terms, we would discover that millions of people are serving their country; millions of Americans who are equally deserving of discounts as any soldier.

This also brings into question where our values lie, or in other words, what does it mean to be hero in this country? The United States functions through a military lens, where our fears and hubris have limited our scope of heroes to be only soldiers. And I am not saying that they aren’t in some regard. I am just disappointed that our teachers, firefighters and nurses aren’t held with the same esteem.

Personally, I believe that a collaboration of education, patience and an open mind is key to improving a lot of the world’s problems. I think by glorifying the military profession with discounts is reiterating the long-held notion in this country that a strong military presence is the way to go about encouraging change. To put it more simply, encouraging a forceful approach over what I believe to be a stronger and powerful, and perhaps more peaceful one.

I feel that if any Country Buffet or 4’ x 8’ discount is to be given at all, the firefighter who worked around the clock to maintain the raging summer flames deserves it as much as a single mother in the Army.

It isn’t just a matter of “supporting the troops,” respect, or debts to society at this point — the system rewards, as I said, individuals on their willingness to volunteer for one job instead of another. In other words, by not paying homage to other professionals in this country who do equally valid work, we create a dangerous hierarchy in our system that treats people as if they are more deserving of discounts than another who, due to medical reasons, couldn’t enlist or was more passionate about serving their country as a counselor at the public middle school.

Businesses are stratifying our society (further than it already is), with military discounts by putting the group of individuals who serve in the military at the cusp, based on what I deem to be irrelevant factors, such as the riskiness of the job, annual pay and respect.

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Those are not justifiable reasons to offer a military discount. So not handing out discounts isn’t a sign of disrespect; it’s a sign of unequal recognition of all. From my standpoint, enlisting in the military was a personal choice, just as much as it was for everyone else to choose another profession. Besides, who decided that if a business doesn’t offer the 10 percent military discount they don’t support troops?

We should not offer a 10 percent discount off the price of a movie ticket as a consolation discount for volunteering for the military. If a discount for those who have chosen risky professions is insisted upon, then we need to offer it to all or none.

Who receives discounts should not be determined by the riskiness of the job. If you can’t put a price on a life, then you can’t put discounts on it either.

Click here to see a response from Collegian opinion columnist Lauren Stieritz.

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Comments (28)

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  • V

    VeteranOct 21, 2023 at 5:44 am

    You seem upset? I can offer you therapy, at a veteran discount if you’d like?

    Reply
  • B

    BillJun 14, 2023 at 11:24 pm

    I don’t Thank you understand what the word sacrifice means.

    You live in your safe little comfortable world and you professed to know and understand.

    The sacrifice that is given is not just an inconvenience or missing out on my birthday or a wedding or a graduation.

    The sacrifice is missing a limb Or missing a leg or not have an eyesight anymore.

    Or the sacrifice could be as high as death.

    A ten percent discount is a very small reward reward for the risk that Given by serving in the military.

    The very fact that you are afforded the freedom to insult the people that defend you explains everything.

    Bill

    Reply
  • N

    neverreadingthisoutletagainJun 11, 2023 at 1:04 am

    First of all, there are other professions that receive discounts including police, firefighters, paramedics, educators, and many others. The main problem I am finding with your article, besides being highly ungrateful, is that you seem to be comparing the military with other services. Now this is not an issue in the fact that those other service professionals also put a lot on the line for the things they do, but it is an issue, in my opinion, that you are comparing a federal government service with local government services. Yes police, firefighters, paramedics and others also put their lives on the line to protect and serve, but they are serving their local communities for the purposes of peace keeping and life saving, whereas the U.S. military put their lives on the line for our freedoms, including your right to share your opinion on why the men and women who have given their lives for your freedoms don’t deserve a discount unless it’s fair.

    Reply
  • B

    BoHicaJul 18, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    F*** yourself, hippie. If you weren’t so gutless, you’d get the discount.

    Reply
  • M

    mindsasoneJun 27, 2017 at 5:44 am

    A few years late, but have to say…typical of arrogant alpha-male post-military egotist combat drones. Dude, you freaking volunteered knowing EXACTLY what you would get yourself into. I have little sympathy for people who take the chance joining the military, and then whine about the result of joining the military. If it was so darn bad, you should have gone awol or shot yourself in the foot. But you stayed. And news flash, a war hasn’t been fought to defend American freedom since wwII. By your arguments, injured firefighters should also get discounts. But they don’t. Stop worshipping your own legacy. There’s a reason they snare you young for the army…adults world know better than to fall for the hype. You were brainwashed by the military into believing you fought for something great, that your fellows were your brothers…but it’s just mind control. Whatever, you chose it. but you choose it for YOU, not for freedom. No soldier is an altruist. Drop the naive “service” nonsense. Soldiers join so they can say they defended freedom…not to actually defend freedom. Otherwise, you wouldnt be bragging about how you defended freedom. The real sacrificers? Civilian contractors who risk their lives, without guns, to drive food to soldiers outside the wire in the sandbox. But do they get discounts? No. Let’s see how long you survive in Iraq without KBR feeding your ass. And between free housing, free food, free college, and free job training, soldiers get plenty more than the rest of us.

    Reply
    • Y

      You'reamoronJun 11, 2023 at 12:34 am

      You sound like a very selfish, self-centered individual yourself. If there was no military, as it sounds like you are implying would be better than “brainwashing” young people, then you likely wouldn’t have been able to post what you did without being thrown in prison or shot in the. Military presents serves a much larger purpose than what your little mind can comprehend, it’s called preservation of peace you hypocrite. Need time you decide to exercise your first amendment right to spout without idiotic rhetoric is on your mind, maybe stop and consider the men and women who have volunteered their lives to maintain your freedoms!

      Reply
  • D

    Drevik, BubbanotbadApr 24, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    This has to be the dumbest thing that I have read in a long time. Some businesses do offer discounts to teachers and police, as well as ambulance drivers and more. I know when I worked in a convenience store, we gave free coffee and such to police officers and the ambulance guys that would come in.

    Here is a website of businesses that offer discounts to teachers https://www.giftcardgranny.com/blog/the-complete-list-of-66-teacher-discounts/

    there are also plenty of businesses that offer discounts to first responders
    https://www.couponheaven.com/first-responder-discounts/

    Students and Seniors can also find plenty of discounts as well.

    Many businesses even offer free food for kids.

    Reply
  • R

    Russian,Italian,German,BelgianNov 14, 2016 at 10:05 am

    What about railway workers, away from home long periods. My grandfather killed by a locomotive falling on him at 3 am . Many co workers I know killed. I imagine plenty of jobs are the same. My sisters friend killed running a fork lift , box fell on him. Other co worker in half by a train. People have to do something to make money and you do have a choice. Stay in your house and never come out. that is safe. How many people killed in road accidents every year. It dwarfs the military deaths , even all of WW! and WW2. When people have a job, they are serving their country by keeping the economy running.

    Reply
  • D

    Dyfan RowlandsJul 11, 2016 at 7:41 am

    The police should get it as well, as well as the fire service, and many other professions in my opinion. You’re literally saying that the only people worthy enough discounts are the forces, which is simply not true. You’re sounding bitter at the concept of other professions receiving a discount as well. ‘Oh, but it’s only the forces who deserve it, no one else can have it because they don’t get deployed, spend as much time away, etc’.

    These discounts should be expanded in my opinion. You just sound ignorant here

    Reply
  • N

    Nat_ReaderlandNov 10, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    whatever….

    Reply
  • O

    OliviaOct 28, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    Men and women giving up their lives, limbs, sanity, freedom to protect this country and you stick up your nose and say that that’s not a good enough reason to get a measly 10% discount on an overly priced handbag? The only reason you have any right to write this article is because of our soldiers who put their lives on the line so you can try to downplay their sacrifice. Yes, we reward their volunteering to serve, because it could kill them! How are you not seeing this? Teachers, nurses, firemen, yes they are heroes, teachers get discounts and appreciation, and from what I’ve seen firemen and nurses are constantly praised and honored, what do soldiers get? They get to come home after 1+ years to the very people they protect trying to take what small benefits they have away. Teachers don’t see their best friends blown to bits. Nurses don’t come home from the hospital with such severe PTSD that they attempt or even succeed at suicide. Firemen don’t have any chance of becoming prisoners of war and being tortured behind enemy lines. All those risks and then some and yet average Americans still find the courage to stand up and volunteer to serve. I think the very LEAST we could do is give them a discount next time they wanna take their family to Disney before their next deployment.

    Reply
  • M

    Mariah ParviziSep 28, 2015 at 12:57 am

    All military’s support the killing and harm of humans, you received “an award given for being wounded in combat”. Why are injuries awarded, what is the message of the military? War should not exist. There’s no reason to think that people who participate in a group (the military) who kill other people should be regarded as hero’s. A soldier from one country will come home as a “hero”, as a soldier from another country will never come home. Neither is the hero, someone just won the battle.
    What does it mean to be patriotic? Is one group of humans better than another because of where we were born? If no one supported or joined any military in the world, then there would be no war. I support all human life, not just American and will not be encouraging that idea with any means of support like a discount.

    Reply
    • O

      OliviaOct 28, 2015 at 1:07 pm

      So, based off your statement, if everyone in America quit joining the military and vouched for peace, terrorists would see that and say, “Oh, what a swell idea. Let’s all just be friends?” No, they would see us as a target and America would be obliterated. I agree with you, war should not exist, and the term “hero” may need alteration. But war is real. Terrorism is a reality. People want to get rid of America because we are too strong, and they want to wipe us out, cut off our allies, so they can take over. If we let them do that, you think that will bring peace? You think they’ll suddenly become men of God who respect women and love everyone? No, that is certainly not going to happen. What supporting the military means is a chance for good to triumph over evil.

      Reply
      • M

        Mariah ParviziOct 28, 2015 at 4:56 pm

        There are too many logical fallacies in your argument.
        All I ask is, (and I am not the first to say) why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?
        If the majority of humans can agree with us that war should not exist or at least that “I myself do not want to kill”, then I see no reason why so many people see this as one of those things that can’t be changed.
        Who is evil? I don’t believe anyone is born evil, we are condition to hold certain beliefs. Different beliefs doesn’t make a person bad or wrong or evil.

        Money and Power are just tools, they have no real meaning

        Reply
    • R

      Russian,Italian,German,BelgianNov 14, 2016 at 10:08 am

      this is exactly right. I also think of humanity , not in terms of which team ( country) you are playing for. So when a former soldier from another country shows his medal for killing americans, he should get a military discount too. after all he was a brave individual.

      Reply
  • T

    Tuff GuffsOct 6, 2014 at 7:10 am

    These replies are exactly what I’m sure anyone would have expected. All the freebies/discounts are like something out of a creepy fascist society. Not everyone in uniform actually serves the country and besides, it’s voluntary and YOU GET PAID TO DO IT.

    Reply
  • M

    MitchJun 21, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    yes but discounts to law enforcement has been greatly abused over the years and are now practically bribes to get police to stay at someone’s store for longer and police only experience about 1% of what he described while on the job because they get to go home some police officers never have to use there gun or even go out in the field they also get better pay and benefits they also get more sick time and better retirement they also don’t have to live in another place far from family’s and watch there entire battalion die in front of them and go to work the next day so do not tell me they are the same exact

    Reply
    • N

      Nat_ReaderlandNov 10, 2015 at 12:31 pm

      Since 2001 there were a total of 2,039 combat deaths in Afghanistan…Since 2001 there have been 2181 law enforcement deaths…hmmm….and before you talk about how great their benefits are, dont. You never did the job

      Reply
  • R

    RalphJun 18, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Good article. Brave of you to take on the obviously entrenched warrior culture. I understand exactly what you speak of. While some of these comments claim that there are many other discounts for other groups, its clear to see that the majority of discounts go to people associate with the military. Much of the comment-criticism here is predicated on the idea that every military action is somehow a “freedom” crusade, without which we would all be in some chained cage. Even though other non-militant countries seem to have access to leisure and computers as well…(miraculously! without having to connect that to warfare.) A simple (honest) look at the 2003 Iraq pro-war argument will reveal something quite different. I don’t believe that military missions are necessarily drafted to provide “freedom” for Americans. In fact, I’m sure any (unbiased) observation of real politics throughout history can attest to the naivete of such an assumption. I know that I’ll be the new “target” here for practicing free speech, because to cope with certain realities, people have to adopt certain perceptions, (however illogical they may be); and to question those ideas forces them to either take a good look at reality or simply attack the messenger as”evil” and continue in “happiness”.

    Reply
    • S

      searchursoulJun 11, 2023 at 12:49 am

      What countries are non-military? Also, of those non-military countries, how many have advanced technology and the leisure you speak of? You say things like “I believe” and “In fact, I’m sure” as if people will just line up behind you and accept what you say, but really it just means you have no idea what you’re talking about and you’re just guessing with your own opinion. And yes, you will be targeted for practicing your free speech, especially when it’s targeted at the men and women who volunteered to help you keep that freedom you ungrateful privileged American!

      Reply
  • A

    AngelJun 6, 2014 at 10:53 am

    What have you done for this country ? You get over payed to teach students when half of them hate you! We get underpayed for things this country don’t appreciate . With out our military you won’t be able to drive that nice car that you probably have . Or even get payed over $50,000 a year when you only work for 10 months of it and get summers off . A teacher is a 9-5 job! We work everyday for over 12 hours! Have you ever been shot at ? Have you ever witness a friend die infront of your face ? Let me guess, the hardest thing you’ve been through is maybe giving some kid a F .

    Reply
  • L

    LASOct 10, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Its not a lack of consideration or education for who the “heroes” are in our country. Maybe it’s your own tunnel vision that is the problem. Those discounts are based on socio-economic levels mostly. There are also veterans discounts. And senior discounts at stores, restaurants, movies, travel agencies… You may as well say that stores like Apple and Microsoft shouldn’t offer teacher and student discounts. And stores like Oakley, Sprint, and Geico shouldn’t offer emergency services (EMT, Firefighters, Police) personnel discounts.

    Reply