NASHVILLE – An Army veteran who has often complained about being thanked for his service is extremely angry that civilians have been ignoring him recently, Duffel Blog has learned.
Staff Sgt. Tim Kalentkowski separated from the Army in 2013, after multiple deployments and an increasing amount of frustration with his chain of command. He let his contract run out before leaving Ft. Campbell and settling down in Nashville. He missed the Army, and maintained his "high and tight" and showed a few other, outward signs of being a veteran.
For years, he had constantly been thanked for his service by random civilians and staff in retail stores and restaurants, much to his sometimes-visible irritation. He began to hide from the constant onslaught underneath the bill of his OIF/OEF hat at the local VFW hall, sitting by himself alone with just a black aluminum bracelet on his right wrist and a pitcher of flat draft beer.
Now, as his hair has grown out a bit and USAA revoked his credit card, he is hardly ever recognized as a veteran.
“The other day I had to run some errands. I went to the bank to pay some money down on my second mortgage, stopped at the liquor store, and ran in Wal-Mart for the new Battlefield game. And not one single person thanked me for my service.”, said Kalentkowski. “I used to think it was a bother, and I hated it. But now I find myself missing it more than I miss my rifle and sand dusted Fleshlight.”
Kalentkowski went on to say that he has even gone so far as to wear T-shirts stating things like “Freedom isn’t free. I paid for it. Thank me for my service!” that he had made and still gets no attention.
Now, only a year after separation, Kalentkowski has found himself thinking about getting back in. “At least when I was still in, I got 10% discounts on everything. People could show me thanks without having to actually say it. Now I’m not even getting so much as a fist bump. It’s like people just don’t care anymore.”
Kalentkowski's application to re-enter the service is on hold, as he has not been able to get a waiver for his new forearm tattoo that states “Liberty has a price. And I paid it.”