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
The U.S. Army/Flickr
Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.