Most of us vets have heard, "Thank you for your service." It's a well-meaning attempt at acknowledgement but it reveals the acknowledger's misunderstanding of the fundamentals of communication. If truth be told the interaction feels a bit uncomfortable for both the acknowledger and the vet. In communication coaching lingo it's not experienced as a well-deserved valid communication because the acknowledger has not created space for the vet to receive a positive acknowledgment. i.e. If for example your platoon leader told you to clean your weapon and you know you did a half-assed job then that interaction (even though it appears you got away with it) is stored in your mind as an incomplete; it's a perpetration for which you have not been acknowledged—it serves as a barrier to consistently manifesting the results you say you want. The "Thank you for your service" acknowledger is unaware that vets do not undergo a Clearing during the discharge process; ergo, most vets are dragging around thousands (yes thousands) of incompletes, for which they have not been acknowledged, into each present-day interaction with friends and loved ones.
We all know that no awards, medals, or commendations can completely acknowledged a veteran. What's also true is that a veteran cannot experience a positive acknowledgement if the vet's mind is simultaneously thinking, "Yah but . . . if you only knew." That is to say, if one has accumulated a lifetime of perpetrations that have not been verbally acknowledged to anyone then these incompletes serve as barriers to communication, to the experience of acknowledgment.
For more about acknowledgments, incompletes, perpetrations, withholds and how to restore/maintain your integrity read The Communication Skills Tutorial for Veterans (it's free). The tutorial triggers subject matter (thoughts) in support of completing one's military experience. A vet who is clear and complete simply reads the material and gets it (it's a what's so). For a vet who is incomplete about a subject it triggers upset and anger and argument revealing an out-integrity that needs to be acknowledged and communicated, to a trusted friend, journaling, or a clearing process.
BTW; A valuable, space-creating, engaging acknowledgment is: "For what [as pertains to your military service] would you like to be acknowledged?" Or, reworded, "What have you not been acknowledged for? The mind, when it's asked this question, immediately recalls an incomplete, an unacknowledged perpetration (a lie, a deceit, a theft, a con they ran on someone, a thought they are withholding from someone) or, if there are no perpetrations, then a good deed or performance.
For example during a Clearing a communication-skills coach will ask: "For what have you not been acknowledged?" Vet: "I killed a civilian." Coach: "Thank you. I got that. Is there anything else about that?" Vet: "I feel guilty." Coach: "Thank you. Is there anything else about that?" Vet: "No." Coach: "Thank you. For what have you not been acknowledged?" This continues, for up to 60-hours (with different questions) until the vet has been completely completely acknowledged. Notice that the coach simply gets a communication; no feedback, advice, or admonishment. Communications between a coach and a clearing participant are sacrosanct—as with attorneys or clergy.