resizeimagehandlerFor years and in my book, I have always referred to Veterans with a capital V. The VA has finally acknowledged my wisdom. I spotted this change in the M21 1MR last week (circled in blue) as well as a revision correcting the Leroy Macklem error of several years ago (red) that was so costly to VA. See also Macklem II. Here’s a picture of the revision to M 21 below. Left click on it to magnify the document.



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VA claims blogger
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  1. susan says:

    Even beyond that it should be with a cap out of respect, I believe it is proper grammar that all titles begin with a cap.

    • Kiedove says:

      Thanks for bringing up titles! I will look this because I don’t know if “veteran” is a now considered a title like Queen Elizabeth, Major Smith, Dr. Smith, or Mrs. Smith (unique entities); unless we say Veteran Smith and mean it as a title of respect and not as an adjective describing Smith. (Does that make sense?) In VA claims, the capitalized word Veteran is referring to a unique entity, and not by his/her name so seems okay to me in that context.
      Generally, when I use veteran(s) in an informational sentence, unless it’s the first word, I don’t capitalize it. Nor would I capitalize police officer, teacher, or any other common noun. But there are changing rules for these usages and everywhere English is spoken, the grammar rules can be different depending on the country.

  2. Karen S. says:

    A show of respect, no matter how small it is….is still respect.

    • Kiedove says:

      I hear you. But doesn’t it depend on who is using it as a term or respect versus a manipulation, such as we might read in politicians’ campaign flyers or possibly VA documents? In the case of the VA, actions speak louder than words so I don’t trust that they mean to show veterans authentic respect by capitalizing the word. But they may be correct in terms of usage. I don’t know. You and NOD have now spurred me into ordering a book I’ve wanted for a while called the Associated Press Stylebook because I’m often perplexed by these kind of language stylistic questions. It’s only $10 and it’s most journalists’ bible with the exceptions like the NYT. Thanks for bringing this up!

  3. Kiedove says:

    NOD, I don’t capitalize the V in veteran because it’s a common noun. But if my grammar serves me, it can be capitalized when it refers to a unique entity and thus becomes a proper noun. Like Dublin. The Veteran. Plurals? Dubliners. Veterans. Veterans alone is not precise. It would be if
    modified by an adjective like American Veterans. So, any English grammar nerds out there, let us know about the proper current usage since grammar is constantly evolving or warping depending on your viewpoint!

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