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American Sign Language: "veteran"



In a message dated 11/8/2010 10:08:25 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, Molly writes:

Hi Bill,
I saw you a while back at the Cal-Ed conf. I do believe. I am now teaching ASL in Riverside area. I was curious on if there is another sign for “Veteran” beside “Past Army”.  The term veteran includes all military which is Marine, Navy…and so on.
Thanks so much.
Keep in touch!!


Hello :)
I tend to spell "V-E-T."   :)
But your question brings up an important point.  The sign commonly
labeled as ARMY in books and on websites can also be interpreted as "military" or "soldier."
Thus you wouldn't really be signing "PAST ARMY" you would be signing "PAST MILITARY" (even though we all tend to think of it as the "ARMY" sign) -- the signs are the same, the challenge is the labeling system.  At the beginning of your lesson you could introduce the concept of a veteran as being someone who was previously in the military, then for the rest of the conversation it would be more efficient to simply spell "V-E-T." 
     If your conversation is going to focus exclusively on veterans, after setting up your context (and clarifying that you are discussing "veterans") you could go ahead and just sign "ARMY" and your audience, students, or conversation partner would (should) understand that you are using the sign to mean "veterans."
-Dr. Bill


See:  VET

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