For Veterans: A Hat Question

 

I love wearing baseball caps. For one, they are cheaper than a hairpiece. I have a wide collection of hats from work or places I have visited or from sports teams.

If I were to buy and wear a Space Force hat, is that Stolen Valor? I think the Space Force is awesome, and want to support them. What about buying a CVN-65 Enterprise cap, since my dad served on the Big E?

I’ve never claimed that I served, and do not want to give the wrong impression. What do you think?

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  1. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    I see Dallas Cowboy hats, but not one is thought to impersonate a player.

    • #1
  2. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    OmegaPaladin: I love wearing baseball caps.  … I have a wide collection of hats from work or places I have visited or from sports teams.

    Off topic I know, but a chance to vent: I have been a ball-cap wearer since the late 70’s…I value my hats and I respect those who can wear good hats and wear them properly.

    My first one was presented to me by my grandfather (a farmer) as part of my “uniform” to help him in the fields that summer…it was a yellow mesh “Dekalb” hat with a green bill. It was special, even when I later saw that he literally had a closet full of free hats very similar to mine. That was followed a year later by a red, white, and blue mesh “First National Bank” hat donated to our little league team (actually, every team in the league got the same hats…it was a much different America back then in my little part of the world). From the very start, I was rightly raised to wear a structured hat with a bill appropriately curved to the unique fit of the wearer. (There is a skill to doing it just right.) Today I am continually frustrated by the trash that occupies hat shelves and racks at the places I visit and wish to purchase for my collection.

    I know I may trigger some among us, but I stand here today to insist that unstructured and flat billed hats are communist and existential threats to Americanism. They must be eliminated from these shores.

    That is all.

    • #2
  3. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    My head is size 8 and 1/8.

    That “one size fits all” thing – it’s a fraud. 

    I have to special order hats. 

    • #3
  4. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    I see Dallas Cowboy hats, but not one is thought to impersonate a player.

    I have an A-10 cap around here somewhere, but I cannot spit 30mm cannon rounds at 3,900 per second.

    Wish I could, though.

    • #4
  5. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    Percival (View Comment):
    but I cannot spit 30mm cannon rounds at 3,900 per second

    What??!!

    • #5
  6. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    My head is size 8 and 1/8.

    That “one size fits all” thing – it’s a fraud.

    I have to special order hats.

    I and most of my relatives have enormous coconuts too. We call the condition “Familial Big-Head”. I’m sure you’ll find it listed in your medical reference books.

    • #6
  7. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    Mr AZ has a huge collection of hats , several of the ship he actually served on, and many purchased at every gift shop of every museum we have visited – other ships, Gettysburg, WWII museum, etc. He wears them all. 

    • #7
  8. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Hats are no problem.  What gets my undies in a bunch are these guys parading around wearing decorations they weren’t awarded.  In other words, stolen valor.

    • #8
  9. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    When the Everett Symphony rode on the Abraham Lincoln, they were selling hats, and I bought one. I wear it occasionally. These days, I mostly wear my Hillsdale College hat. 

    • #9
  10. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    Generally, my impression is that most vets aren’t troubled by it.  I know neither I or Mrs Tex wear any veteran stuff.  I used to wear an old field jacket working outside sometimes and it’s most notable in that everything on it is clearly from decades ago. We have lots of close friends who are USAFA grads and the funny thing is they all wear stuff from other service academies where their kids attended school.  As far as first responder stuff I like it when people want to wear our fire department hats and t-shirts.  FDNY hats are pretty ubiquitous since 911 and I don’t think anyone assumes that the wearer is an FDNY firefighter. 

    The stolen valor thing is sort of annoying, but for the most part it’s transparent and sort of pathetic, although people who actually profit from it in some fashion should be held to account. Usually 5 minutes around real vets is all it takes to smoke them out.  

    • #10
  11. Richard Easton Coolidge
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    I see Dallas Cowboy hats, but not one is thought to impersonate a player.

    A Cowboy fan told me this joke. There are four Cowboys in a car. Who is driving? Answer – the policeman. BTW – I’m a fan, pre taking the knee, of a team which no longer exists (the Washington Redskins).

    • #11
  12. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    Richard Easton (View Comment):
    There are four Cowboys in a car. Who is driving? Answer – the policeman.

    😂😂😂

    • #12
  13. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Richard Easton (View Comment):
    I’m a fan, pre taking the knee, of a team which no longer exists (the Washington Redskins).

    I was gonna “like” Yer comment until this…

    • #13
  14. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    Generally, my impression is that most vets aren’t troubled by it. I know neither I or Mrs Tex wear any veteran stuff. I used to wear an old field jacket working outside sometimes and it’s most notable in that everything on it is clearly from decades ago. We have lots of close friends who are USAFA grads and the funny thing is they all wear stuff from other service academies where their kids attended school. As far as first responder stuff I like it when people want to wear our fire department hats and t-shirts. FDNY hats are pretty ubiquitous since 911 and I don’t think anyone assumes that the wearer is an FDNY firefighter.

    The stolen valor thing is sort of annoying, but for the most part it’s transparent and sort of pathetic, although people who actually profit from it in some fashion should be held to account. Usually 5 minutes around real vets is all it takes to smoke them out.

    The problem is that they do their most damage hanging around civilians who have never been in the military and don’t pick up on obvious things that a vet would.

    • #14
  15. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    I wear a Marine Corps hat all the time. But my boy is still in. What I do not do (with one exception) is wear any other piece of clothing with the EGA that doesn’t say USMC Dad on it. 

    • #15
  16. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    Here’s my present collection:  

         A hat I bought in Crete that has Crete written on it.
         A hat with a photo of Bob the dog on it.
         A U.S. Army hat with a star on it.
         A hat with Oregon on it.
         A hat with Oxford University on it.
         

    All of that means is that I’m a Oxford graduate, Army veteran, Oregon resident, grew up in Crete, and have a dog named Bob. 

    Three of the five are true.  Hints:  I wasn’t smart enough to go to a prestigious university, and I’m not exotic enough to have grown up on an island.

    • #16
  17. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Percival (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    I see Dallas Cowboy hats, but not one is thought to impersonate a player.

    I have an A-10 cap around here somewhere, but I cannot spit 30mm cannon rounds at 3,900 per second.

    Loser.

    • #17
  18. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    but I cannot spit 30mm cannon rounds at 3,900 per second

    What??!!

    3,900 per minute, not per second.

    I blame impurities in this bourbon.

    • #18
  19. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Baseball caps can lead to interesting situations.

    I used to wear a “USCG Endeavor” (or some such name) cap from my late brother’s ship.  Whenever anyone asked I explained that my Bro James had been the executive officer on the boat and that I was not a Coastie.  One time in a little shop on Cape Cod the clerk was surly with me and I asked if anything was wrong, he told me that he had been arrested smuggling drugs into the country by that boat.

    While I was widowed and single and wearing an Astro-Physics cap, I stopped at a bar in Mesa, Arizona to have a drink.  Another patron, a pert young lady, took notice and asked if I was some sort of super-genius (she must have been watching Roadrunner cartoons).  We ended up drinking the afternoon away with events going beyond the limits of the COC.

    I wear Cleveland Orchestra and Northwest Connecticut Band caps, but I have only played in one of those august ensembles and it wasn’t the one in Ohio.  I wear U Vermont, Hofstra and Boston University caps in honor of my children’s alma maters.  No one ever asks about those.

    • #19
  20. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Yeah, I think hats are like rooting for the team. 

    You can wear jerseys as a fan, but not championship rings. 

    • #20
  21. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Not a problem.  If someone asks, just tell them you weren’t in the military but you support them – something like that.  I have some Phoenix caps (my boat), but also a Los Angeles cap because a high school friend of mine was on it and gave it to me.  I gave my stepfather a Phoenix cap with scrambled eggs, the same thing our CO wore.

    Stolen valor is more like claiming to have been awarded medals not really won, or wearing the uniform to get privileges reserved for actual military . . .

    • #21
  22. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    philo (View Comment):
    My first one was presented to me by my grandfather (a farmer) as part of my “uniform” to help him in the fields that summer…it was a yellow mesh “Dekalb” hat with a green bill.

    Flying corn!

    I treasure a hat I was given on a trip with a small group of high school classmates to Washington.  We were there during the Agriculture Strike when farmers drove their farm equipment to DC.  We struck up a conversation with some of the farmers and they kindly gave us the hats off their heads.  About three of us got hats.  We didn’t ask for them, they just gave them to us.  We all still have them.

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    My head is size 8 and 1/8.

    That “one size fits all” thing – it’s a fraud. 

    I have to special order hats. 

    I’ve had success for my husband here, especially for winter hats.

    • #22
  23. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    And BTW, if organizations are selling hats that’s a clear sign that they know people will wear them who are just fans or otherwise supporting them.  Not an issue.  

    • #23
  24. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    And BTW, if organizations are selling hats that’s a clear sign that they know people will wear them who are just fans or otherwise supporting them. Not an issue.

    I’ve been given crew ballcaps by those aboard ships visiting Galveston. Since the first thing they expected you to do upon being awarded a hat is to put the thing on and wear it, I have never had an issue with wearing them.

    • #24
  25. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    My head is size 8 and 1/8.

    That “one size fits all” thing – it’s a fraud. 

    I have to special order hats. 

    I’ve had success for my husband here, especially for winter hats.

    Thanks much!  

    • #25
  26. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    And BTW, if organizations are selling hats that’s a clear sign that they know people will wear them who are just fans or otherwise supporting them. Not an issue.

    Ooh, good point. 

    The military could just as easily exclusively sell them out of their troops’ clothing stores. 

    • #26
  27. Dan Pierson Coolidge
    Dan Pierson
    @DanPierson

    Not a problem at all! As a vet, I usually only ask someone about their hat if I want to chat with them about it “when were you in the Big Red One?” etc. I know next to nothing about the Navy, but I figure the same is true about an Enterprise hat. If anyone asks, they wouldn’t be offended at all by you’re wearing, especially because your father served on it. The exact opposite I believe.

    I gotta add, when are they going to update the style of the veteran hats for us younger folks (pushing 40)? No offense to anyone who  loves their veteran’s hats, and I always respect them, and I am always happy to see someone wearing one. But for OIF & OEF I wish they’d update the style for Gen-X and Millennials. But I guess, as a conservatize, I shouldn’t be too quick to throw out the old ways out just yet.

    • #27
  28. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    Dan Pierson (View Comment):
    I usually only ask someone about their hat if I want to chat with them about it “when were you in the Big Red One?” etc. I’m know next to nothing about the Navy, but I figure the same is true about an Enterprise hat. If anyone asks, the wouldn’t be offended at all by you’re wearing if because your father served on it, the exac

    When Mr AZ wears the hat for his ship (USS Los Angeles CA-135) you would not believe how many conversations have been struck up, even by young folks who are interested or want to talk about their fathers’ or grandfathers’ service. And even by guys who were on that ship. Every one of them has been very nice.

    • #28
  29. Freeven Inactive
    Freeven
    @Freeven

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    My head is size 8 and 1/8.

    That “one size fits all” thing – it’s a fraud.

    I have to special order hats.

    “One size fits all” is Marxism pure and simple.

    • #29
  30. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge
    Postmodern Hoplite
    @PostmodernHoplite

    Since ball caps aren’t actually uniform items, other than is certain Air Force (ground?) units, I’ve never really thought about them as examples of “stolen valor”. Most veterans will spot a phony in about 30 seconds into a conversation. 

    My dad proudly wore several “Vietnam Veteran” caps over the years. Of course, he was, and his valor was authentic. I’ve worn caps relating to units I belonged to and deployed with, and since these are all pretty low-density or uncommon outfits, if I even see anyone else with one, I’ll either recognize them, or will know the “when and where” details pretty darned quick. 

    • #30
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