It was no doubt meant to elicit a flood of nostalgic, patriotic, reminiscences and pride.
"How has serving impacted you?" tweeted the U.S. Army. The example they gave was of Pfc. Nathan Spencer, who spoke of his opportunity to serve something greater than himself.
But what bounced back was a flood of pain and grief.
Among the more than 10,000 responses were predominantly tales of the aftermath -- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the tragic deaths of relatives, the complete inability to function in daily life -- and that was just among those who remained Stateside.
"Lemme think," wrote one. "I didn't serve but my brother did he never went to war but still shot himself in the head so," wrote one bereaved responder. "He was the sweetest most tender person I'll ever know, and the U.S. Army ruined him."
There was more.
"Oh wait I have another brother who served also without fighting," the same commenter wrote. "He's been f--ked up in the head paranoid and violent for forty years ever since, and I don't even know where he is or if he's still alive and the stories he told FROM STATESIDE."
The collective response also painted a bleak picture of the havoc war wreaks on those who wage it.
It was also a look at how under-served veterans are in the United States once their service is done, USA Today reported.
Fewer than half the 20 million veterans in the United States receive VA benefits or services, USA Today said -- even though nearly 30% of Vietnam veterans, 12% of Gulf War veterans and 11% to 20% of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom veterans live with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The veteran suicide rate is one and a half times that of non-veterans, USA Today reported, with more than 6,000 taking their lives annually between 2008 and 2016.
Numerous responses came in not only from those who had served overseas but also from relatives who had seen, and suffered, the aftereffects of their loved ones' trauma.
"My cousin committed suicide while on duty at the armory after coming home from a tour abroad," wrote one responder.
"My brother-in-law tried to kill his brother after being tapped on the shoulder due to having a flash back from being in Afghanistan at a kids party..., wrote one, while another said, "My cousin nearly killed his mother his first night back when she came in to wake him up the next morning. PTSD is a bitch."
Then there were the mysteries, like this one from 2005.
"LaVena Johnson, from St. Louis, came back in a body bag and her family doesn't know why," wrote one responder. "She had a gunshot wound, and the Army tried to imply it was self-inflicted. Her parents don't agree."
After three days, the Army tweeted out condolences, thanks and offers of assistance.
"To everyone who responded to this thread, thank you for sharing your story," the Army wrote after the string of responses. "Your stories are real, they matter, and they may help others in similar situations. The Army is committed to the health, safety, and well-being of our Soldiers. As we honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice this weekend by remembering their service, we are also mindful of the fact that we have to take care of those who came back home with scars we can't see."
This article is written by Theresa Braine from New York Daily News and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.