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"i've never been to the military per se..."

what does the statement mean with the per se?
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I've never served in the military per se, but I was enrolled in ROTC in college for two years.
Comments  
Usually per se means that it does (or does not) strictly follow the definition of the thing referred to. So this would mean he has never been to the military as such, not corresponding to the definition we would usually give. It doesn't make much sense to me out of context, but perhaps this could be said:

I've never served in the army per se, but I was an independent consultant there and spend a lot of time with the troops.

You usually don't need to use 'per se'; keep it to a minimum. Don't start trailing every second sentence with 'per se'. I believe there is an amusing South Park episode where some character does this.
 Philip's reply was promoted to an answer.