Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
At the same time, I must also say that I am deeply saddened by a number of people I know who served two years, or maybe four years, forty or more years ago, and that seems to have been the absolute highlight of their lives.
I've been spending too much time at the local VA hospital here in Montana recently. A fine facility and the care has been good, but I chose to move over to the private sector when they wanted to send me to Salt Lake City for 8 weeks instead of treating me locally. It is certainly sad to see the mostly Vietnam era vets over there that are stuck in what was a probably 2 year segement of their life. Festooned in military ball caps displaying their unit and decorations, wearing jackets, belt buckles and any other reminder of their war. And not to be mean, but I suspect much of what is displayed on some vets is for unearned glory. If you chat with them they seem surprisingly uninformed about their old unit, where it was and what it did.... just some. The gift store is awash in the stuff as well as decals and stickers. I fear many continue to use their wartime experience as a cruthch to explain other life issues. Maybe true maybe not, but sad indeed. Sadder still is that there is a growing number of replacements from the current wars. When my daughter graduated with her BSN Degree I asked if she would consider working at the VA. "No", she said, "full of broken old men and badly damaged young men."