Not all veterans are alike. Yes, veterans are veterans, and all have given a part of themselves for this great Nation.
However, each generation of veteran has its own alligator to wrestle. Each generation is unique, and in so being, craves the camaraderie of others who have lived through similar or same experiences. Whereas all veterans have an enormous amount in common with each other, there are significant differences that are truly unique enough to set each generation apart.
Those veterans who have gone before us have been the role models that we have emulated; they trained us, mentored us, and passed the torch to us so that we can carry on our fight for freedom. They protected us when we returned, determined that we would be received as heroes, instead of viewed as criminals and miscreants as was my father’s generation. However, those generations will never fully understand what it is this generation experienced, any more than we can possibly understand the experiences of Operation Overlord at Normandy, fighting for terrain at the battles of Pork Chop Hill in Korea, or the surprise of the Tet Offensive in Vietnam. No, this generation needs its own identity, and needs to be with veterans who understand EXACTLY what his brother has gone through, and more specifically, what alligators he wrestles.