There’s a curious phenomenon I can’t get my mind wrapped around (one of a zillion). There’s a tension between vets of various generations. I can recognized it, but can’t put a finger on the source.
Before I let my confusion lead to further confusion – this tension is not particularly negative. A friend described it thusly: “Due to generational culture, we live in different worlds. We are friends, but not close friends (until it comes time to go out in a “last stand” together.)”
This describes the practical nature of the tension, but does it not sufficiently define the relationship.
Actually, many volumes have been written on the subject, and movies too, if one counts the western motif. There’s the wolf pack with the aging leader and other examples from the animal kingdom as well.
I stubbornly think vets should be different. Unlike animals and gunslingers we still fight a common enemy. The weapons and tactics are certainly different, but those differences are more along the lines of the differences between the Army and the Navy, rather than trying supplanting one another.
We need not enjoy each others music, hell, we need not even fully understand each other’s language. The battles we fight are now simply in different theaters, like the Marines in the Pacific and the Soldiers in Europe.
We have our Kerrys and our Murthas, and the young guns are generating some of that ilk as well, but age isn’t a factor in that. Some folks are just shitheads.
It seems to boil down to this… emphasis on differences rather than similarities. Sure differences exist, but they should never rise above the level of Army/Navy football game stuff.
The plain facts are that we need each other and this ain’t no game!