The Best Defense

Quote of the day: General Trainor on the loneliness of today's new veterans

Retired Marine Lt. Gen. Bernard Trainor (and author, too) looks back at his returns from wars in Korea and Vietnam and discerns a major difference in the world today's vet finds when he comes home:

Today's all-­volunteer soldier is alone; very few of his peers have served in the military, much less gone to war. Rarely are there guys to hang out with at a Manion's. Earlier, the American Legion, the VFW and reunions were a refuge of comradeship. But those are dying institutions, and today's veteran is not a joiner anyway. He is largely isolated, with only his iPhone as a comrade. Wounded or whole, modern veterans speak of yearning to be back with their units, no matter how unpleasant it would be. Many feel alone, no longer a member of Henry V's "band of brothers."

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images


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