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Old 05-07-2012, 09:48 PM
Jas09 Jas09 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 5,613
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
During a war, perhaps, but in peacetime, the vast majority of able-bodied men don't volunteer, and if they did, the military would have no way to use them all.
True, of course.

I do think there is a qualitative difference in the way veterans are viewed today, particularly when it comes to politics. It's just not a liability to not be a veteran these days, even if you were "of age" during a war. This is dramatically different than for men of age during the World Wars.

I personally think this is due almost entirely to Vietnam and the way that has changed the entire conception of warfare in the modern American psyche. It will be (and perhaps already is) interesting to see how Iraq/Afghanistan vets will be seen. I imagine it will be the similar to Vietnam vet's experiences - fine if you have it, but not at all a difference-maker electorally.

That doesn't really answer the OP's question re: Korea, however, which I think is actually more due to chance than anything else.