Veterans, how common is this attitude?

This is here rather than GQ because it involves essentially a clash of culture.

I came across the following in my jackdaw perigrinations:

This was from someone who was US Army, a recruiter and seems to have served for some time. How common is this attitude? This is certainly different from the attitudes of my father’s era, at least as far as I remember them. Is there really such a vast cultural division with an undertone of “we are superior to those mere civilians”? If so, then our republic is doomed.

Nope. Never came across that attitude.

I spent 8 years in the Navy, and there’s definitely a “shared experience” comaraderie between veterans, but I have never heard any veteran say, or even imply, that he or she didn’t want to associate with civvies. That goes for veterans of all branches.


I’ve never encountered that attitude at all either. Heck, very many of the people I know were all thrilled that they’d be hobnobbing as a civilian with civilians.

Same here - I haven’t encountered any veteran’s who feel that they wouldn’t or shouldn’t associate with civilians. Of course, I’ve been a civilian for over 10 years haven’t personally associated with many veteran’s (other than some of my students who’ve been in the military themselves).

As JonTheHasher said, there is a certain comaraderie that builds up with other people who have served in the military. There might be certain cases (depending on time served and personal experience in wartime) that may make some veterans feel more comfortable in being around other veterans.

I don’t think it’s one of feeling superior than civilians - I think it might be more along the lines of “I feel more comfortable being around other veteran’s because they know what it’s like to serve in the military…”. Of course, the same could be said of other people in other professions (retired cops hanging out with other retired cops, for example).

Hmm…In thinking about this a bit more, I suspect that it might be becoming more common than in the past. After the draft system was retired and the military went to an all-volunteer system, there might be a growing “disconnect” with some retired members of the military and their counterparts in civilian life.

I think the problem is not the military life so much as it is the disconcerting and alienating experience of war.

When I returned to college after a brief hiatus for Johnson’s euthanasia program, I felt I had achieved a knowledge and experience I could not explain, nor did I wish to explain to the civilians.

Having eaten that apple, you know darn well there is no way back to that garden.

However, Old Goat, how does this sit with the ideals of our Republic. If you have no desire to explain the experience, then have you not excluded yourself from our democratic republic and thus set yourself up as some sort of elite?

Veterans of war, as I am, do not discuss their missions and killing sprees publically. We only discuss these topics with other veterans.

Silence be to those who have not battled the evils for they no not of what they speak.

Military culture has become more politicized since I was in but I’ve never heard anyone express this degree of antipathy towards civilians before. I really doubt that it’s typical. My dad never talks about Nam with civilians (or with me) but he has nothing against them in general.