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Walkerman
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« on: March 24, 2018, 03:29:14 AM »

We have had a lot of rain lately, so I have been watching documentaries.... especially WWII .  I have to say, I do not think that the young Americans today could come close to doing what the young Americans did then.  That is not to say our soldiers today are less than the soldiers then .....  they are not.  But, if all of today’s youth got drafted, heaven help us.
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Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2018, 03:35:05 AM »

That was  different kind of war then.The present ones aren't the same nor where any of the others after WWII
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JOYCEfromNS
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2018, 12:31:28 PM »

But, if all of today’s youth got drafted, heaven help us.
I believe what you are feeling is a natural form of aging. All generations believe they were stronger than the one that followed. Reminds me of a cartoon caricature published in the mid 1800's  in a Halifax Newspaper (Halifax was a major military port at one time). I googled looking for it and can't.

The drawing showed the much older muscular man of rank who looked like he stood 8 feet tall and the private was the young skinny 100 lb weakling. The caption read - "they sure don't send us men like they used to"

That was published as I say in the mid 1800's
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2018, 02:02:00 PM »

Respectfully, I disagree wholeheartedly with you, Walkerman.  I have heard historians say how the adults of the 1930s feared for the country because of the youth of the day, the same youth who became what we now call The Greatest Generation, the very ones you are talking about.  Many who had lived and struggled through the Depression didn't think the kids who just missed it - or were just a bit too young to feel the full effects and shock of it all - were very tough. They were wrong.

It would be hard to have a discussion about Vietnam without getting political, but I will bring it up as an example.  When that war came along, many dodged the draft and refused service.  Years later when 9/11 happened, MILLIONS of young men and women lined up to join voluntarily.  A way different war than Vietnam to be certain, but not that much different than the WWII era you brought up where the world itself was threatened and the outcome unsure.  My point in bringing it up Vietnam is to contrast the character of the youth from the 60s generation to those of the early 2000s.  Those "kids" of the early 2000s are the big brothers and sisters, young aunts and uncles, etc, of the "kids" today.  

If there is a problem with the youth of today, it doesn't lie with the youth but with the adults, especially those who have no faith in them and basically tell them they are worthless.  Human nature remains what it is though, and many of these young people are just looking for a great cause to give themselves to.  The sour and cynical adults should put a lid on their criticism, and if they truly care about the future, help these kids find that great cause.  

I am Gen X and have to say that I find myself so absolutely disgusted by the 60s children.  They whined that the world wasn't good enough for them when they were young, and now that they are old, they are whining still, but now about the current generation.  To me, the 60s generation, as a whole, displayed more entitlement and lack of character than the new crop of millennials everyone loves to make fun of.  There are certainly a lot of wimps and weirdos in the upcoming generation, but I believe the good people - the ones who don't make for exciting memes and news coverage - outweigh them.  
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Walkerman
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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2018, 05:01:58 PM »

I believe what you are feeling is a natural form of aging. All generations believe they were stronger than the one that followed. Reminds me of a cartoon caricature published in the mid 1800's  in a Halifax Newspaper (Halifax was a major military port at one time). I googled looking for it and can't.

The drawing showed the much older muscular man of rank who looked like he stood 8 feet tall and the private was the young skinny 100 lb weakling. The caption read - "they sure don't send us men like they used to"

That was published as I say in the mid 1800's

I am not THAT old.  WW II was my dads generation.
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Walkerman
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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2018, 05:06:41 PM »

Actually, we did not whine that the world was not good enough, we tried to make it better.
Sense of entitlement etc.
  Remember.....

 Four dead in Ohio.  We put our bodies where are mouths were.  A lot of my generation died fighting segregation.  And yes, a lot died fighting in Vietnam Nam.  More than died fighting in Korea or the Middle East Wars.
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JOYCEfromNS
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2018, 10:59:17 PM »

I am not THAT old.  WW II was my dads generation.
Aware of that, sorry if I implied you were - unintentional - speaking of all generations in general
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« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2018, 10:23:35 PM »

I think you find out what people, including "youth" are capable of only when put in situation. Giants can arise from midgets when the calling comes.
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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2018, 08:20:53 PM »

21 year Army  artillery vet - from just post Vietnam to retiring in '98 . I saw a serious drug and racial issue in the immediate post-Vietnam days, a media-driven disrespect for the military  (don't ever travel in uniform, people will spit and throw things at you). We got past those issues. Now our troops are enduring multiple, year-long deployments, having to eye every person, dog, and vehicle on the street for potential IED or hidden explosives. Children sent into camps to blow themselves up... Unimaginable in WWII.

Are these kids as tough? I'd have to say yes. Circumstances and technology are certainly changed, but the basic fabric of the volunteer-soldier is every bit as hard as the draftee off the farm in 1942. Give them good training, good leaders, and they will do whatever we ask. If there IS a difference, I'd say they are more likely to question the overall morality of the mission - as does our society. But when faced with an enemy combatant who threatens the soldier or his unit - MY guys will do just fine. That 'Band of Brothers' idea is not just a movie.

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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2018, 11:21:38 PM »

I think that much of our youth is untested.  They don’t even know what they could do if serious circumstance required.  Some rise to the challenge to the best of their ability and some fall.  I think that is probably consistent throughout history.  It’s just that we hear more about those who stepped it up.   But I don’t think we could really know unless desperate circumstances forced the issue.
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