In the Roman Legions of the Roman Republic, in the mass of men and spears of the Greek city states, in Alexander's Macedonians - veterans were the old guys with the scars and slaughtering attitude that firmed up the lines and kept the innocent youth from breaking and running when the opposing ugly showed their fangs and snarls. Most of George Washington's greatest battles were with his military inexperience and then with fighting the Continental Congress for the men and material to keep an Army in the field... thank goodness he beat both the Congress and the British generals. All he really wanted to do was go back home, to Mount Vernon, which is really what all the veterans want to do, go back home. Not that they wouldn't do it again if needed, but you can get very cynical thinking about how few people understand what you do and why you do it. Always good for a little humor about how bad it could be, but you have been lucky, blest and getting by the best you can.
Time to remember the 11th hour of the 11th Day of the 11th month, and give thanks like they did when the guns fell silent.