War changes people. My Dad was a Lt. Commander on a mine sweeper in Japanese waters in WWII. Lonely, dangerous work, he watched several times as other mind sweepers got blown up. He was in the Navy reserves all my growing up years. He did it for his family, for the extra income. He was handsome and proud when he put on his uniform. As he got older he told stories of his mine sweeper days, some were funny, about life on the ship. The experience never left him.
My husband Mike, stationed on Mt Tamalpais in CA during the Vietnam era at an Air Force defense station, never went overseas, his job was radar detection, watching for (mostly Russian) planes that might wander into our air space. He was proud of his work, but a motorcycle accident landed him in a military hospital for months where he laid immobile. He watched Vietnam soldiers get carried in, broken men, many screaming through the night, many died. He became passionately against the Vietnam war, but completed his work protecting the country.
Wars change people.
Blessings to all veterans this Veterans Day.