On Memorial Day, former soldiers of all ages will be touching base with their brothers in arms, but as Michael Auslin writes in the Washington Post, real Old Army Buddies are on the verge of extinction. The men who willingly served during the drafts of the '50s and '60s came home with rich experiences and lifelong bonds that soldiers don't get today.
Auslin's father "belongs to the last full generation of Americans forced to serve their country, to work and live with others radically different from themselves," he writes. "Unlike our fathers, we are not called to give even a small portion of our lives to the defense of our country," and while the results aren't yet in, "It is unclear whether a large, diverse society can survive indefinitely without that sense of service to the nation and that experience in social bonding."
(Read more draft stories.)