If I had a nickel for every time older veterans tried to one-up me with some unimpressive statement about how their generation was tougher, I'd have enough money to buy a beer at the VFW that I could cry into while thinking about how lonely my life is. The worst part is I'm 34 years old and I'm watching people who served in the same timeframe as me do the same thing to younger vets.
It's almost as if some veterans are in a perpetual cycle of Back In My Day Syndrome. It's part nostalgia, part insecurity, and has a slight hint of animosity brought on by a changing world they don't understand or have control over. When combined, you essentially get a bitter ball of fury that you can't reason with. The best thing you can do when in the presence of these individuals is politely smile and nod while you wait for them to get it all out of their system.
People who put others down for the generation of military service they're in are only doing it because they're no longer able to contribute anything. Simply put, they hate you 'cause they ain't you.