Remember the father or uncle or grandfather who came back from the war and never spoke about his experiences in spite of the fact that you were burning to know?
The stories were kept locked deep inside. Maybe his wife struggled with the broken sleep and nightmares that were also never mentioned because of the embarrassment of waking in tears and sweat calling out like a child and being afraid of whatever it was that lay there threatening in the dark.
Each Anzac Day we stand in silence and watch the old guys march.
We talk about their service with reverence and gratitude not knowing exactly what experience was there and not knowing how we would cope if the same demands were put upon us.
I was challenged this week by a man who works with what are called 'contemporary veterans' who are the ones we always look past.
The thousands of mainly men, but also women, who have been in the armed services and been taught to fight and kill and survive and have then re-entered civilian life.
These are the ones who stand on the footpath on Anzac Day wearing medals but yet don't march. These are the ones we don't treat like veterans because the stories told are never about them.
These are the ones who get snapped at from time to time by older returned servicemen because apparently their service was not 'a real war'.
They are accused of being some lesser form of veteran and they look and are so young nobody knows what possible service their medals are awarded to remember.
It seems throughout history those returning from conflict have often been ostracised by those who have gone and served before.
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The returning World War II veterans were told they hadn't served in a real war because they hadn't been in trenches or experienced gas.
The returning Korean, Malayan and Vietnam servicemen were accused by World War II veterans of not serving in a real war because of the enhanced kit they carried or because the title of the conflict in which they had fought was watered down to an 'action' rather than a 'war' for political purposes. Returning modern day 'peacekeepers' the same.
We are now seeing on our streets, and sadly in our prisons, those we used to hide away.
The lot of the soldiers who worked in combat trades like the infantry have no civilian occupation in which to ply their trade. They struggle to live a normal life.
As the expert, Aaron Wood of No Duff put it, "The disturbing consequences of poor transition may include work disability, homelessness, substance abuse, poor mental health, family breakdown, unemployment, debt or financial stress or prison."
And that was my experience this week as I spoke with a young man who had seen service, lost a close friend while overseas; been trained to fight and kill.
The culmination of experiences led to anti-social and violent behaviour. He fell out of the army dishonourably discharged with zero assistance to transition back to civilian life.
His story follows exactly what Aaron Wood had disclosed in that he abused drugs and alcohol, was homeless and lived on the streets, became violent, suffers post-traumatic stress disorder.
He has lost relationships and has failed to hold down civilian jobs, sought solace in gangs and is now in prison on serious charges for which he is taking responsibility.
These young veterans are worthy of our respect and we should try and understand their experiences. They serve on behalf of us and so as a country we should ensure that when they are released from service, their path is smoothed.
A soldier departing the service gets no transition assistance if they have served less than 12 years. Of the 6677 veterans seeking special assistance from Veterans Affairs New Zealand, only 166 are aged under 50 and only three are under 30 years.
What does this tell us if not that they don't identify as veterans and are not so regarded or valued by New Zealanders who claim to be so proud of the contribution of our armed services and so grateful for it?
The inevitable outcome of releasing the discharged soldier unprepared for civilian life into a community where he or she can't or won't talk about experiences and has to adjust to a culture that has become alien to them is an indictment.
It is easy to recite "Lest We Forget" when we "Don't Even Know".