Veterans Day: From One Generation to the Next

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(ABC 6 News) – Veterans gathered at VFW Post 1245 in Rochester for Veterans Day.

Giving younger veterans the opportunity to mingle and bond with an older generation of veterans. While some part took in the evenings festivities. Other took a quieter approach to reminiscing about their days of service.

Bruce Baker served in Vietnam. To this day, their are some mission he can’t talk about without being charged with treason.

For Baker, one of the hardest parts about serving over seas didn’t happen until he came home. Having to suffer through backlash from the public for serving in the war; Instead of being thanked like the previous generation.

“Many people would say, ‘How many babies did you kill’, Baker said. “I just ignore them because of their ignorance.”

But Baker says that being around fellow veterans of different generations is something that helps him move forward.

Veterans like Wade Hartman, who served in Iraq. Hartman says talking about similar experiences with the older veterans, like Bruce, is a humbling experience.

“Being in a group that only serves in the Iraq or gulf type environment and to be able to close that gap and be able to talk about what it’s like to be in Vietnam to be able to compare it to what it was like in Iraq is really awesome,” Hartman said. “And to get together and share your experiences, the VFW helps bring that together.”

Veterans across the country regularly gather VFW’s and American Legion buildings. But what separates post 1215 in Rochester from other VFW’s is their efforts to serve other members of the community. While reminding people about the people who helped protect the everyday freedoms they have.

“There’s more that goes on in a VFW than just old people drinking and falling off the bar stool,” VFW Post 1215 Commander Mark Fetterman said. “What we try to do here is offer a safe space for families and businesses to come in, work n peace or just have a relaxing evening.”

Fetterman served in Dessert Storm. Like Hartman seeing the numerous generation of veterans bond over their experiences is something that humbles him.

“Have a drink, do some push ups and have a good Veterans Day.” Hartman said.