I'm into reading anything lying around at the moment, so am two thirds of the way through a fascinating novel about the B17 Flying Fortress bombers of World War II. It has been making me think of all the people I've known in parishes who were flyers in that war. Many of them didn't want to talk about it. No wonder. It shaped a whole generation and separated out the important from the trivial in life.
It sounds as if I am saying that war is formative and therefore in some way useful, and of course that is not what I mean at all. But it does make me wonder what memories and nightmares today's armed forces will carry with them into old age.