It would be a mistake to think the underlying truth in the work lies in any single poem or set of poems. Instead of the individual poems themselves, it is in the contrast between the fears, hopes, and dreams of the two authors—and by extension their respective generations—that the reader will find the greatest revelation.
Millennials are on track to make up nearly fifty percent of the workforce by 2020. That is to say, they represent the future of the U.S. military. While the military should not change its core character or values to accommodate Millennials, it should recognize their views of the world differ from those of past generations. While Millennials present some new training and leadership challenges (getting them off their phones, for example), they also offer a way for the military to advance into the modern world at the ground level.
The last American combat troops left Vietnam in 1973, twelve years before I was born and 42 years ago as I write this. No millennials, as my generation is called, lived through the Vietnam War. For most of us even the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union happened too early in our lives to resonate politically. My generation’s perspective on Vietnam is shaped entirely through textbooks and movies. Through those lenses, the Vietnam War seems to be one of the most costly political and strategic blunders in United States history.