Historical Context Edit
The term “veteran” comes from the Latin vetus, meaning “old” (just don’t refer to one that way). Although there had been those lucky ones who had survived military service before, it was the Romans who established the practice of honoring survivors with privileges and rewards. Any non-Roman soldier honorably discharged was granted Roman citizenship (not to be taken lightly). The normal term of enlistment was 25 years, and upon discharge, both Roman and non-Roman veterans were given pensions (the praemia, established by Emperor Augustus) and land grants, usually on the frontiers. Since Roman veterans were subject to recall, the latter meant that reinforcements were never far away when barbarians invaded.