I just got back from a two-day trip to my alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, for an ad-hoc reunion with fellow members of the Navy ROTC commissioning class of 1986. 19 years after our collective graduation and and pinning on of the gold bars, about 2/3 of the class of 20 showed up in Madison.
Everyone had changed, and yet stayed the same. Everything had changed on campus, and yet nothing had. We remembered everything, but it was like remembering through about a half a pitcher of beer–the edge was taken off, and things were somehow funnier.
Most of us are out of the service now, though some are on the lifer track (especially considering that they can retire in a year). But we were members of a somewhat different fraternity than most at UW associated with, and that’s left its mark; after all these years, we fell into ranks pretty easily.