I remember the teachers I had in high school who were WWII vets. Mr. Smith, who was a Marine at Iwo Jima. Mr. Robertson, who was also a Marine and had permanent leg injuries from wounds and limped. Mr. Johnston - the head janitor - who was a B-17 pilot in Europe.
A friend of mine (Cruise Fanatic knows him) here in Athens, Alabama, his father was a Marine Raider (I forget if it was Carlson's or Edson's Raiders he was with). These were the first "special forces" troops.