However, some like Vietnam veteran Leroy McCollough worry the war in Afghanistan is headed that way.
"We never went in there with a full plan as to what we would do when we got there or a strategy on how to move it along," Leroy McCollough said.
With the fighting increasing and casualties mounting in Afghanistan, the talk around Veterans of Foreign Wars clubs these days is about what to do next.
Many veterans feel the president's lengthy review of Afghan war strategy and drawn out debate in Washington has hurt the war effort.
"The problem is you are not fighting a uniformed army," Afghanistan and Iraq veteran Mac McKenzie said.
The military commander in Afghanistan has urged the president to add 40,000 more troops to the fight there.
McKenzie says he thinks a troop surge is needed now. But other vets think the president is right for being cautious.
"He's saying what kind of strategy you got," Desert Storm veteran Scott Mason said. "We don't just keep sending troops; we are going to get bogged down."
Veterans say casualties are part of war. Failure they say is not having a clear mission to victory.