BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Right now, ongoing conflicts overseas including the Israel-Hamas war and the crisis in Ukraine, have some U.S. military veterans wondering if the country could see another world war.

Some veterans said if things continue on the path they’re on, and the United States doesn’t step up as a world power, then it could be very likely we see a third world war.

“I’ve never felt the way I do right now,” retired Col. Scott Grant said.

Grant served 33 years in the United States Air Force. He said over the course of his military career, there have been conflicts overseas he’s kept an eye on but none like what we’re seeing now.

“It seems like there are a lot of irrational things that are happening and again back to if we’re going to be a world power, we’ve got to act like one,” Grant said. “We’ve got to invoke the prison mentality and we’ve got to punch the bully.”

Grant said during World War I and World War II, one in ten families knew someone fighting in the war. Today, that number is less than one-tenth of one percent. Another major difference between the past world wars and where the world is now?

“Should it get to that part, this is the first world conflict that ever could come around that involves anyone owning nuclear weapons,” Grant said. “We know that in World War II, that was one of the things that closed that door.”

Ken Gables served in the United States Army Signal Corps for five years and now spends his time as veteran outreach coordinator at the nonprofit Lakeshore Foundation, supporting and encouraging other veterans. He said it’s concerning to think the U.S. may be entering a nuclear and terroristic realm of war, something not seen before.

“It’s hard to know what a world war would even look like in this day and age,” Gables said. “It is very sobering to think that my son now, just a few weeks from his 18th birthday, might be called on in his young adult life to do something of that nature.”

Despite the concerns, Grant said another world war is entirely avoidable.