As the country prepares to honor all who have ever worn the uniform on Friday, it happens as the all-volunteer military force seems to be growing more separated from the everyday world of their civilian counterparts.
“There’s no challenge for the 99% of the American people who are not involved in the military,” Army veteran Ron Capps told Time Magazine for an article about the growing military-civilian divide. “They don’t lose when soldiers die overseas, they’re not being forced to pay, for the wars, and there’s no sense among the vast population of what we’re engaged in.”
For most of its history, the United States military was filled with those volunteering to serve, and it was filled with conscripts as well. With the elimination of the draft in 1973, today’s wars are being fought by the smallest proportion of our citizenry in over 200 years.
As the slow economic recovery persists, and Defense budgets face the chopping block on Capitol Hill, many analysts see the drift between the military and the rest of society growing even larger.
Mark Thompson takes an in-depth look at the issue at Time’s Battleland blog.