As Dave Barno said two weeks ago in Time:
“It’s a tough time to be in the family business,” says Dave Barno, a retired Army lieutenant general who commanded all allied troops in Afghanistan in 2003–05 and has two sons in the Army. “As my kids deploy around the world, they’re running into their playmates from when they were growing up, at Fort Leavenworth and Fort Lewis, in Kandahar and Jalalabad,” he says. “Their classmates as kids on military bases are the people they’re fighting with.”
On Wednesday, the Pew Research Center detailed just how far society and the military have drifted apart. The Pew study finds that veterans are more likely than the general public to have a relative who has worn the uniform. Per Barno, the gap is biggest when it comes to kids: one in five veterans has had a child in uniform, more than double the rate among non-veterans. And while more than two-thirds of Americans over 50 have a family member who served in uniform, only one in three under 30 has. This shrinking of the pool from which we draw our troops is not good for the troops, or the nation.