Over the past 65 years or so, the portion of our population that has been responsible for our nation's defense has been shrinking. And the burden placed on that shrinking portion has been increasing.
Partly as a result, that portion of our population and their families have become less and less understood by the rest. Young men and women who choose to attend one of the service academies, or to enlist, are counseled that "You don't have to do that. You have other options." As if military service is only for those who have no other choice.
Some additional thoughts on this issue have appeared elsewhere, like here. Go there it seems to be a good read.