After 10 years of war, the vast majority of post-Sept. 11 veterans say the public does not understand the problems faced by those in the military and by their families. The public largely agrees but believes there’s nothing unfair about the outsized burden being shouldered by veterans.
The findings are part of a broad new study by the Pew Research Center that documents a growing gap between civilians and a military force that has been put under intense strain over the past decade. According to the study, 84 percent of veterans believe the rest of the country has little or no understanding of the problems faced by the military. Seventy-one percent of the public shares that assessment.
“When it comes to their armed forces, most Americans in the post-9/11 era have feelings of pride, gratitude and confidence,” the study concludes. “At the same time, most Americans acknowledge they know little about the realities of military service. And, in increasing numbers, they disapprove of or do not pay attention to the wars the military is currently fighting.”