U.S. military and civilians are i

Redheart

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U.S. military and civilians are increasingly divided - LA Times

Surveys suggest that as many as 80% of those who serve come from a family in which a parent or sibling is also in the military. They often live in relative isolation — behind the gates of military installations such as Ft. Bragg or in the deeply military communities like Fayetteville, N.C., that surround them.

The segregation is so pronounced that it can be traced on a map: Some 49% of the 1.3 million active-duty service members in the U.S. are concentrated in just five states — California, Virginia, Texas, North Carolina and Georgia.

The U.S. military today is gradually becoming a separate warrior class, many analysts say, that is becoming increasingly distinct from the public it is charged with protecting.

As the size of the military shrinks, the connections between military personnel and the broad civilian population appear to be growing more distant, the Pew Research Center concluded after a broad 2012 study of both service members and civilians.

Most of the country has experienced little, if any, personal impact from the longest era of war in U.S. history. But those in uniform have seen their lives upended by repeated deployments to war zones, felt the pain of seeing family members and comrades killed and maimed, and endured psychological trauma that many will carry forever, often invisible to their civilian neighbors.

Today's military enjoys a lifestyle that in many ways exceeds that of much of the rest of the country: regular pay raises and lavish reenlistment bonuses, free healthcare, subsidized housing and, after 20 years of service, generous retirement benefits unavailable to many other Americans.

Senior officers live in large houses, travel on their own planes and oversee whole continents with little direction from Washington. Special-operations teams carry out kill missions and drone strikes — some even targeting U.S. citizens — that most civilians never even hear about.

Now, as the military winds down its 14-year-war in Afghanistan and the Army cuts 18,000 troops from its ranks, military officials are stepping up efforts to bridge the gap between veterans and the civilian world they are preparing to rejoin.

"The last decade of war has affected the relationship between our society and the military," Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in a commentary in 2013. "As a nation, we've learned to separate the warrior from the war. But we still have much to learn about how to connect the warrior to the citizen.... We can't allow a sense of separation to grow between us."

Dempsey's comments reflect a growing concern in the military that reintegrating service members into communities whose understanding of war is gleaned largely from television may be as difficult as fighting the war.

"I am well-aware that many Americans, especially our elite classes, consider the military a bit like a guard dog," said Lt. Col. Remi M. Hajjar, a professor of behavioral sciences and leadership at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

"They are very thankful for our protection, but they probably wouldn't want to have it as a neighbor," he said. "And they certainly are not going to influence or inspire their own kids to join that pack of Rottweilers to protect America."
 
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When it comes to people joining and serving in the armed forces, I would have thought that many people, for years will have probably only joined up for two reasons. One, because they feel like it's something sort of duty to serve their country, or, number two, the fact that they will have come from a long line of servicemen, and are just following the rest of the family.

No matter what people think of the armed forces, and I still think that they do still have and get a lot of respect, I think people will always be inclined to follow in their fathers footsteps, no matter what. If that means being in the forces, then so be it.
 

Redheart

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The army is now a warrior class? Since they and civilians are divided should things remain the way they are, the division will widen. This disturbing trend should worry civilians because eventually they will end up being treated as second class citizens.
 
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I don't understand how they can be divided as they are brave and courageous enough to go to war and sacrifice their lives for the civilians who have no idea what the military go through.
 

Redheart

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I don't understand how they can be divided as they are brave and courageous enough to go to war and sacrifice their lives for the civilians who have no idea what the military go through.
They are divided in every sense of the word. The military and retirees live either in military bases [which civilians have no access to] or in towns or cities with others [like them] who've served in the military. They opt to isolate themselves because those who've never served in the military can't "understand" them.
 
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That is sad and cant imagine how it must be to go to war and come home to live peacefully afterwards. A good idea would be to have psychological help afterwards because it is needed after being in a place where you have to take another humans life, see things that are beyond understanding and then come home to smile and continue on as normal.
 
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Well that alienation has something to do with the army as well. For a long while the army has acted like its members are different from regular citizens and the why they live and where they live has made that feeling of alienation by the general public grow.
 
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I can understand the isolation from communities to protect the army from possible threats or attacks but in some way it is a little crazy that they cannot be among everyone else in the neighbourhood so that they can experience life with other people and connect with civilians. It is the army that segregate the military from the public to keep them as a unit in a family all of their own.