From the article:
Spouses of service members are badly stressed from years of long deployments — so stressed that some have taken their own lives. Children who’ve had a parent away at war for almost their entire conscious lives are leaving home to go off to college. And the troops themselves continue to struggle with substance abuse, post-traumatic stress, and devastating physical and mental wounds.
Some of Washington’s top national security leaders are worried that Americans don’t know — or worse, don’t care.
Top Defense Department officials and other leaders began talking quietly last year about a “gap” or “split” between the military and the general population. But in recent weeks, they’ve been expressing those concerns more often and more boldly.
Former House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), who lost his seat in Congress in November, warned early this month that “those who protect us are psychologically divorced from those who are being protected.”
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told House lawmakers on Wednesday that there’s a “growing disconnect between the American people and the military.” The public knows generically that their troops are at war, but “the day to day connections are less than they used to be, the depth and breadth of who we are and what we’re doing, isn’t there.”