Don’t Feel Sorry For Our Soldiers

James Joyner insists that “veterans don’t need our pity”:

[It’s] important not to let anecdotal evidence mislead us into thinking that most veterans are struggling to cope with life outside the structure of the service. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Indeed, according to the Census Department, America’s veterans are more likely to have a high school diploma than non-veterans, and have a much higher median income.

That’s not surprising, when you think about it. While the public may see veterans as saps who volunteered to do a dangerous job because they lacked other options, the fact of the matter is that simply getting into the military requires meeting demanding thresholds of physical and mental health, passing a criminal background check, and having a high school diploma. After selection, many wash out during entry-level training. I’m by no means arguing that every man or woman who’s ever served in our armed forces is a candidate for MENSA. But the selection process weeds out the weakest elements, and the training and mentoring system inculcates work habits and social skills that are invaluable in coping with life.