Milwaukee County War Memorial

Respect for the Military Remains Solid

Honor GuardDuring this most recent presidential campaign we have heard that America is going or has gone to hell in a hand basket. (And we cannot even make good hand baskets any more.)

Clearly, many Americans have lost faith in the U.S. we once knew. (The Trump and Sanders candidacies are exhibits #1 and #2.) I won’t get drawn into that debate, but I will remind you that, while our major institutions have lost some support, the American military has not.

A June 2016 Gallup poll shows what Americans are thinking this year. The respondents were asked:

“For which American institutions do you have a great deal or quite a lot of respect.”

The responses were:

  • U.S. Military: 73%
  • Small Business: 68%
  • Police: 56% (despite all the recent controversy)
  • Church/Religious: 41%
  • Medical System: 39%
  • Presidency: 36%
  • Supreme Court: 36% (for many years the Court ranked #1)
  • Congress: 6%

I was heartened by the number of Americans that respect our military and I grudgingly accept that 27% of our citizens do not. My guess however, is that even that group appreciates the freedoms they enjoy.

This enviable record of respect from the American people was established by our forefathers and continued by generation after generation of Veterans. I have followed this poll since the 1970’s (when I was on active duty with the Army) and the military has been in the top three almost every year since. Only the Supreme Court has been close to that record.

Does America have warts? You bet.

But a country that thinks so highly of the defenders of its freedom can’t be all bad. This Fall, you can exercise the right so many countries would like to have but don’t – the right to vote for our leaders! It’s the American thing to do-complements of America’s favorite institution – the U.S. Military.

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