16 years of apparently ceaseless wars in the Middle East are straining the bonds which for centuries have made militarty service a generational calling, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
A new study done by the group 'Blue Star Families' found that only 40% of today's active duty military members would recommend the same career for their kids."Since 2005, we have seen an 11% decrease, down to just 40% this year," said Kristen Shiffer of Blue Star Families.
The idea that serving in the military runs in families is a long running American tradition. As many as 70% of the Americans who volunteered for duty in the Vietnam War were the sons or grandsons of military members, mainly veterans of World War Two.
"What we saw this year is that 16 years of conflict had some challenges associated with it," she said.She says many military families are simply 'worn out' by constant deployments, with many military personnel serving three or our deployments to the Middle East.
This is also a function of the changing nature of the military.
From the dawn of civilization through Vietnam, military recruits were generally young men without families.But today's more sophisticated military relies far more on educated, trained personnel. More members of the U.S. military today have families than ever before, the average age of a military member is older than it has ever been, and with women taking robust roles in all branches of the military, that creates a new dynamic as well.