Veterans tend to be viewed in our country as two extremes: Patriotic, devoted heroes or disabled and damaged, in need of aid. Either way, it’s assumed they are hard to relate to. 

Desert Storm soldiers  Woman shaking hand of one of the many homeless military veterans

Many of our assumptions come from the images we see played out on TV and in the movies: 

Late actor R. Lee Ermey (a real-life veteran) Actor Sylvester Stallone as Rambo

The late actor R. Lee Ermey (a real-life veteran) portrayed the character Sgt. Hartman in Full Metal Jacket; Actor Sylvester Stallone as Rambo in the RAMBO franchise, a character who is both a hero and damaged by his experiences. 

In actuality, veterans have a lot in common with many Americans. Recent studies by the RAND Corporation and The Journal of Strategic Studies have found that the military is much more diverse with many servicemen and women coming from middle class families. They join for a variety of reasons including: adventure/travel, family military history, job stability, benefits, and being called to serve.  Our new program, The Scuttlebutt, takes a fresh look at the real American military experience, past and present. Tune in for Military Headlines, our Main Story, and, of course, our Scuttlebutt.  And be sure to like, share, and rate us wherever you view or listen.