With the American population at approximately 320 million people, there are about 23.36 million living veterans. That is 7.3% of the population that has raised their right arm and vowed to defend our nation from all enemies both foreign and domestic. Of those 23.36 million veterans: 9,920,000 served in the Army; 5,440,000 served in the Navy; 4,480,000 served in the Air Force; 2,256,000 served in the Marine Corps; and 1,600,000 served in the reserve forces. Of these 23,360,000 American veterans, 2.02% have served in more than one branch of the military. The vast majority of that 2% served in two branches, even less in three or four branches.
About 6% of these veterans are World War II veterans; 9% are from the Korean War; 33% are from the period called ‘The Vietnam Era’; 31% from the Gulf War; and 15% are from ‘peacetime’ (the period from 1975 to 1991). As time goes by, the percentages from all but the Gulf War (which includes combat activities from Desert Storm until now) will continue to grow.
23 million sounds like a lot of people, but if you break it down, you realize it is actually a very small number. Out of 320 million Americans, there are 2,267,000 people serving in both active duty and the reserves. That is 7/10ths of 1% of the population. 3/10ths of one percent of the population are in the reserve forces to include that National Guard and 4/10ths of 1% are on active duty. That equates to on service person protecting 2000 people. With America having over 19,000 miles of border, it also equates to 70 people protecting every mile, which breaks down to one service person for every 75 feet. But these numbers only work if all our young men and women are serving at home. But we all know we have people stationed overseas. We have military personnel in over 50 countries around the world. The top 14 are: Afghanistan, Germany, South Korea, Japan, Kuwait, Great Britain, Italy, Qatar, Cuba, Belgium, Turkey, Spain, Bahrain, and Kyrgyzstan. These 14 countries have 243,000 American warriors there.
Being an enlisted military person ranks in the top 3 worst jobs every year.
So my thought for today is:
The military; where so few protect so many for so little. ~ ME