This Memorial Day, nearly three-out-of-four Americans (74%) have a favorable opinion of the U.S. military, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Just 12% hold an unfavorable opinion, and 13% are not sure.
These figures have held steady for the past two years.
Thirty-five percent (35%) of adults say they have a relative or close friend currently serving our country in Iraq or Afghanistan, down nine points from a year ago.
Forty percent (40%) also say they’ve lost a relative or close friend who gave their life while serving in the military. Fifty-two percent (52%) have not lost a relative or close friend in the line of duty, but eight percent (8%) more are not sure.
Just 14% of adults say they have served in the military. Eighty-four percent (84%) have not. Men are nearly five times as likely to have served in the military than women. Americans age 50 and older have a much higher level of military service than those who are younger. Republicans are slightly more likely to have served than Democrats and adults not affiliated with either major party.
Republicans also view the military more favorably than Democrats and unaffiliateds.
Commentary: Even though 84% of American have never served in the military, over 74% are supportive view because friends and loved ones are serving or have served. In spite many who have lost loved one because of military conflict, most Americans still highly regard that service. The high level of support then must be related to the positive views of those who service to our military are reflected by most Americans. As noted above, the variations of approval and esteem are not so much the military and its service but partisan politics and related ideologies.
Rasmussen Reports, May 29, 2010.