Generation Gap, Family Ties Help Explain Split in Views toward the Military
Americans are much more likely to have helped a military family if they have an immediate family member who has served in the military, according to a new Pew Research Center study.
About two-thirds of those with family ties to the military — defined as having a spouse, parent, sibling or child who has served — say they have reached out to help a service member or dependent, while only 47 percent of those without a family connection to the military have made an effort to help a service member, the study found.
That conclusion comes as dwindling share of adults have a family connection to the military. More than three-quarters of adults age 50 and older have an immediate family member who has served, but younger adults are much less likely to have family ties to the military. Among adults ages 30 to 49, 57 percent have an immediate family member who has served; the likelihood is only one-third for Americans from 18 to 29 years of age.
The split in family ties to the military also explains a rift in understanding the problems service members face. Three-quarters of Americans with a military family member say the public doesn’t understand the issues service members face, with only 65 percent of those who do not have an immediate family member who served agreeing with that statement.
The results Pew released last week come from data collected for a recent study by the center that documented the growing gap between military personnel and the general public.
Read the story in the New York Times.