My grandfather served in World War I as a radio operator in the U.S. Navy. Times were rough back then, and I remember him telling me that he didn't have a mattress to sleep on; only a bare board, but he thought it was pretty good.
My father served in World War II and was stationed in the Aleutian Islands on isolated duty. He was there 18 months, 12 months longer than he was supposed to be in isolation. By the time he got back the other men said he was beginning to act a little odd.
My Uncle Bud served in World War II with the OSS, helping to organize the French resistance. He carried his pistol in his hat, and was captured by the Germans several times. Bud never served time as a prisoner of war.
Another couple who lived in our neighborhood served in Allied Intelligence, and were offered citizenship in the United States for their efforts. They changed their names when they accepted, and although she would never speak of what happened 'over there', he would tell a few stories now and then. Not much, but a few. The thing I remember was that both people were friendly, multilingual and very, very security conscious all their lives.
Realistically, if these people and a lot of others like them hadn't served in the United States armed forces, we wouldn't be bitching about our lousy government today.
Here's my salute to everyone who has served my country, and who is serving now. My sincere thanks for your service.