Were an American from the mid-nineteenth century to time-travel to modern America, he’d be truly amazed to find that Americans are often expected to thank soldiers “for your service” and to act as if the military was doing the taxpayer a favor.
The lionizing of government employees in uniform has become standard fare in the post-9-11 world, with special discounts for members of the military, early boarding on airplanes, and free meals at restaurants.
It’s quite a contrast from the attitude of Americans during the first century of the republic, however.
Of this, the examples are numerous.
For example, in his memoirs, Ulysses S. Grant recounts how he trotted out into the streets of Cincinnati after first receiving his uniform as an officer. According to Grant: