This actually bugged me for quite some time.
Why are so many here in awe of soldiers?
Despite what you might think of the reasons for (recent) wars, the guys who go there don't do this for humanity or America.
They do it because they are men.
War is a blast, especially if you happen to have the upper hand, better intel, weapons and propaganda.
I doubt not that many parrot the phrases they've heard so much when hugging their moms for a last time.
"Don't cry mommy, someone has to do it. We have to (choose according to culture and pers. preference liberate them/ defend our border/ repay them/ purify the continent/ obey gawd"
But deep down, they KNOW it is about...well, call it like you want: testosterone, the will to compete at the highest level with the biggest stakes, joy of killing, the big adventure....
Of course, some really want to make a difference. Is it 5%, 3% maybe? No idea, but it's minimal. Others are solely in for the dough or perks like health insurance which is more or less the same - although a combination of destitution/opportunism and bloodthirst is likely.
But reason #1 is the beast inside men.
Why so many here, even women(!) try to embellish what is the ugly, bloodied, grinning hydra we call war?