But at the same time, with the end of the Draft, soldiers were no longer people you knew. The US military has become profoundly class-separated from the rest of the country: you are likely to either know a lot of veterans or none, but nothing in the middle. And as the average American gets increasingly separated from the military, “supporting the troops” becomes a politically and emotionally inexpensive way to try to maintain that tie. It’s people without experience of the military who are most likely to lionize it in print nowadays.
This is far from the only such case in history; I’ve heard it from Chinese friends about the Deng era, where the (forbidden) memory of the Cultural Revolution left a public that no longer had faith in either Confucian or Communist ideals, and was only interested in money, or (in even more hushed tones) about the post-Tiananmen era, where not thinking too hard about even the most obvious political questions has become a requirement of survival and success.