The shame is poor pay , substandard living quarters for family , need to be on food stamps and other indignities to serve a Congress and sometimes president that makes wY more money with a deal that takes care of them for life. The shame is how they are treated not that most don't want to subject themselves to the crap.
Was your experience in the military that bad? What branch and when? We had some cases of raw treatment back in the 50s and 60s, but the more recent vets don't seem to have quite that many complaints, at least not that I am aware of.
Subjected to crap? Yes, that can happen..it happens..unreasonable discipline is part of the military, especially during the training period.
My grandson who finished an 8 year hitch with the Marines a few years ago seemed to do OK..I visited his quarters at both Camp LeJeune and Parris Island. and they were not what I would call 'substandard'.
His home at Lejeune was a 1950s style, 2 bedroom bungalow, not luxurious, but clean and neat...new housing was being built at the time.
His home in the NCO area at Parris Island, ..his home at Laurel Bay, was a nice, 2 or 3 bedroom ranch of current design..
Pay may not be what some would like, but it is not 'starvation' wages, and of course, if they are single, they have no food bill.
It is not truly fair to compare a soldier's pay with that of a president or congressman, since I doubt any country in the world pays the basic soldier like elected high government officials
Below, see the current pay per grade/time served level. Of course, more is allowed if they are married, along with a "rations allowance" since they are no longer eating on base. Post housing is deducted from that pay.
When my grandson left the Corps at 8 years E5, married, no children, he was being paid all tolled, over $4K per month.
He now works for NATO (federal job)..when he started 4 years ago, he was paid at a Captain's pay grade..he must be equivalent to at least a Major now..
There are reasons to be dissatisfied by military life, but it is not often a reflection on pay.
Things have changed greatly , from what many of us who served in the 50s and 60s, had to deal with.