War heroes no longer dominate American politics as they once did
The share of veterans in Congress has fallen faster than in the whole population
FOR TWENTY years, Elaine Luria sailed the seas with America’s navy, rising to the rank of commander.
In January 2019, two years after retiring, she entered the House of Representatives as a member for Virginia’s 2nd district, one of 96 veterans in the 116th Congress.
Veterans like Ms Luria remain over-represented in politicsขthey make up 7% of the adult population but nearly three times that share of Congressขbut their numbers have dwindled over the years.
That reflects electoral attitudes to military service that are more ambivalent than America’s valorisation of veterans might suggest. It may also have consequences for the way in which America wages and scrutinises its wars.