My grandmother used to tell me about her "Victory Garden" and going to work as a private nurse when my grandfather volunteered and served overseas during WWII. Decades later, that mindset of conserving and rationing and going without is still deeply ingrained in her, to the point that it drives us grandchildren to distraction as we try to things for her now. That "Greatest Generation" really was--they knew that they must work together to see the country through a time of war.
Now contrast that to today. Rather than forgoing hosiery so that they had silk for troop parachutes and rationing basic commodities like meat and gas, we've been told to go shopping. The burden of sacrifice lies solely with the troops and their families...and as a result, I'd suggest that collectively, we've been complacent enough to allow the occupation in Iraq to last longer than WWII.
Last week on The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, they looked into the sacrifices being made by the troops and their families...and the abominable way they're treated if they're lucky enough to return. In particular, pay attention to the sadly all-too-common story of Sgt. Brad Heun, who survived an IED explosion in Iraq only to get lost in the bureaucratic mire of VA benefits and now without any medical support for his recovery. You can stream video and/or audio from the site.