If you count all military who currently serve as well as retirees who get a check we make up well under 1% of the population. The issue here is that we have too many freeloaders.
The OP used veteran pensions as an example of a direct payment to individuals that no one would consider "takers" as a group. He did this to counter the conservative talking point of "makers and takers," which implies that anyone taking money from the government is a taker getting a handout. It's a nice talking point. There are currently about 2 million military retirees receiving about $52 billion. There are 63 million social security beneficiaries receiving $816 billion and 49 million medicare beneficiaries receiving $600 billion. Total federal spending is about $3500 billion, so those three groups account for 41% of federal spending (and I don't think many people would argue that any of them are "takers") There are 2 million people who work for the government and collect $180 B in salary. The point is that, just because "the government" sends someone a check, doesn't mean that person is a lazy, incompetent drain on society.