I am an American Civilian. I am from Texas, and I chose not to enlist after high school (which included four years of MCJROTC). Unlike most of my buddies, I worked my tail off and amassed a trivial amount of wealth and now have a young family. I knew exactly what I wanted and what I didn't want, maintaining control of my life was high on the list. I saw directly through the recruiters sales pitches and blatant lies. I produce tangible things that can be bought and sold and my income is derived through contracts between interested parties as opposed to taxation. I care about everyone and dread the day when I am forced to take a human life.
The way I see it, you signed up for a job. Suck it up and do it like the rest of us. Sorry that your pay is crappy, you have to live in bad conditions and get shot at, but like you said; you knew that going into the deal. I care about you doing your job probably about as much as you care about me doing mine. Your story about the enlisted Portuguese doctor is heart warming but likely a rare case.
I have friends and family in the armed forces and have come across many stand up people from the armed forces in my travels. I have absolutely nothing against people of any professions or walks of life. In fact, we could probably have a chat over a few beers and have a great time.
It's not that people don't want listen, it's that many have grown weary of hearing about your tribulations and it being implied that somehow you are more important than "us". Like it or not, you are just another cog in the machine.