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“We feel that supporting our troops is more than sticking a yellow sticker on the back of your car that says ‘Support the Troops’,” Stimmel said.

“Patty and I are challenging at least 1,000 affluent families out there to contribute 1 percent of their net worth to do their part,” he said.

Every successful business person in America “has enjoyed that success because of the sacrifice of someone else’s sons and daughters” in uniform, Garland said. The argument echoes a concern repeated often over the decade: War efforts have fallen on the shoulders of the few, while the lives of the many went largely unencumbered. Or as some troops have been fond of saying: “We went to war, America went to the mall.”

But it’s also true that there’s widespread support shown today’s troops and vets, especially compared to the vitriol heaped on those in uniform during Vietnam. Thousands of support groups now have sprung up around the nation — one study estimates there are some 40,000. They provide welcoming parties as troops arrive home at airports, free housing, telephone cards, children’s camps, employment help, airline miles, “nights out” for wives caring for their wounded husbands, counseling, cash and more.

Some long-established organizations have added new missions. The United Service Organization (USO), known for decades for sending entertainers to lighten the hearts of troops on the battlefield, focuses more now on care for the wounded. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce sponsors job fairs.

What it all amounts to in giving and spending is not known.

Officials and military families fear that as more troops arrive home from the ongoing drawdown in Afghanistan, Americans will lose interest or consider the problem solved.

“The veteran space (in giving) is kind of similar to the AIDS space 35 years ago,” said Paul Rieckhoff, a former infantryman who served in Iraq and founded the IAVA. “You have an explosion of public health need that’s impacting a small percentage of the population that most Americans don’t feel.”

“And in many ways the country kind of thought that AIDS was just a problem for the gay community in the same way many Americans think that veterans (are) just a problem for the military community,” he said.

Many also assume the government will handle it — something experts in the field say isn’t possible as needs spiral in a struggling economy.

Rieckhoff said there’s a group of donors dedicated to veteran issues, but few who give six- and seven-figure sums. The new fundraising aims not only to attract large donations, but recast the giving as a moral obligation rather than an option.

“It’s not a question of, Is there money out there’,” Green said. “And it’s not a question of whether people should give the money. It’s only a question of finding them and convincing them to give it.”