Never served. Teach college. I respect all my guy and gal students that have served, regardless of where and when. Most of these folks come talk to me and have the same issues you've described. Some open up to me without my prodding, most do not. When these folks are bombarded by innane questions, I try to intercede on their behalf and let the civilian masses know these are improper question to ask. Why do they ask these stupid questions? I think it's partly morbid curiosity, not knowing "etiquette" and a large dose of stupid.
Thanks for your service and having the nads to do what most of my students didn't....
"Because he tried to kill me. Now I gotta return the favor." Bas Rutten