I think the way we think of soldiers in the UK (Where I live) and US is old-fashioned, illogical and perpetuates wars.
Although plenty of soldiers may be good people on a personal level,
I think the job itself and the mind set which leads people into a career based on killing (I'm aware soldiers do other things too,
but fighting and killing is the fundamental part of the job) are nothing deserving of respect
Although it certainly takes bravery to be a soldier, I don't think that is inherently worthy of respect - robbing a bank, smuggling drugs or suicide bombing also take a lot of bravery.
In the time we're living in at the moment, I don't think there's any serious legitimacy in the 'they're protecting our country/freedom' argument,
since WW2 there's not really been any wars upon which potential invasion has hinged.