If you weren't personally involved in a shooting war, good on ya, but it appears that those days are long gone.
Nobody but you said anything about "suicide missions," but there are contested environments where there is a reasonable chance of someone shooting at you and a reasonable chance that they will be successful. That's what the term "in harm's way" refers to and that's why not everybody volunteers for it. And, no, there is no civilian job description comparable to armed combat.
I do find your comment regarding "a hard sell" inaccurate and offensive. I suppose everybody would just refuse the mission and run away? Go on strike? Call their congressman? Is that what you did? Your comment raises questions about your "retired Army pilot" claim and it suggests that we probably weren't involved in the same kinds of units. I pity you that.