I'm surprised at the number of people here who perceive an increase in the number of veterans. The total is actually trending downward. Between the dramatic shrinkage in the size of the military, the shift to an all volunteer force (which sees far more military people serving twenty or more years), and the passing of most of the WW-II veterans, the number of living veterans has decreased substantially.
Our last big war was fifty years ago now, with a peak establishment of over 3.5 million. Current force is just over a million.
It's possible that the perception of increased numbers is caused by a willingness of veterans to self identify. When I joined (1973) the social climate was much less tolerant of military folk. Now there is a good deal more respect shown for those who have served.