“[N]o young, bright individual wants to fight just because of a bonus and just because of educational benefits. And most all of them come from communities of very high unemployment. If a young fellow has an option of having a decent career or joining the Army to fight in Iraq, you can bet your life he would not be in Iraq.”
But here is a sample of what the Heritage Foundation found;
Indeed, in many criteria, each year shows advancement, not decline, in measurable qualities of new enlistees. For example, it is commonly claimed that the military relies on recruits from poorer neighborhoods because the wealthy will not risk death in war. This claim has been advanced without any rigorous evidence. Our review of Pentagon enlistee data shows that the only group that is lowering its participation in the military is the poor. The percentage of recruits from the poorest American neighborhoods (with one-fifth of the U.S. population) declined from 18 percent in 1999 to 14.6 percent in 2003, 14.1 percent in 2004, and 13.7 percent in 2005.
The whole thing is here.