Here's a thought.
The emergency and medical services get paid to do a job. Their work often involves saving lives, which in turn contributes to a healthy and functioning society.
The armed services get paid to do a job. Their work often involves the ending of lives, or ruining of them, all in the name of a foreign threat no-one is quite sure of the identity of. Iraq? Afghanistan? Taliban? Eastasia? Eurasia? God knows, let's just pull our trousers down and piss on their bloodied corpses.
Yet one seems to be, by most, more respected than the other.
People are silly.