In my opinion, education should not be 'free' for anyone. In fact, it is not free as it is paid with our hard-earned tax money. As far as 'better education,' we are paying for it. However, it's up to the teachers to provide it as well as the education system to hire better teachers. They should also be monitored and evaluated from time to time. However, we live in a culture where the majority doesn't seem to care and good teachers are difficult to come by.
As far as subsidized loans, the interest rate is actually less than what the bank's interest rates are. I have a daughter attending a private university. The interest rate on her subsidized loans are half (in the 3% range) compared to her private education loan with our credit union (in the 6% range).
Your question regarding the defense department seems to be off topic. ;)