In just about all of the combatant countries that participated in World War I, life was much worse for those on the front line than on the home front. This doesn't mean, of course, that people living on the home front had an easy time; far from it, in fact. In countries such as Russia, for example, the civilian population had to endure chronic food shortages.
But on the whole, life was harder for those at the front, who had to live with the almost constant fear of death or serious injury. The First World War was like no other conflict in history. It was a particularly brutal, bloody war due largely to the deadly combination of trench warfare and the use of the latest military technology.
In the ensuing mechanized slaughter, just about any soldier could find himself killed or maimed for life. The constant fear of death hung over the trenches like the clouds of mustard gas that were unleashed by the enemy. No matter how bad things were at home, they were never as bad as this.
This was particularly the case in the United States, whose territory, unlike that of France and Belgium, was never part of the theater of conflict. As such, American citizens on the home front never experienced anything like the dangers encountered by US troops in Europe.