More than 20 million
American men and women are
veterans. Roughly one-third
served during the Gulf War
years (1990 or later). The other
two-thirds served from World
War II through the Vietnam
Era. We are losing our veterans
faster than we are replenishing
the ranks of the U.S.
CIVILIANS: CARING BUT UNAWARE?
Public support for increased spending on veterans services and benefits is the highest it’s
been in decades, with 75 percent of Americans in favor, yet as a nation we’re disconnected
from the mission and need for our armed forces, the combat soldier’s experience, and the
challenges of returning to civilian life.
Nearly five million veterans have a service-connected disability. In 2014, President
Obama signed a bill to overhaul a dysfunctional health care system. The bill improved
veterans’ access to government-paid health care from local doctors and allowed the Veterans
Affairs (VA) Department to hire thousands of doctors, nurses and other professionals and
strengthened the agency’s employment rules to hold VA management accountable.
With the suicide rate among veterans at nearly three times the average rate for the
general population, a new law was enacted requiring the Pentagon and Veterans Affairs
Department to submit to independent reviews of their suicide prevention programs. It called
for easy online access to mental health services information for veterans, and incentives to
psychiatrists agreeing to work for the VA and create a pilot program to assist veterans
transitioning from active duty to civilian life.
HOUSING OUR VETERANS
In fact, the number of
Americans with military
experience has declined by more
than 50 percent s