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14 Facts About Veterans’ Struggles and Triumphs You Didn’t Know

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Every year on the 11th day of November, we formally stop to thank and remember those who serve our country. Some give all, but all give some and politics aside, the courage of military service is something everyone can appreciate.

But, our veterans do not always leave the military with the best circumstances in life. Some struggle, while others find great success. We should recognize some of the tough circumstances veterans face.

The Challenges Veterans Face

  1. About 13 percent of the adult homeless population are veterans. Around 39 to 53 percent of all homeless female veterans screened positive for military sexual trauma (MST).
  2. More than 85,000 veterans sought treatment last year in connection with military sexual trauma.
  3. According to the Pentagon’s report, an estimated 81 percent of military sexual assaults against men are never reported to military authorities, and just 5 percent of these attacks are reported to civilian law enforcement.
  4. Just 4.6 percent of the nearly 2 million eligible military voters cast a ballot in 2010 that counted. The circumstances of service make it difficult for members to participate in the electoral process.
  5. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, a total of 297,875 service members had signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from October 2001 to March 2013. About 30% of Vietnam War veterans are diagnosed with PTSD.
  6. About 3.6 million veterans have a service-related disability in 2012. Disability levels are measured by percentage, and 881,981 had a 70 percent or higher disability rating.
  7. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the overall unemployment rate for veterans rose to 7.6 percent in January 2013, more than one percent above where it was last Fall but still below the national rate of 7.9 percent. But the total number of veterans unsuccessfully looking for work rose to 844,000.

How can we best help our veterans overcome these struggles?

Despite the struggles of veterans in the US, there is still a lot of positive news for veterans whether its the dedication Americans show each year through assistance or remembrance.

The Good News

  1. About 11.1 million veterans 18 years and over are covered by employer-sponsored health insurance. Four out of five veterans 65 and over had more than one type of health insurance coverage.
  2. Over one million veterans and/or their family members have used the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill to attend college and pursue higher education. The Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 aids tuition and other expenses for those who served after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
  3. In 2007, U.S. military veterans owned 2.4 million businesses, which accounted for 9 percent of all businesses nationwide, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. These businesses generated $1.2 trillion, or about 4.1 percent of all business receipts nationwide, and employed nearly 5.8 million people. In FY 2013, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) supported $1.86 billion in loans for 3,094 veteran-owned small businesses. Since 2009, the dollar amount of SBA lending support to veteran-owned firms has nearly doubled.
  4. Advancements in prosthetic and robotic limbs are making life after injury much easier for veterans who suffered the loss of a limb and other disabling injuries.
  5. The rise in PTSD since the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts prompted advances in medical treatment for the disorder. Several therapy methods and medicinal advancements have helped those who suffer.
  6. Americans continue to pay their respects to our veterans. The National World War II Memorial and Vietnam War Memorial both receive well over 4.4 million visitors every year.
  7. In 2010 alone, more than $291 billion was donated to Veterans charities according to the Giving USA Foundation.

Join the discussion Please be relevant and respectful.

The Independent Voter Network is dedicated to providing political analysis, unfiltered news, and rational commentary in an effort to elevate the level of our public discourse.


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42 comments
Gabe28
Gabe28

Well I'm making a hip hop rap veteran song

galaxystar
galaxystar

im a unicorn! and my instagram and kik is galaxystar_19

jamison2000
jamison2000

What are some good facts for a report for school? I cant fined anything!! good to put on my paper!!!!uhhgg


Sharon Wendel
Sharon Wendel

they wouldn't let the service men vote - remember?

Johnny Ritchie
Johnny Ritchie

Mr. Corporation is doing Great! A Vet cannot afford their own Lobbyist to purchase several Republican legislators to legislate beneficial Laws.

Kurt Blankenship
Kurt Blankenship

#5. The rise in PTSD since the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts prompted advances in medical treatment for the disorder. Several therapy methods and medicinal advancements have helped those who suffer. Okay - I have a heap of poop on that. Most of my buddies that went to the VA or Army for PTSD help only get a bunch of drugs prescribed to them; then put into therapy groups - w/some folk talking of their PTSD because of some mortar landing six miles away...and you're wondering "WTF?"

CharlotteDean
CharlotteDean

the best way we can help veterans overcome these struggles is by bringing them home and putting them to work rebuilding our own infrastructure and serving our communities instead of fighting dead-end conflicts to maintain a tenuous military industrial complex.

Ray Ninness
Ray Ninness

Not a surprise considering who hired the Counters!!!

Ben Dado
Ben Dado

Romney may have been the worst tool that the GOP has ever tried to push.

Ben Dado
Ben Dado

I'm not surprised at all. Personally, I couldn't figure out which candidate in the last presidential election was worse. If one side could push a decent candidate and not a complete tool then I would actually vote.

Glenn Henault
Glenn Henault

I agree. I know many military that cast their votes ... too many to be that number

Jackie Mesenbrink
Jackie Mesenbrink

they missed the plane---I don't think so---they were sabotaged

Joshua Garber
Joshua Garber

I wonder how many were physical unable to get the polls without assistance?

Kent Schisler
Kent Schisler

There's a lesson to be learned here, as a disabled VET...

Gerald V. Dajnowicz
Gerald V. Dajnowicz

soldiers serving overseas have had problems voting for decades....wonder if the commander in chief is aware of this....

Judith Shields
Judith Shields

I couldn't get that reference link to that statistic to work on my phone.

Greg Thompson
Greg Thompson

If you think the Republicans care about you, you're wrong!! Neither political party cares about anything but keeping what they have.

Mark W. Stevenson
Mark W. Stevenson

A vote doesn't mean anything when Oblama bought the electoral college vote.

John Swain
John Swain

No, I can't think how that could be surprising.

AngelaTowry
AngelaTowry

Very well stated bobconner,I am still trying to welcome all our Vietnam vets back home since they didn't get it when they came back .

Rodger Higgins
Rodger Higgins

@AngelaTowry There wasn't any damned USO's at SFO when I came back on 12/25/69 and no one would speak to you. We were treated like and considered shit. Piss on them now.

Richard Apley
Richard Apley

The government of this country now doesn't give a crap about veterans even though society does. They cut drastically our mental health services this year and we are still trying to find our way through the rest of our lives. Do NOT re-elect a single one of those in congress now and we will see a huge change. The current congress also disrespects our seniors even when their own parents and other relatives struggle just to get by on Social Security.

Jo Homer
Jo Homer

Not because they didn't try

bobconner
bobconner

I recently watched a fascinating documentary about biker "clubs" in the US.  A comment made by the narrator stood out to me; a huge number of the bikers in the big two; the Hell's Angels and Mongols, are veterans who migrated to the groups because they could not find the camaraderie they're accustomed to elsewhere and the groups gave them a sense of belonging and a home at least somewhere.

I thought the comment spoke volumes of our country's failure to support our veterans and perhaps even a missed component of the cost of war.