Military Connection: Veteran Survey Findings: By Debbie Gregory

Veteran surveyIn July, the Veterans advocacy group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) released the findings of its 2014 Member Survey.

The IAVA is the first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to combat Veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. IAVA membership is dependent on participation in either Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom, but civilians and other Veterans may join in a supporter status.

For the 2014 IAVA Member Survey, an online questionnaire was completed by 2,089 Veteran members. Their feedback will be used to provide an insight into what the post-military experience has been like so far for our latest generation of combat Veterans.

Some of the notable results include that 53% of participants said that that they had experienced mental injury. There were 44% diagnosed with PTSD, and 18% diagnosed with TBI. Almost two thirds of the participants admitted to having a mental injury and claimed to be receiving treatment. More than two thirds of the participants who had a close friend or family member suggest they seek help for their mental injury did so. This emphasizes how important it is for family members to vocalize their concern.

Regarding their education benefits, 62% of participants claimed to have used the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Of those, 78% of the Veterans rated the benefit as GOOD or EXCELLENT.

Regarding mental health treatment, 72% of survey participants who use the VA healthcare system for their mental health claims said they were satisfied with their provider, and 91% of participants claim to be satisfied with their non-VA provider for mental health treatments.

Almost half of the participants claim to have known at least one Iraq or Afghanistan Veteran who has attempted suicide.

One in ten participants claimed to be unemployed, and 61% of the employed Veterans claimed to be satisfied with their jobs.

Of the Veterans who filed disability claims with the VA, 70% answered that they waited over 120 days for the VA to notify them of their claim.

There are dozens of pages of data regarding Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans revealed from this survey. It is highly recommended that Veterans read the entire survey to see that they are not alone in their struggles. It is also important for employers, community leaders and advocates to understand the results in order to gain an insight as to where and how they can best help Veterans.

Click here for the 2014 IAVA Member Survey. For more information on IAVA, click here.

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Military Connection: Veteran Survey Findings:  By Debbie Gregory