Posts

Military Connection: Report Shows Different Side of Veterans

Got Your 6 Study

By Debbie Gregory.

Each year, approximately 250,000 service members separate from the U.S. military, and are dispersed throughout communities across the country. The current generation of Veterans holds the distinction of having served during the longest period of constant warfare in our nation’s history. While, we, as a nation, have a tendency to support and acknowledge this generation of Veterans, at the same time, the American public also has many preconceived notions about Veterans that just aren’t true.

One of these notions is that Veterans are damaged in some way, and are in need of a handout. It’s true that there are issues of unemployment, underemployment, homelessness, PTSD and other service-connected mental and behavior health concerns that plague the Veteran community. But the simple truth is that many Veterans who transition into civilian life are not affected by these issues.

Veterans are the same people who, during a time of war, agreed to stand between their countrymen and the perils that threaten our way of life. Veterans are the same resilient men and women who overcame the challenges of basic training to be initiated into the most elite fighting force in the world. Veterans are the ones who sacrifice years of their lives, away from their families and hometowns. These Veterans are the ones who often deployed multiple times in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Got Your 6, a non-profit organization that unites other non-profits with assets in Hollywood and government agencies, published a report that offer the American public some different statistics about Veterans that could alter the way that Veterans are perceived.

The report is the 2015 Veterans Civic Health Index, titled, “America’s Greatest Assets: How Military Veterans are Strengthening our Communities.” All of the findings in the report are based on analysis of the Current Population Survey (CPS) data from 2012 and 2013, conducted by the Center for Information Research on Civic Leaning and Engagement (CIRCLE).

According to the report, Veterans are the most involved citizens in their communities. Veterans are more likely than non-veterans to vote, contact their elected leaders, attend community meetings, and take active roles in their neighborhoods. Veterans are more likely to join community organizations, social clubs, and similar groups. Veterans also tend to volunteer more, averaging 160 hours per year, compared to 120 by non-veterans.

The purpose of the report is to help remove some of the negative stereotypes about Veterans. But it is important to remember that while many of the concerns we have for our Veterans aren’t necessarily applicable to all Vets, the Veterans who do suffer from such issues as unemployment, underemployment, homelessness, PTSD and other service-connected mental & behavior health concerns need and deserve our support.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the ArmyNavyAir ForceMarinesCoast Guard,Guard and ReserveVeterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Boardinformation on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Report Shows Different Side of Veterans: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Wounded Warrior Project Survey: By Debbie Gregory

Wounded Warrior SurveyOn September 16, 2014, the Wounded Warrior Project released the results of their 2014 Annual Alumni Survey. The organization surveyed more than 21,000 wounded Veterans in an effort to determine the areas where these Veterans struggle after they separate from the Military. The intention is that the data provided by the survey can be used to improve support and benefits for wounded Veterans.

The survey found that the two most common problems in accessing both physical and mental healthcare were 1. Difficulty in scheduling appointments,  and 2. Inconsistent treatment due to canceled appointments and switches in providers. The survey found that this was not just among VA healthcare patients, but among Veterans seen by private providers as well.

The survey revealed that the primary type of current health insurance or coverage cited included Veterans Affairs at 59.2%. This stat was up from 52.7% in 2013.

The percentage of Veterans receiving VA disability benefits is 72%, which is up from 62.8% in 2013.

The number of Veterans with a VA disability rating of 80% or higher rose to 42.6% in 2014, up from 36.2% in 2013.

The study also found that the top five reported injuries and health problems experienced during post-9/11 service were:

  1. Sleep disorders (75.8%)
  2. Post-traumatic stress disorder (75.2%)
  3. Back, neck, and shoulder problems (72.3%)
  4. Depression (67.1%)
  5. Anxiety (64.2%) or

Other important findings from the survey include:

  • The unemployment rate for respondents in the labor force is 13.9%
  • 82.3% of warriors are overweight or obese
  • 75% of warriors reported the memory of an upsetting military experience has haunted them in the past month.
  • 59.2% of warriors say talking with another veteran is in their top five ways for coping with stress
  • 43.2% of warriors report having a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

This is the fifth consecutive year that the Wounded Warrior Project has conducted this survey. The data will allow the organization to identify trends and compare this data with surveys from other military populations.

Download Survey Here.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Wounded Warrior Project Survey: By Debbie Gregory

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.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Veteran Survey Findings:  By Debbie Gregory