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On Veterans Day, we pause to thank those in the United States military. Since 9/11, more than 2.5 million Americans have served our country. As they transition to civilian life, they will face new challenges. It’s our turn to serve them.
In an effort to help Americans better understand and empower our post-9/11 veterans, the Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative has released a new report, My America – Navigating the Post-9/11 Veteran Landscape. Based on research conducted by the Bush Institute with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, the analysis summarizes the experiences and needs of post-9/11 veterans and their families so that Americans can more effectively support their transition. A few key points include:
- 99% of post-9/11 veterans have a high school degree (or equivalent) and 72% have spent at least some time taking college courses. Of those who choose to go back to school, many feel alienated and believe that professors (63%), administrators (63%), and non-veteran student peers (70%) don’t understand the challenges they face.
- Unemployment for this veteran generation remains higher than that of civilians. 80% of post-9/11 vets list their number one employment concern as finding a job that is meaningful to them. Their next greatest concern is finding a way to translate what they’ve done in the military into language that a civilian employer can understand (58%).
- There are an estimated 46,000 non-profit organizations today that have at least some focus on supporting veterans and their families. But the wealth of organizations can make it difficult for veterans to determine where to go for their specific needs.
- Less than 1% of the total population of the country served in the United States military in the years following 9/11, resulting in a significant gap in understanding the issues veterans face today, or a “civilian-military divide.” The media fails to present a comprehensive view of the landscape veterans and their families face.
- A national network of employers is important to veterans. A national network of government agency facilities and services is also important to veterans. But what matters to them most is that these national efforts are represented in their communities.
Brittney Bain serves as the Director of Communications for the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
Prior to joining the Bush Center, she worked on Capitol Hill where she served most recently as deputy press secretary for the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary. Bain interned in the White House Office of Communications during the George W. Bush Administration.
She received her bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and her master’s degree from The Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.Full Bio
Mental Health Awareness Month
May marks Mental Health Awareness Month, an opportunity to raise awareness and reduce stigma, particularly for veterans and the invisible wounds of war. Members from the Bush Institute’s Warrior Wellness Alliance offered their perspectives throughout the month to discuss what they wish more civilians understood about veteran mental health, post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries. They also discussed how everyone can help get more warriors the care they need. Check out their videos below.
How a Community in New Orleans is Helping Veterans Transition
Dylan Tête, Executive Director and Founder, Bastion Community of Resilience will receive the George W. Bush Institute Military Service Citation at the Bush Center's Forum on Leadership.
Creating a Global Veteran Community
Deputy Director of Military Service Initiative Kacie Kelly recently spoke at an international veterans’ mental health conference: “Evidence, Innovation, and Practice” hosted by Kings College London and the Forces in Mind Trust Foundation.