National Coalition of Homeless Veterans
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The Difficult Transition | Knowledge | Corporate Connection

The unprecedented sacrifice of 0.5% of the population serving in our Armed Forces has created a huge understanding chasm between our military and the public. With over 190,000 military personnel transitioning off active duty each year and over 200,000 National Guard personnel coming back to the U.S. from overseas deployments, this chasm needs to be bridged.

84% of post-9/11 veterans surveyed say that the public does not understand the problems faced by those in the military or their families, and 71% of the public agree. More disconcerting, while 83% of all adults say that military personnel and their families have had to make a lot of sacrifices since 9/11, only 26% describe it as unfair. A remarkable 70% consider it “just part of being in the military.”

The factors that have led to a disproportionate amount of veterans homeless include many characteristics attributed to serving in the Armed Forces. Factors like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and the removal of the structure and order of military life greatly contributes to a difficult transition. 44% of post-9/11 veterans say their readjustment to civilian life was difficult and 25% of veterans from earlier eras say the same.

Additionally, the probabilities of an easy re-entry drop from 82% for those who did not experience a traumatic event to 56% for those who did – a 26 percentage point decline and the largest change in the Pew Research Center study. Unfortunately, traumatic events and serious injuries are not uncommon. Nearly a third (32%) of all veterans say they had a military-related experience while serving that they found to be “emotionally traumatic or distressing”—a proportion that increases to 43% among those who served since 9/11.

Nevertheless, through focusing on providing safe and permanent housing, proper nutrition, encouragement to seek professional health services, and even small workplace accommodations at your business, many of these veterans will go on to lead highly fulfilled lives that further the talents and skills gained during their military service.


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