The Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a nationwide poll of veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, revealing the profound and enduring effects of these conflicts on the 2.6 million who have served. Explore what we found.
George Washington once declared that “the willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.”
Over the past 13 years, roughly 2.4 million active and reserve members of the U.S. armed forces have left military service and returned to civilian life. In the next four to five years, another million, most of whom are post-9/11 veterans, will make this transition.
For a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine who has served in a military at war for more than a decade, reintegrating into civilian life can be challenging, as this new Washington Post poll attests. Are we doing enough to ease this transition for those who have served and sacrificed so much on our behalf? While there have certainly been some important initiatives, our honest answer must be no. There is much more we can and should be doing.
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