On Veterans’ Day: 3 Facts About the Nation’s Newest Veterans

A mixed bag for those who have served since 9/11

  • Share
  • Read Later
Getty Images

Parents have been asking for a generation or more if their tyke’s woes are nature or nurture. America should be asking the same question about its military veterans.

On Veterans’ Day — which is today, Monday, Nov. 11, for all of those of you who have forgotten to put out your flags — it’s only natural to ponder how well the latest vet crop, those who have served since 9/11, is faring.

To be sure, the nation can always do better by its veterans, old and young. But here are some facts about post–9/11 vets worth noting:

1. A lower percentage of veterans, as a whole, is unemployed (6.3%) compared with their never served counterparts (7.3%). But that’s not true of those who have worn the uniform post–9/11, who had a 10% jobless rate last month.

Yet younger vets have help prior generations never did, according to a recent study:

For Iraq/Afghanistan-era veterans, there are many resources available to assist with transition to civilian life that were not available for veterans returning from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Changes in the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense policies have led to universal eligibility for VA healthcare, comprehensive Veteran Resource Centers and initiatives like the Yellow Ribbon Program to assist veterans with educational and vocational goals. The results of this study indicate that veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts are faring well in the current labor market, largely because of the support that these programs provide for reintegration.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, working veterans across the board earn more than working nonveterans.

2. Overall, veterans are less than half as likely as nonvets to be imprisoned. And veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq are even better at staying on the right side of the law, according a study earlier this year:

Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn veterans were less than half as likely to be incarcerated as other veterans … This finding may reflect the increased attention and service supports provided to OEF/OIF/OND veterans by the VA and other organizations and is consistent with reports that the proportion of prisoners who are veterans has declined steadily over the past three decades.

All told, only 3.9% of the nation’s vets behind bars served in Afghanistan or Iraq.

3. Most likely you, or your children, didn’t have to fight, but the vets did … again and again. Today’s military consists of an all-volunteer force, while earlier generations had the draft to help the U.S. military fill the ranks. That means the most recent troops wanted to be in uniform. (The draft era’s U.S. military wasn’t as selective as the name Selective Service might make one think, and drugs, racial animosities and fragging — deliberate “friendly fire,” in other words — were among the predictable outcomes.)

Those repeated deployments meant many of the 2.5 million men and women who volunteered for duty in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past 13 years have come home with problems of one kind or another. It’s a major reason why nearly half of post–9/11 vets are seeking some form of disability compensation, more than double the rate of 1991 Gulf War vets.

The nation’s notion of confining sacrifice to a few by recycling them back to war again and again is a stain on the nation’s psyche. But that’s not the vets’ fault. So, even as we acknowledge the improvements in the way the nation is welcoming its veterans back home, it’s important to remind ourselves that it’s the least we can do.

14 comments
valentine.godoflove
valentine.godoflove

IN CAPS FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE ELDERLY.....DEFEND THE WEAK.....KNIGHT TEMPLARS

THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES, OBAMA THE AMERICA HATER TODAY.....AND HIS COHORTS ....HAVE FAILED THE MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES.....

#1.    WITH THEIR UNCARING "PRETENDING TO CARE" DEMONSTRATIONS OF THEIR ACTIONS.....THOUSANDS HAVE DIED.....BECAUSE OF THEIR USE OF THE SOLDIERS AS CANON FODDER

#2    BECAUSE WE ARE A DEFEATED AND DEMORALIZED ARMED FORCES WITH NO LEADERSHIP.......THOUSANDS HAVE  COMMITED SUICIDE.....BECAUSE OF LOW OR ABSENCE OF MARALE....

VICTORIOUS AND PROUD SOLDIERS DO NOT KILL THEMSELVES.....THEY WALK PROUD WITH THEIR HELDS HELD HIGH

#3.  THOUSANDS OF WOMEN SERVING IN THE MIITARY HAVE BEEN RAPED BY THEIR OWN COLLEAGUES......BECAUSE OF THESE OBAMA AND DEMOCRAT SOCIAL EXPERIMENTS......WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU PUT A GOAT WITH A TIGER.....TELLING THE TIGER DO NOT TOUCH THE GOAT......GOOD LUCK....JERKS AND IDIOTS...

#4.   OBAMA AND HIS CREW ARE RESPOSOBE FOR THE DEATHS IN BENGHAZI, AFGHANISTAN, IRAQ.....THERE ARE NO OBJECTIVES EXCEPT TO ROLL THE DICE AS TO WHO GETS KILLED BEFORE WE GET OUT OF THIS GOD FORSAKEN BATTLEFIELD.

STALIN.....WOULD HAVE HIS NKVD SHOOT COMMANDERS SUCH AS THESE.....

WHO WILL SAVE OUR SOLDIERS FROM THESE.....ANIMALS WHO DO NOT CARE ABOUT THEM....

IN ROME....THE CONSULS....., POLITICIANS.....LIKE CAESAR AND POMPEII.....HAD A STAKE IN KEEPING THEIR MEN ALIVE.....AND CONSEQUENTLY....THE SOLDIERS HAD HIGH MORALE.....

OBAMA AND HIS CREW ARE GUILTY....OF ALL THE DEAD TODAY IN AFGHANISTAN......BENGHAZI....IRAQ....AND GOD KNOWS WHERE  ELSE......THEY PRETEND TO CARE....BUT THEIR ACTIONS DO NOT.....ONLY THE STUPID WILL BUY THE PHOTO OPS AND OTHER PROPAGANDA THESE EVIL MEN HAVE DONE TO OUR SOLIDERS

VALENTINE, MILITARY HISTORIAN, POLITICAL HISTORIAN, WORLD HISTORIAN, COMEDIAN....LOL

WalterWhite1
WalterWhite1

One unfortunate reality of Veterans Day is that our veterans never fight against the greatest threat of the last 60 years. This is the on-going program of genocide being carried out against White people. This genocide is being carried out by force integrating every White country, community, and institution on the earth with non-Whites. This forced diversity is accompanied by an information campaign that frames White people as inherently defective and lacking positive human qualities. This campaign of White guilt is intended to weaken the resolve of Whites as they face genocide by forced assimilation. Non-White people are free to have spaces and institutions to pursue their own cultures and destinies. This is genocide. There are people who claim to be "anti-racist," but what they are is anti-White. Anti-racist is a code word for anti-White. 

formerlyjames
formerlyjames

The post 9/11 military and veterans are the most expensive and costly in the history of our military, that's for sure.  They receive greater compensation during and after service and more expensive equipment than any previous vets.  Another difference is the contribution of the reserve forces, so called citizen soldiers, National Guard and Reserve, which served as a dodge from active service and combat during Viet Nam, but was a mainstay in Afghanistan and Iraq.

While I honor and pay tribute to all military veterans of all wars, I also reflect on the necessity of some of the post WW2 wars and conflicts, the unnecessarily drawn out Afghanistan, and the totally unnecessary Iraq.  

rutnerh
rutnerh

But let's not forget the extreme sacrifices and suffering of WWII vets, especially on the Western fronts, truly the greatest generation, and also of Korean and Vietnam vets who suffered equal or greater physical and psychic damages and yet adapted better to civilian life than current vets, based on far lower disability claims before PTSD. Wonder how many are coaxed by vet organizations into malingering or else suffering from a current nationwide mental illness, called greed. 

JBSmith
JBSmith

Yet they have been implanted with a biochip that enables torture.  Read Brian Castner's "A Long Walk" .  He describes ambiguous pain, twitches, heart attack symptoms, memory lapses. night mares, day mares, and what he describes as the "crazy" feeling.  These are all symptoms of the "microwave auditory effect"  See audio spotlight by holosonics.  Read "A Note on Uberveillance" by M. D. Michael or "Safeguard's in a World of Ambient Intelligence" by Springer page 9.  Go to Forbes dot com and search Brandon Raub.  Do you think we have all these "mental Health" patients suddenly going postal.  No, it is the work of the "brain Initiative".  State Police and the joint non-lethal weapons directorate have been tasked with implanting everyone with a biochip to "take away their right to bear arms"     Why so they can implant everyone with the mark of the beast - a non-lethal weapon that enables torture and has a kill switch.  Why so they can kill the poor, the old,  the less intelligent, and the veterans that took an oath, will uphold the oath, and will defend us all! God bless our heros.  Go to oathkeepers.org.

sallyedelstein
sallyedelstein

It is essential to honor our vets, now more than ever. Unlike today's troubled vets who are returning to an American Dream itself suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the greatest generation of WWII soldiers came back to a robust America, the American Dream gift wrapped just for them in red white and blue. A grateful nation did all they could to honor these heroes. Speaking directly to the battle fatigued boys overseas and to the best girls they left behind a slew of reassuring ads appeared at the end of the war creating identical longings for same American Dream in the post war world of tomorrow.  http://wp.me/p2qifI-6Z.http://wp.me/p2qifI-1MP

notsacredh
notsacredh

Mark, thank you for writing this:

"The nation’s notion of confining sacrifice to a few by recycling them back to war again and again is a stain on the nation’s psyche. But that’s not the vets’ fault. So, even as we acknowledge the improvements in the way the nation is welcoming its veterans back home, it’s important to remind ourselves that it’s the least we can do."

We owe our veterans a debt that we can never repay. Their sacrifices and the price they paid in both life and limb is almost beyond comprehension. Hiring a veteran doesn't put 'PAID" to the bill, it's just a small downpayment.

notsacredh
notsacredh

@WalterWhite1, there are medications out there with your name on them.Btw, death to whitey, We're going to steal your women and force you to watch Tyler Perry movies. .

Kevie
Kevie

@rutnerh   I think you would benefit from taking the time to look at the "DATA" on suicides and divorce that has been coming out.     I think if you really want to look at greed there are lots of governent programs where all you need to be included is to have made any of a raft of bad decisions to get compensation of one form or another.     A veteran,  at the very least,  made a contribution to this country BEFORE receiving anything.

lonestaryankee
lonestaryankee

@rutnerh As someone who's done three combat tours in Iraq, and one in Afghanistan, outside the wire, on patrol, and who has PTSD as a result, I find your comment insulting and degrading. Unless you were one of those of us who were recycled again and again, or were in WWII, Korea or Vietnam, you have absolutely NO RIGHT to cast judgement. You have NO IDEA what it's like out there, so get off your holier-than-thou throne and stop passing judgment on my generation's veterans.