20 facts we all need to know

More than a day off or a day to remember soldiers lost in wars, Veterans Day marks an opportunity to honor those who served in wartime and soldiers who returned from war and persevered in the private sector. . In a 2011 Veterans Day address at Arlington National Cemetery, former President Obama said, “As our service members return, many are discovering a new battlefield by leaving the military and seeking civilian employment opportunities. . “

Many are having difficulty reintegrating into their lives. Our veterans deserve our respect and kind words. Too many are battling Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and 22 veterans kill themselves daily. These men and women need our support, understanding, and appreciation. Here are 20 things about veterans you might not know.

1. The numbers


There are so many in the United States, perhaps more than you might think. Censuses indicate that there are more than 21 million veterans currently in the United States, which is a significant number when you consider some of the needs that soldiers have when they return to civilian life.

2. Veterans

There are 1.6 million veterans. Many of them have been on the front lines, as well as in every other position imaginable.

3. Care for the elderly


There are 9.3 million veterans in the United States over the age of 65. Combining the needs of retired people with those of veterans, this particular group is especially vulnerable when it comes to reintegration into life outside the military and caring issues. Health.

4. Still here

Recent fighting and military interventions in the world have required the deployment of many troops in the last 15 years, but there are also 39,890 veterans of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War still alive.

5. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier


The original Tomb of the Unknown Soldier marks remains of the First World War. Over the years, three more graves were added for World War II, the Korean and the Vietnam War. In 1998, the remains in the Unknown from Vietnam at Arlington National Cemetery were finally identified. A comparison between the exhumed body and DNA evidence revealed the service member as Michael Blassie, a 24-year-old pilot who was killed in 1972 near An Loc, Vietnam.

6. Invictus Games

This year, Prince Harry hosted the first Invictus Games, an athletic tournament for wounded veterans in London. Harry was inspired by attending our Warrior Games in 2013. He said about it: “I am extremely proud that we are bringing an event like this to the UK for the first time and I believe it can have a lasting impact on the well-being of those who have served their nations so bravely. ” His mother would certainly be proud.

7. John McCain


As a young navy pilot and son of a four-star admiral, John McCain spent five and a half years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam before becoming an Arizona senator and Republican presidential candidate.

8. Oliver Stone

The filmmaker, who served in an infantry division in Vietnam for 15 months, drew on his experience in the war to make films such as Platoon (1986) and Born on the Fourth of July (1989). Both films won Oscars for best director.

9. Colin Powell

The legs of a uniformed soldier who is on a hill

A native of Harlem and the South Bronx in New York, Colin Powell joined the Reserve Officers Training Corps at the City University of New York and upon graduation was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army. He became a 4-star general and later a politician and diplomat.

10. California

In 2013, the Census Bureau reported that California is the country with the most veterans in the country. More than 2.1 million current and former service members make up the state’s population.

11. It’s not Memorial Day


The United States Department of Veterans Affairs reports that Veterans Day is often confused with Memorial Day. While Memorial Day honors American service members who died serving their country, Veterans Day honors both but gives special thanks to those who are still alive.

12. Parades for veterans

Cities, towns and organizations honor these military men on Veterans Day with parades and speeches, including a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. The largest Veterans Day parade takes place in New York. This year’s theme is Land of the Free / Home of the Brave.

13. Veterans of various wars

A soldier talking on the radio

They often serve in more than one war. In fact, an estimated 1.3 million American veterans served in two wars and about 54,000 served in three.

14. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was built entirely with private donations. Decorated Vietnam veteran Jan C. Scruggs created the memorial as a way to help returning soldiers and the “national psyche” heal from this long and controversial conflict.

15. Veterans Suicide


The United States Department of Veterans Affairs reports that 22 veterans take their own lives daily. This is a suicide every 65 minutes. Even worse is that the number of male veterans under the age of 30 increased by 44% from 2009 to 2011.

16. There is help for veterans

In response, the Department of Veterans Affairs created the Veterans Crisis Line, offering numerous resources, including a live chat line and a telephone hotline. Those considering suicide are encouraged to seek this specialized help.

17. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

A soldier in therapy

The effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in veterans are still being investigated, but it is estimated that between 11-20% of veterans in Afghanistan and Iraq currently have some form of this disorder. The disorder can lead to mental and personal health problems, including violence and substance abuse.

18. Incarceration

About one in 10 inmates have been in the military. Difficulties readjusting to civilian life, mental illness, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and a difficult job market contribute to this statistic.

19. Coming home is difficult for veterans

A soldier in civilian clothes looking sad

Frequently returning veterans face a difficult transition to civilian life. The VA offers resources for returnees as well as the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

20. Say thank you

While most people appreciate the Thank you, The experience of being in a war or war zone can be incredibly personal, traumatic, and difficult for some people. And some veterans feel uncomfortable receiving thanks from complete strangers for what they feel was their responsibility, job, calling, or worse, mistake. They would rather see civilians prepared to take the necessary steps to avoid wars.