Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day 2014: how many more?

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimated 22 veterans died of suicide every day in 2010, according to a 2013 report that reviewed suicide rates in 21 states between 1999 and 2011.

The number is likely even higher. Not every state tracks whether a deceased person was a veteran. Even that most recent and comprehensive federal review of veterans suicide was missing complete data from large states such as Texas and California. The review had only partial data from Ohio.

... an investigative journalism project by college students, found veterans committed suicide at more than twice the rate of the civilian population. The review of 48 states between 2005 and 2011 found 30 suicides for every 100,000 veterans compared with 14 suicides for every 100,000 civilians.

Veterans who died of suicide tended to be older, between 54 and 59 years old, than those in the civilian population who committed suicide, who averaged 43 years old at death, according to the VA report.

Jessie Balmert, Ohio Gannet News reporter

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) states that the nation’s homeless veterans are predominantly male, with roughly 8% being female. The majority are single; live in urban areas; and suffer from mental illness, alcohol and/or substance abuse, or co-occurring disorders. About 12% of the adult homeless population are veterans.

Roughly 40% of all homeless veterans are African American or Hispanic, despite only accounting for 10.4% and 3.4% of the U.S. veteran population, respectively.

Homeless veterans are younger on average than the total veteran population. Approximately 9% are between the ages of 18 and 30, and 41% are between the ages of 31 and 50. Conversely, only 5% of all veterans are between the ages of 18 and 30, and less than 23% are between 31 and 50.

America’s homeless veterans have served in World War II, the Korean War, Cold War, Vietnam War, Grenada, Panama, Lebanon, Persian Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq (OEF/OIF), and the military’s anti-drug cultivation efforts in South America. ...

...the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that 49,933 veterans are homeless on any given night.

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans

We honor veterans by not making more of them.

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