Specifically, 58% of Americans know about the prevalence of post traumatic stress disorder among Iraq and Afghanistan troops and veterans, yet only 35% are aware that not all veterans are eligible for VA healthcare, and only 31% know that veterans can wait up to a year for disability benefits.
Regarding the economic impacts of war and poverty among veterans, fewer than three out of ten Americans know that 20% of male veterans ages 18-24 were unemployed last year and that there are approximately 200,000 homeless veterans in the U.S.
“What the poll tells us is that Americans have little knowledge of the true costs of war,” Fairweather said. “As advocates we understand the tremendous struggles service members face when they return from war, but collectively we have a lot of work ahead of us to educate the public about the sacrifices our warriors make and ensure that the system of care is sufficient and appropriate for military, veterans, their families and survivors.”
The CIAV will address the gaps in services for our military community and discuss ways to foster improved communication with the American public about the issues our troops and veterans face this week at the 3rd annual conference in Washington, DC May 11-14. Service providers, veterans, families, survivors and advocates will share cutting edge expertise and meet with top officials from the VA, DoD, White House and Congress to improve the quality and quantity of support for the military and veteran community. The conference is open to the public and attendees will have an opportunity to learn about the impact of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Register at www.coaltionforveterans.org
May 11-14, 2010
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