WashPost/Kaiser: Many Iraq and Afghanistan veterans bring home the burdens of war
Veterans returning from serving in Iraq or Afghanistan say they have found re-entering civilian life to be difficult. A significant share says they have experienced outbursts of anger in daily life. Others say their mental or emotional health is worse since their time in the service, or that they have suffered post-traumatic stress disorder.
Most-recent veterans say military prepared them for civilian work
Share of post-9/11 veterans who say their military experience was relevant to their civilian job.
Most members of Congress have little direct military experience
Veterans make up a smaller share of Congress than at any time in the past five decades.
Public Esteem for Military Still High
More than three-quarters of Americans continue to believe that members of the military contribute “a lot” to society’s well-being. By contrast, only 37% say clergy make a big contribution to society, and journalists have dropped the most in public esteem since 2009.
Sexual Assault in the Military Widely Seen as Important Issue
While very important, few believe sexual assault is a bigger problem in the military than outside it, and most say it does not reflect underlying problems with military culture.
On Memorial Day, public pride in veterans, but at a distance
As the nation prepares to celebrate Memorial Day, most Americans have feelings of pride in the soldiers who fought in America’s post-9/11 conflicts. But the public that will be observing the holiday is also one increasingly disconnected from the military.
Broad Support for Combat Roles for Women
Two-thirds of Americans support allowing women in the military to serve in combat roles and nearly half say the new policy will not alter military effectiveness.
Pentagon’s Lifting of Combat Ban Comes as Role of Military Women Grows
In December 2011, the Pew Research Center examined the roles and attitudes of female military veterans and found that, while many combat roles were withheld from female veterans, women in the military did report experiencing combat and had many of the same issues as men during their transition back into civilian life.
Women in the U.S. Military: Growing Share, Distinctive Profile
The number of women serving on active duty in the military has risen dramatically since the all-volunteer force was established in 1973. A new Pew Research Center study profiles the women who serve and looks at some of the ways they differ from men in the service.
Video: The Military-Civilian Gap
These videos and an audio slideshow discuss the findings from surveys of veterans and the general public that examine the rewards and burdens of military service.