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.
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.
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.
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.
More than eight years after U.S. troops entered Iraq, the United States military – with the exception of a few troops connected with the U.S. Embassy – will leave the country by the end of 2011.
More than seven-in-ten veterans report having had an easy time readjusting to civilian life, but nearly a quarter say re-entry was difficult for them -- a figure that swells to 44% among veterans who served in the ten years since Sept. 11, 2001.
While most Americans today have family members who once served or are currently serving in the armed forces, a new Pew Research Center study finds there is a large gap on this measure between older and younger adults.
For many of the 2.2 million wounded American veterans, the physical and emotional consequences of their wounds have endured long after they left the military.
As the United States marks the 10th anniversary of the longest period of sustained warfare in its history, the overwhelming majority of veterans of the post-9/11 era are proud of their military service. At the same time, many report that they have had difficulties readjusting to civilian life, and have suffered from post-traumatic stress. While veterans are more supportive of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq than the general public, just one-third say that both been worth fighting.
As President Obama begins to draw down U.S. forces in Afghanistan, most Americans continue to say that government support for troops returning from war is falling short.