How Much Do We Know About What a Veteran Is?

Photo courtesy of EOD Warrior Foundation

EOD Warrior Foundation reminds us that veterans are an eclectic group

With Veteran’s Day around the corner, it’s a great time to consider those who have fought for our continued freedom. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are roughly 18.5 million veterans in the country. Do you really know what a veteran is? The more we learn about this unique group, the more we become aware of the diversity that our nation’s veterans represent.

“Veterans have served our country proudly, and have ensured our freedom endures,” explains Nicole Motsek, executive director of the EOD Warrior Foundation. “Veterans are made up of a diverse group of servicemen and women, representing every aspect of this country.”

The statistics show that 1.6 million of the veterans are women, almost 12 percent of them are African American, and just over 6% of them are Hispanic. When it comes to age, 9.2 million of our veterans are over the age of 65, while 1.6 million of them are under the age of 35.

Additional interesting facts from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs about what a veteran is, include:

  • Religion. Our veterans represent a wide variety of religious affiliations, with 4.8 million of them being Catholic, 120,000 being Buddhist, 16,000 being Hindu, 62,000 are Muslim, 41,000 are Shinto, and many others fall into the category of Lutheran, Mormon, Sikh, Jewish, etc.
  • Careers. Female veterans are more likely to have completed some college compared to non-veteran females. They are also 7% more likely to be working in management and professional occupations, and twice as likely to be working for state, local, or federal government.
  • Wages. Compared to non-veterans of the same age, veterans who work full time had higher earnings
  • Disabilities. A third of Vietnam veterans are more than 70% disabled, but their disability is not necessarily connected to their service, as many of the disabilities stem from other factors. American Indian and Alaska Native veterans are more likely to have a service-connected disability than veterans of other races. The Small Business Administration (SBA) reports that just over 7% of veteran entrepreneurs report having a service-connected disability.
  • Homelessness. Veterans account for 10 percent of the total population, but 16 percent of the homeless adult population.
  • Entrepreneurs. According to the SBA, over 2.5 million businesses are majority-owned by veterans, which is around 9% of all firms. Of that, over 442,000 of them employ other people, employing over 5 million people. Their businesses collectively earn around $1.14 trillion per year.
  • Industries. The top industries where veteran entrepreneurs own businesses include professional, scientific, and technical services, followed by construction. The top states with veteran-owned businesses include California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania.

“One look at the statistics on veterans tells us there isn’t a ‘typical’ veteran,” added Motsek. “Our veterans come from all backgrounds, religions, neighborhoods, and have a diverse background. We are proud of all of our veterans and for all they have contributed to this country during times of war.”

The EOD Warrior Foundation is an organization that helps the families of the 7,000 people in our military who are Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians, and perform bomb disposal duties. Engaging in the most dangerous job in the military, EOD technicians often sustain serious injuries, lose limbs, or are killed in action. The EOD Warrior Foundation helps this elite group by providing financial relief, therapeutic healing retreats, a scholarship program, care of the EOD Memorial Wall located at Eglin AFB, Fla. and more. Their work is supported by private donations and the generosity of those who support the organization.  To learn more about the EOD Warrior Foundation, or see their fundraising events calendar, visit their site at: www.eodwarriorfoundation.org.

Photo courtesy of EOD Warrior Foundation