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Perceptions and views from Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans

IAVA’s Research Department uses real data to drive the development of scalable solutions to benefit veterans and their families. Through careful analysis of IAVA’s annual member survey and continuous surveillance of data about service members, veterans and their families, IAVA’s Research Department informs the development of IAVA advocacy campaigns and programs.

7th Annual IAVA Member Survey


The most comprehensive look into the lives of post-9/11 veterans.


Featured Research

Women in the Military

Feb 2016 | | |

It’s past time for the nation to understand and recognize the service and sacrifice of this women veterans and to give them the benefit and support they have earned. Women are the fastest growing population in both the military and veteran communities, and their numbers have been growing steadily since the 1970s. They are being given unprecedented roles in combat and greater responsibilities in leadership; with the inclusion of women in combat arms positions, these trends will only grow. 

“A woman could not qualify for decorations I earned as an infantryman. I think that is wrong... the fact that a woman, due to being born a woman, is barred from service. It's antiquated and below us.”
—Male IAVA Member

Mental Health

Feb 2016 | |

It is estimated that one in five service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or depression. The same is estimated for possible traumatic brain injury. Barriers to care and the perceived stigma of asking for help can keep those who need from help, but accessing high quality care is essential for recovery.

“I was on active duty when members of my unit encouraged me to seek mental health counseling. I experienced no stigma, and fortunately this did not become a long-term issue for me.”
—IAVA Member


Feb 2016 |

The VA estimates that 22 veterans die from suicide each day, and the DoD reported that 434 service members (active and reserve components) died by suicide in 2014. IAVA’s members are on the frontlines of this battle to combat suicide, and it will take the focus and support of the nation to win.

“Posters and pretty speeches are not going to change a thing, they never have. A complete change in culture and in society's response to the issue and compassion for those who suffer is what will really make a difference.”
—IAVA Member

Additional Research Results

Post-9/11 GI Bill

May 2016

Over one million new veterans and their dependents have gone to school using the Post-9/11 GI Bill. However, despite the enormous success of this benefit, there is still work to be done. The Post-9/11 GI Bill is an investment in this nation’s future and this investment must be protected. 


Burn Pits and Toxic Exposures

Feb 2016 |

While some post-9/11 veterans leave the military without injury, others may bear the signature wounds of these wars. Musculoskeletal, psychological and hearing related injuries are some of the most common. These injuries can be complex and recovery can be a long process, and yet veterans are showing their strength and resolve as they do exactly […]


Gun Ownership and Safety

Feb 2016 | | | |

Conversations around gun ownership and safety continue to be at the forefront of the national conversation. The military community is one of the most highly trained when it comes to safe handling and storage of guns. However, 22 veterans a day die by suicide and firearms are the number one means in which these veterans […]


Military Service

Feb 2016 |

With less than one percent of the U.S. population having served in the current wars, it’s critical to ask this population their thoughts on issues impacting military service. Recruitment and retention of high talent individuals must remain a priority. Including the current generation in in these conversations is a necessity. 

To learn more about IAVA's research, check out our past reports and publications.