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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.

8th Annual IAVA Member Survey

Member Suvery 2017 cover

Featured Research

Women Veterans

Oct 2017 | | |

Since 2001, 345,000 women have deployed in support of these current wars. Over 700,000 have served. Women are the fastest growing population in the military and veteran community. With the policy change to include women in combat arms positions, these numbers will only continue to grow. It is past time for the nation to recognize and support these women.

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“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

Oct 2017 | |

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.

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“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

Suicide

Oct 2017 | | |

The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that 20 veterans die from suicide each day. The Department of Defense reported that 478 service members (active and reserve components) died by suicide in FY2016. IAVA’s members are on the front lines of this critical issue of this battle to combat suicide, and it will take the focus and support of the nation to win.

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“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

Issues on the Horizon

Oct 2017 | |

There are a number of emerging issues important to our community that may not be at the forefront of the nation’s mind. Issues such as long-term adverse health effects from exposure to burn pits and other toxic substances while deployed to fight these most current wars, the potential impact of medical marijuana in easing symptoms […]

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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. 

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Political Engagements

Oct 2017

Research supports that veterans are generally more civically engaged than civilians, volunteering in their local communities and engaging in politics and elections more than their civilian counterpart.

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VA Health Care Usage/Reform

Oct 2017 | |

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs access crisis of 2014 brought to light a problem veterans knew of for years, critical challenges accessing VA health care. Since then, the VA and Congress have worked to address these challenges. It is imperative that the veteran clients be at the center of this discussion to finally recognize the vision […]

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