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DEFENSE COMMUNITIES 360

Study Confirms Disconnect between Military, Public

  • October 5, 2011
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A new study by the Pew Research Center provides the latest documentation of the growing gap between military personnel and the general public.

Some 84 percent of post-9/11veterans say the public does not understand the problems faced by those in the military or their families. And considering that only about one half of one percent of the U.S. population has been on active military duty at any point during the past ten years, that result isn’t surprising.

More than 80 percent of respondents say that military personnel and their families have had to make great sacrifices since 9/11. But among those who acknowledge those sacrifices as outweighing those borne by civilians, only 26 percent describe the difference as unfair. Seven out of 10 consider it “just part of being in the military.”

Sadly, the difficulties service members and their families endure run deep and are persistent. Nearly four in 10 post-9/11 veterans say that, whether or not they were formally diagnosed, they believe they have suffered from post-traumatic stress, according to the study.

In a similar vein, 44 percent of post-9/11 veterans say their readjustment to civilian life was difficult. By contrast, just 25 percent of veterans who served in earlier eras say the same. About half of all post-9/11 veterans say they have experienced strains in family relations since leaving the military, with a similar percentage saying they have had frequent outbursts of anger.

Read the story in the Washington Post or download the study.

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