An estimated 2.5 million people have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. The Greater Washington region alone is home to approximately 310,000 veterans of these wars. These numbers are driving a growing interest among philanthropy in supporting veterans and military families.
All veterans should be treated with respect and gratitude. But when it comes to the types of services they need, it's not "one size fits all." Post-9/11 veterans are in many ways different from veterans of prior wars. They are older and more likely to have families. Many have experienced multiple deployments.
The Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, as well as national organizations serving veterans, have identified eight core challenges facing post-9/11 veterans, including employment, obtaining benefits, and reintegration into communities.
Between the complex array of government programs, the many nonprofits organizations that have been created to serve post-9/11 veterans, and a lack of understanding of the needs on the part of civilians, it is hard to know if veterans are getting what they need. This edition of What Funders Need to Know explores some of the unique characteristics and circumstances of post-9/11 veterans and why philanthropy should support the nonprofit organizations that are serving them well.