RAND on Veterans' Issues

As veterans return home and adjust to civilian life, they and their families face new challenges and many communities struggle to meet their unique needs.

Rigorous research is essential to addressing the challenges facing veterans and to finding long-term solutions. RAND research explores key issues concerning veterans such as health and well-being, education, employment, and family support .

Health and Well-Being

Some veterans suffer combat-related injuries, including mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and traumatic brain injury. Quality health care is critical as veterans return to their communities. RAND explores the physical and mental health needs of veterans as well as the treatment systems available to address them, including care delivered by the VA and community providers, and informal care provided by families and friends.

  • Project

    RAND Contributions to Veterans’ Choice Act Study

    As a subcontractor to MITRE, RAND Corporation conducted three of the twelve assessments of the VA health care delivery system required by the Veterans Access Choice and Accountability Act (VACAA).

  • Journal Article

    Using Facebook to Recruit Young Adult Veterans

    Facebook is a new and largely unexplored avenue for recruiting veterans for clinical studies. The successful use of Facebook as a recruitment tool for this study suggests that it can be an effective method for reaching veterans in need of care.

  • Report

    Public-Private Partnerships for Providing Behavioral Health Care to Veterans and Their Families

    Veterans and their families face many barriers to mental health care. Partnerships between a public agency, such as the VA, and a private organization, such as a private hospital, have been discussed as a potential solution. What are the key components for successful public-private partnerships?

  • Report

    Results from the 2014 Wounded Warrior Project Annual Survey

    The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) provides support and raises awareness for those who incurred physical or mental health conditions during military service, as well as their families and caregivers. An analysis of survey results shows how WWP alumni are faring in terms of mental, physical, and economic well-being, and offers recommendations for improvements to the program.

Education

The post-9/11 GI Bill was the largest expansion of veterans' education benefits since passage of the original GI Bill in 1944 and gives veterans the opportunity to move ahead in civilian careers. RAND has examined its initial implementation challenges and the complexity of administering the benefits, and recommended ways higher education institutions can help veterans use their benefits and adapt to life on campus.

Employment

U.S. veterans return from service with proven practical and leadership skills, so why is unemployment among them so high? RAND has analyzed return-to-work policies and programs for those with service-related injuries, as well as employer tax credits designed to encourage veteran hiring. A new study finds that even employers who are committed to hiring veterans struggle to understand how military experience translates to the skills needed for civilian jobs.

  • Essay

    Warriors in the Civilian Workforce: Helping Veterans Transition

    ​Americans who served during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq continue to face higher jobless rates than nonveterans. A growing body of RAND research has sought to identify what can help get more of them back on the job.

  • Research Brief

    Connecting Veterans and Employers

    The successes and challenges companies who are proponents of veteran employment have experienced highlight areas where civilian employers and federal agencies can take steps to increase veteran opportunities in the workplace.

  • Report

    Military Veteran Employment Valued, but Challenges Still Need to Be Addressed

    Businesses report that U.S. military veterans make excellent employees, but companies still experience challenges locating and hiring them, including continuing difficulty understanding the match between military skills and civilian job requirements.

  • Report

    Why Is Veteran Unemployment So High?

    Between 2000 and 2011, younger veterans were on average 3.4 percentage points more likely to be unemployed than similarly situated younger nonveterans. However, this difference falls rapidly with age and time since military separation.

Family Support

Families of injured service members and veterans endure significant strain as they provide critical support when service members come home. There are 5.5 million spouses, siblings, parents, children, and friends devoted to the care of those injured fighting America's wars, and often their own needs are neglected. A recent RAND study quantified military caregivers' needs and recommended ways for policymakers and others to meet them.

  • Report

    Faith-Based Organizations and Veteran Reintegration: Enriching the Web of Support

    Faith-based organizations (FBOs) are an important resource for veterans as they readjust to civilian life. Interviews with FBOs reveal how they address diverse areas of veteran health and well-being, and suggest ways to better integrate them into the web of support.

  • Solution

    Getting To Know Military Caregivers and Their Needs

    There are millions of military caregivers—wives, husbands, siblings, parents, and friends—caring for U.S. service members and veterans who are wounded, ill, or injured. These caregivers help their loved ones live better-quality lives, but their own needs may go unmet.

  • Project

    The RAND Military Caregivers Study

    The RAND Military Caregivers Study focuses on caregivers of wounded, ill, and injured U.S. military servicemembers and veterans.