Cover: Health and Economic Outcomes in the Alumni of the Wounded Warrior Project

Health and Economic Outcomes in the Alumni of the Wounded Warrior Project

Published Aug 17, 2012

by Heather Krull, Matthew Tyler Haugseth

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Research Questions

  1. How are individuals from different subgroups, as defined by marital status, gender, pay grade, and employment status, meeting the Wounded Warrior Program's strategic goals?
  2. How do outcomes for Wounded Warrior Program alumni compare with the outcomes of other veteran and nonveteran U.S. populations?

Since 2002, the not-for-profit Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) has sought to offer support for and raise public awareness of those injured during service on or after September 11, 2001. WWP gives members (alumni) access to programs that ensure that wounded warriors are well-adjusted in mind, spirit, and body and that they are economically empowered. Here the authors report a detailed analysis of how individuals with different marital statuses, genders, pay grades, and employment statuses were meeting these goals and how outcomes of its alumni compared with the outcomes of other veteran and nonveteran U.S. populations. The organization's decisionmakers can use the information from this report to determine the degree to which strategic objectives are met for each subgroup and to set new goals and the means by which the organization and its alumni and may reach those goals.

Key Findings

Some Wounded Warriors Are Better Adjusted in Mind and Spirit Than Others

  • Alumnus respondents needing help are seeking it, but access can be limited.
  • Alumnus respondents are seeking other Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans as a resource.
  • Emotional problems still force many respondents to miss work and other activities.
  • Married alumnus respondents report less upsetting memories.
  • Alumnus respondents' reported ability to adapt is falling short of the project's goal.

Wounded Warriors Are Generally Well-Adjusted in Body

  • Survey respondents are achieving the project's goal of not missing work and other activities because of physical health problems.
  • Obesity among alumnus respondents is proportionate to that of the U.S. population.

Wounded Warriors Are Generally Economically Empowered

  • Survey respondents met the project's goal for increasing attainment of higher education.
  • Survey respondents met the project's goal for increasing alumni's attainment of business, technical, and vocational training.
  • Respondent rates of employment are reaching project goals.
  • Survey respondents are achieving the project's home-ownership goals.


  • Use different scales to generate a better measure of alumnus challenges.
  • Create programs that can benefit specific alumnus population subgroups.

The research described in this report was sponsored by the Wounded Warrior Project and conducted jointly by RAND Health's Center for Military Health Policy Research and the Forces and Resources Policy Center of the RAND National Security Research Division.

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