Military Veterans

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Military veterans—individuals who complete military service whether at home or deployed overseas, in peacetime or in combat—are entitled to and in some cases require various government services. RAND research has examined the physical and mental health, interpersonal relationships, and employment problems that U.S. military veterans and their families face, and has recommended policies to support veterans' reintegration into civilian life.

  • Howard and Jean Somers hold a photo of their son, Daniel, who died by suicide in June 2013, photo by Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune via Zuma Wire

    Essay

    More Can Be Done to Save Veterans from Suicide

    Nov 4, 2019

    A decade of research at RAND has sought to focus the national conversation about suicide in general, and veteran suicide in particular, around solutions that work. The overwhelming message: We could do more to save the lives of veterans like Daniel Somers. Here is his story.

  • A doctor looking at an x-ray next to an American flag

    Essay

    How Private Health Care Providers Could Better Serve Veterans

    Nov 7, 2018

    Almost a third of U.S. veterans live 40 miles or more from the nearest VA medical center, so the VA is trying to make it easier for them to use private providers closer to home. But it will take significant efforts to better prepare civilian doctors to deliver high-quality care to veterans.

Explore Military Veterans

  • Surf therapy program for military veterans run by the Jimmy Miller Foundation

    Commentary

    Nonprofits and Bridging the Civil-Military Divide

    Troops, veterans, and military families can go to the National Resource Directory to find help if they need it, and citizens can turn there to find organizations serving those communities where they can donate their time or money. Each of us can play a role in bridging the civil-military divide, but only if we take action.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • young soldier with wife

    Report

    Hidden Heroes: America's Military Caregivers — Executive Summary

    This summary distills a longer report, Hidden Heroes: America's Military Caregivers . It describes the magnitude of military caregiving in the United States, identifies gaps in support services, and offers recommendations.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • soldier welcomed home from Afghanistan, photo by Capt. Charlie Dietz/U.S. Army

    Report

    Hidden Heroes: America's Military Caregivers

    There are 5.5 million military caregivers across the United States, with nearly 20 percent caring for someone who served since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Military caregivers experience more health problems, face greater strains in family relationships, and have more workplace issues than noncaregivers. Changes are needed to both provide assistance to caregivers and to help them make plans for the future.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • senior couple smiling

    Research Brief

    Who Are Military Caregivers? And Who Is Supporting Them?

    There are 5.5 million Americans caring for wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans, providing indispensable services and saving the nation millions in health and long-term care costs. Researchers describe who these caregivers are, the burden they bear, available programs and resources, and areas where they need more support.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • working in office with computer and phone

    Research Brief

    Military Caregivers in the Workplace

    The business community can support military caregivers in many ways: raise awareness by promoting messages that support military caregivers, offer support services, work with employees to accomodate their caregiver duties, and hire caregivers.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • husband and wife with doctor

    Research Brief

    Supporting Military Caregivers: The Role of Health Providers

    Health care providers can support military caregivers in many ways: acknowledge them as part of the health care team, routinely assess caregiving needs and the presence of caregiver support, integrate them into health providers' culture, and adopt appropriate caregiver documentation requirements to facilitate their engagement.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • U.S. Capitol in spring

    Research Brief

    Supporting Military Caregivers: Options for Congress

    Congress can support military caregivers in many ways: reconsider eligibility requirements for caregiver support programs, ensure health care coverage for military caregivers, promote the integration and coordination of programs and services, and fully fund the Lifespan Respite Care Act.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • paper dolls in a circle

    Research Brief

    Support Resources for Military Caregivers

    Caregiving can take a lot of time and impose a heavy burden on caregiver health and well-being. But finding and utilizing support resources can help. Support services for military caregivers may provide respite care, financial stipends, health care and mental health care services, and more.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • soldier hugging friend

    Blog

    Spotlight on America's Hidden Heroes: Military Caregivers

    Despite military caregivers' vital contributions, little is known about their numbers, the burden of caregiving that they shoulder, or the resources that exist to support them. To shed light on these "hidden heroes," a RAND team conducted the largest, most comprehensive study to date of military caregivers.

    Mar 24, 2014

  • woman hugging soldier

    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.

    Mar 18, 2014

  • Sgt. First Class Richard Martinez is given the Milton Award that recognizes achievements in military intelligence during a redeployment ceremony

    Commentary

    Dear Military Spouses: I'm Sorry

    Kayla Williams describes her difficult transition from soldier to spouse, sergeant to civilian, team leader to caregiver. Two books by military wives opened her eyes to the challenges and rewards of marrying into the military, and the unique kind of service military families experience.

    Feb 27, 2014

  • Soldier in wheelchair with U.S. Flag in distance

    Report

    Health and Economic Outcomes in the Alumni of the Wounded Warrior Project: 2010–2012

    This report describes how Wounded Warrior Project alumnus respondents are faring in domains related to mental health and resiliency, physical health, and employment and finances.

    Feb 24, 2014

  • Air Force veteran Cherokee was the lead organizer of an event in January in Reading, Pa. to help feed and clothe local veterans, many of whom are homeless

    Commentary

    Will America Forget Its Veterans?

    The needs of U.S. veterans will not end when the war does; they will just be beginning. Though over a lifetime veterans are more highly educated, employed, and paid than their civilian counterparts, the period of reintegration can be challenging.

    Feb 18, 2014

  • U.S. Army soldiers wait to board a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, on Nov. 17, 2008. The aircraft is deployed from the 437th Airlift Wing out of Charleston Air Force Base, S.C.

    Report

    Development and Pilot Test of the RAND Suicide Prevention Program Evaluation Toolkit

    The RAND Suicide Prevention Program Evaluation Toolkit draws from the scientific literature to guide evaluations of suicide prevention programs. This report is a companion to the toolkit and provides background on its development and testing.

    Feb 7, 2014

  • woman answering hotline

    Tool

    RAND Suicide Prevention Program Evaluation Toolkit

    The RAND Suicide Prevention Program Evaluation Toolkit translates scientific research on suicide prevention to help program staff assess whether their programs produce beneficial effects and identify needed improvements.

    Feb 7, 2014

  • Report

    Improving Federal and Department of Defense Use of Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses

    The report investigates the barriers that service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses may face when attempting to contract with the federal government and the Department of Defense.

    Feb 4, 2014

  • Journal Article

    Cognitive Processing Therapy for Veterans with Comorbid PTSD and Alcohol Use Disorders

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol-use disorders (AUD) frequently present comorbidly in veteran populations.

    Feb 1, 2014

  • Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House John Boehner applaud as President Barack Obama finishes his State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 28, 2014

    Blog

    State of the Union 2014: President Obama Calls for a Year of Action

    Obama called for “a year of action” to achieve his 2014 agenda — from helping people sign up for health insurance, to immigration reform, to completing the mission in Afghanistan. RAND is committed to raising the level of public policy debates and offering evidence-based, actionable solutions.

    Jan 29, 2014

  • Contractor personnel inspect an Afghan national police facility

    Commentary

    Out of the Shadows, Into the Light: Why Americans Should Care About the Health of Contractors Deploying to Conflict Environments

    In contrast to the numerous mental health resources available to members of the U.S. military, very few (if any) resources are available to help private contractors struggling with mental health problems. It is in the best interest of all involved to ensure that contractors receive the support and treatment they need.

    Jan 21, 2014

  • A soldier evaluates the new EMR system

    Research Brief

    The RAND Toolkit for Improving Programs that Address Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury

    The four-part RAND toolkit is designed to help those overseeing portfolios of multiple programs understand, evaluate, and improve program performance. This research brief describes the purpose of each part.

    Jan 8, 2014