OTHER SOCIAL ISSUES

The State of the American Veteran: The Chicagoland Veterans Study

Article

In Chicagoland there is a wide range of veteran support organizations to support veterans. However, the veteran support organizations are not organized to provide holistic support to current or returning veterans. In particular, the Chicagoland veteran support organizations lack a collaborative in which to work to create a system of veteran support. A collaborative is particularly important as most veteran support organizations, governmental and non-governmental, tend to focus on one or two veteran needs. Thus, the only means by which veterans will receive a holistic support network is through all the veteran support organizations working together.

To better serve new veterans, community non-governmental veteran support agencies need to continue to press for access to and awareness of separating service members who will be joining their communities. Bringing awareness of separating service members joining local communities, and effective outreach efforts targeting family members, friends and employers of separating service members and veterans should be undertaken. Finally, the veteran support agencies within Chicagoland need to organize and integrate their activities to meet the most pressing needs of the veteran. The results of this study can be used to improve services, create policy, and build and sustain a community coalition aimed at systematically addressing the challenges that affect the well-being of Chicagoland veterans.

Full Reference

Kintzle, S., Rasheed, J. M. and Castro, C. A., 2016. The State of the American Veteran: The Chicagoland Veterans Study. USC, Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families.