This collection brings together valuable insights from nonprofit organizations, foundations, and government agencies that work directly with veterans in communities across the country. The works collected here provide a deeper understanding of the problems many veterans and their families face and also potential solutions to address these very real challenges. The collection is broken into five key areas where veterans are facing obstacles and where nonprofits and foundations have been focusing their efforts.

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"Soldiers" by Adam Baker licensed under CC NC 2.0

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Veterans Treatment Courts in New York State: Progress and a Roadmap for Growth

November 1, 2017

This NYSHealth-produced policy brief examines the progress of Veterans Treatment Courts (VTCs) in New York State and lays out a roadmap for expanding VTCs across the State and nationally.

New York Veterans’ Health Insurance Coverage under the Affordable Care Act and Implications of Repeal and Replace

October 18, 2017

A new NYSHealth data brief, based on a report by the RAND Corporation, examines the New York-specific impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—and potential effects of its repeal—on veterans' health care and insurance coverage.

Data Sharing Helps Reduce Number of Homeless Veterans

April 1, 2017

Virginia's information analysis assists in determining needs, managing resources.

Building Strong Programs and Policies to Support Women Veterans

March 1, 2015

A briefing paper from the Women Veterans in Transition Pilot Research Study

More Than a House: Ending Veteran Homelessness by Addressing Failed Transition Policies

December 1, 2014

In this policy brief, the authors discuss tackling the veteran homelessness problem holistically. More than providing housing, veteran policies must address the underlying causes of homelessness, which in many cases is a lack of preparation and awareness of the full spectrum of challenges associated with transitioning from military to civilian life.

Needs Assessment: Veterans in the Western United States

December 13, 2013

In this report, the authors focus on the diverse challenges facing veterans in 12 states and communities that account for nearly one-third of all veterans nationwide. They report on the specific challenges of mental health care, employment, housing, family support, reintegration and legal matters with which veterans in the region are contending and propose steps to address them. Among their recommendations, Mr. Carter and Ms. Kidder urge private philanthropists, as well as public funders, to encourage communities to build collaboration and coordination mechanisms that allocate increasingly scarce resources efficiently and

Funding, Strategy, & Evaluation

Expanding the Net: Building Mental Health Care Capacity for Veterans

November 11, 2013

In this brief, Senior Fellow Phillip Carter calls upon the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to expand its mental health care resources to meet the growing needs of veterans across the country. Although the VA will spend nearly $7 billion this year on mental health care for veterans, Mr. Carter argues that this is not likely to be enough. The report urges the VA to rely more on the private sector and work more closely with local community and private philanthropic organizations.

Health & Well-being

Preventing Violence in the Homes of Military Families

June 1, 2013

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF), have demanded unprecedented service at every level of the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines. For the first time in our military history, active duty, reservists, and guard servicemen and women have been required to complete multiple deployments. These repeated, lengthy deployments combined with limited family "dwell" time in between have deteriorated the stability of many military families. Of the almost two million Americans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, many arrive home with serious mental health conditions and injuries that increase relationship stress, marital strain, and family violence.The first large-scale, nongovernmental assessment of the psychological needs of OIF/OEF service members, released by the Rand Corporation in 2008, revealed that 38 percent of these combat veterans suffered from Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), major depression, traumatic brain injury, or some combination of the three -- yet less than half had sought treatment. Figures from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) suggest that these numbers have almost doubled; Forty-four percent of those who came to the VA for help have been diagnosed with one or more mental health issue. This psychological and emotional toll on our veterans has put them at greater risk of perpetrating family violence. Research has found that:Male veterans with PTS are two to three times more likely to engage in intimate partner violence, compared to those without PTS -- up to six times higher than the general civilian population.81% of veterans suffering from depression and PTS have engaged in at least one violent act against their partner in the past year.Over half of veterans with PTS performed one severe act of violence in the past year -- more than 14 times higher than the general civilian population.However, the confluence of domestic violence, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), PTS, and other mental health injuries among war veterans is by no means fully understood at this point, and requires greater analysis and investigation.

Family & Community Reintegration; Health & Well-being

A National Veterans Strategy: The Economic, Social and Security Imperative

February 19, 2013

This publication details the foundational logic supporting a call to action, related to a broad-based effort to articulate and institutionalize a National Veterans Strategy. We argue that coordinated, "whole-of-government" action toward this end is essential to meet the nation's most important economic, social, and security obligations. Furthermore, we contend that the second Obama administration, working in close collaboration with executive agencies, Congress, and the private sector, is well-positioned to act on what we perceive to be a historic opportunity -- capitalizing on both the foundations of veteran-focused policy and progress enacted over the past decade and the overwhelming public support for returning veterans and military families -- to craft and institutionalize a National Veterans Strategy.Our purpose is to provide a researched and logically-developed case for action that is grounded in this nation's social and cultural traditions and attuned to the practical realities of our contemporary economic and political climate.

Funding, Strategy, & Evaluation

New Veterans in Illinois: Brief 1, Background and Picture of Need of New Veterans

December 1, 2012

The newest cohort of veterans of the United States Armed Forces is a unique population with particular needs. They face a challenging context upon return: an economy with few job openings, systems of care that have grown accustomed to serving older and predominantly male veterans, and personal reluctance to seekhelp. The newest veterans-military service members who have been deployed in 2001 or later-may also suffer from mental and physical injuries that act as barriers to reintegration into civilian life. These veterans require sufficient supports in order to prevent the long-term negative impacts that many previous veteran cohorts have suffered. **This is the first in a series of four briefs that provide a snapshot of new and future veterans, their needs, and their service utilization in Illinois and the Chicago region.

Funding, Strategy, & Evaluation

New Veterans in Illinois: Brief 2, New Veterans

December 1, 2012

This brief presents a picture of Illinois' new veterans, or individuals from Illinois who have served in themilitary since the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in 2001. It uses data from the U.S.Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS). According to the ACS, there are approximately76,000 a new veterans living in Illinois, and they make up about 8 percent of the total veteran populationin Illinois. Information on the personal characteristics, geographic location, employment and income,discharge status, and disability status of new veterans presented in this brief can help service providersunderstand the service needs of new veterans and facilitate their reintegration to civilian life.

Funding, Strategy, & Evaluation

Losing the Battle: The Challenges of Military Suicide

October 1, 2011

This report, by Dr. Margaret Harrell, CNAS Senior Fellow and Director of the Joining Forces Initiative, and Nancy Berglass, CNAS Non-Resident Senior Fellow, suggests that the health of the all-volunteer force is dependent on our nation's ability to take care of its service members and veterans.According to the report, "Suicide among service members and veterans challenges the health of America's all-volunteer force." From 2005 to 2010, service members took their own lives at a rate of approximately one every 36 hours. This tragic phenomenon reached new extremes when the Army reported a record-high number of suicides in July 2011 with the deaths of 33 active and reserve component service members reported as suicides. Additionally, the Department of Veterans Affairs estimates 18 veterans die by suicide each day. Yet the true number of veterans who die by suicide, as Harrell and Berglass point out, is unknown. As more American troops return home from war, this issue will require increasingly urgent attention. Harrell and Berglass present a number of concrete policy recommendations that will help reduce the number of service member and veteran suicides, including establishing an Army unit cohesion period; removing the congressional restriction on unit leaders discussing personally owned weapons with service members; and increasing coordination between the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to improve the analysis of veteran suicide data. Despite the efforts of the DOD and the VA to address military suicide, obstacles remain, and policymakers must bring a renewed urgency to their efforts if America is to both honor the sacrifices made by the all-volunteer force and protect its future health and ability to defend the nation.

Health & Well-being