Statistics on Illinois Veterans

Blog, Coursework, JOUR 503, Multimedia

The new veterans, the men and women returning from the post-9/11 wars, are very different from veterans returning from wars past, presenting many challenges for the government and the VA.

To create the profile of the new veteran, Heartland Alliance’s Social Impact Research Center gathered data on these military members, quantifying everything from education, income, race, gender and more, focusing on the new veterans in Illinois.”

“There are more than 85,000 new veterans in Illinois,” Lindy Carrow, research assistant with the Social Impact Research Center.

Carrow explained how in many ways, new veterans are facing more issues – they tend to have higher unemployment rates and less education.

Of all new veterans, women are facing some of the biggest issues. According to Carrow, they’re more likely to be younger, minorities, unemployed, divorced and raising a child by themselves compared to male new veterans.

The infographic below details more information on Illinois’ new veterans.


veterans (Conflict Copy) (2)

Unemployment New Battle for Veterans at Home

Blog, Coursework, JOUR 503, Writing
Joe Franzese photo

Joe Franzese of the Wounded Warrior Projects talks challenges for returning veterans. (Photo/Mike Reilley)

By Courtney Jacquin

Post-9/11 veterans exiting the military have more resources for finding employment and returning to civilian life compared to previous wars, but it’s still not an easy transition.

With the U.S. involved in two simultaneous wars, Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2003-2009 and War in Afghanistan from 2001 to present, approximately 2.4 million soldiers have served in at least on of the conflicts. That mixed with military budget cuts lead to more recent veterans than ever, all trying to lead normal, post-military lives.

“In a lot of ways being in the military is very easy,” said Joe Franzese, a Warriors to Work specialist for the North Central region for Wounded Warrior Project. “Once you get into the swing of things, it’s a very easy way of life.You have one job and that’s it.”

But as veterans try to immerse themselves into post-military life, there are plenty of issues they can encounter. This is where Franzese and the Wounded Warrior Project try to help.