Survey of Veterans: Battered, but Proud

Washington Report

(April 8, 2014) More than half of the veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq know someone who either successfully or unsuccessfully tried suicide. Also, more than half say their physical or mental health is worse than it was before they went to war.

But nearly 90 percent say they would join the military again even knowing what they now know.

These are part of the results of a survey of veterans of the two wars conducted by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

More than 730,000 military members have served in either Afghanistan or Iraq. The survey found that four in 10 veterans have fathers who served in uniform and half have at least one grandparent who served in the military.

Also, 55 percent say they often or sometimes feel disconnected from civilian life. Forty-three percent say their physical health is worse than it was before the war and 31 percent say their mental health is worse.

Half say the war in Iraq was not worth fighting, while 44 percent say it was. Forty-one percent say the war in Afghanistan was not worth fighting, while 53 percent say it was. Fifty-six percent say the government is not doing a good job of meeting the needs of veterans.

The full survey can be found here.