There's no better indicator of the fight we’re in right now.

57% higher risk. More than 1.5x the national average.

To get a better picture of the battle we’re fighting, consider the following:

Helmet 6,146

veteran suicides in 2020

Cross On Shield 20

consecutive years with 6,000+ veteran suicides

Star Badge 125K+

veterans have died by suicide since 2001

Dog Tags 2nd

leading cause of death in veterans under age 45


  • Among veterans who served during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the suicide rate for those who were undeployed is 48% higher than for veterans who experienced deployment.
  • Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for post-9/11 veterans, accounting for 22.3% of all deaths.
  • In 2015 (most recent year data is available), more than 70% of veteran suicides occurred outside Veterans Health Administration care.

Safety and Security

  • Veterans account for more than 9% of all adults experiencing homelessness in the U.S., translating to more than 39,000 homeless veterans on any given day.
  • Among veterans experiencing homelessness, 59% are age 51 or older.
  • Between 2009 and 2016, there was a 54% increase in the number of veterans age 62 or older experiencing homelessness.
  • Individuals of color comprise 18% of the general veteran population, but account for 43% of all veterans experiencing homelessness.

Personal and Social Trauma

Helmet With Prongs 31%

Depending on branch, up to 31% of service members develop PTSD after returning from combat.

Heart In Sheild 7x

The rate of suicide for veterans in the LGBTQ+ community is up to 7x higher than for non-LGBTQ+ veterans.

Heart In Bubble 40%

More than 40% of female veterans report experiencing military sexual harassment or military sexual trauma.

Globe In Square 1 in 10

More than 1-in-10 U.S. veterans have been diagnosed with a substance abuse disorder.


  • More than 40% of veterans say they experience high levels of difficulty when transitioning. Studies show that those individuals are 5x more likely to experience suicidal ideation.
  • When asked if their transition experience was more difficult than expected, 48% of veterans agree. When asked if their transition experience was stressful, 76% of veterans agree.
  • More than 80% of post-9/11 veterans say that the public does not understand the problems those who have served face in transitioning to civilian life.
  • More than 80% of civilian organizations have no veteran-specific recruiting programs, and more than 50% offer no onboarding or transition support to veteran hires.
  • More than 45% of veterans with combat experience describe transition as difficult, compared to 18% of veterans with no combat experience.
  • Roughly 35% of veterans say they have trouble paying their bills in their first few years after leaving the military.
  • Only about half of NCOs and enlisted personnel agree when asked if the military prepared them well for the transition to civilian status.


  • U.S. Department of Defense
  • US. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Veterans Health Administration
  • Journal of Clinical Psychology
  • United States Interagency Council on Homelessness
  • National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics
  • State of California Department of Insurance
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • Louis, Matthew J., Mission Transition
  • Pew Research Center