In this Veterans Day edition of the weekly recap, we discuss how to help veterans experiencing homelessness; better care for veterans with “invisible wounds”; data showing that veterans need more support when transitioning into civilian jobs; and a Q&A with two RAND researchers who have served.
A RAND report published yesterday reveals findings from a yearlong study that followed 26 veterans experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. Even though all of the participants lived near a major VA service center, only three had permanent housing by the time the study ended.
What might explain this? Although housing was a priority for study participants, the available options often didn’t align with veterans’ preferences. “They wanted a safe and private place that respects their autonomy,” said lead author Sarah Hunter.
These findings suggest that the VA needs to invest more in outreach services that can help veterans find stable, permanent housing that meets their needs. Doing so could lead to improved mental health and better quality of life for many veterans.
Millions of American service members came home from Iraq or Afghanistan with brain injuries, PTSD, and other invisible wounds of war. Some received excellent care; others received no care at all. In a recent study, RAND researchers examined programs that treat veterans who have these injuries, assessed what worked and what didn’t, and proposed a new standard of care. This could help ensure that more wounded veterans have the best possible chance at recovery.
Veterans’ earnings after leaving the military were frequently lower than their active-duty earnings. That’s according to a new RAND study. The authors examined more than 1 million records of veterans’ employment and earnings following separation from the military. The findings suggest that more support may be needed to help service members build marketable career skills and transition into the civilian workforce.
Before they became RAND researchers, Jonathan Wong and Joslyn Fleming were U.S. Marines. In a new Q&A, they discuss their time in uniform, what inspired them to become Marines and—later—researchers, and how their military service guides the work they do at RAND. “Once a Marine, always a Marine,” said Fleming. “I still feel this overwhelming commitment to get it right for those Marines and other service members, to always remember whom these policies are going to impact.”
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