(WAFB) - The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) has been surveying veterans registered with the organization for the past eight years. The annual survey represents the largest annual survey conducted by a veterans service organization.
The survey provides valuable insight into the lives of more than 100,000 men and women who were wounded in the service. The results help determine the needs of today's veterans.
Results of this year's survey, which was taken by more than 34,000 veterans, show more injured veterans are trusting the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for their healthcare concerns. And while more veterans are now gainfully employed than in previous years, there are still significant challenges facing veterans. Some of those challenges include:
- 77 percent of veterans report Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is their main health concern (this number is up slightly from 2016)
- 87 percent of veterans are considered overweight or obese (up from 86 percent in 2016)
- 58 percent of veterans have a VA rating of at least 80 percent (54 percent in 2016)
WWP uses this data to make decisions about its programs and services. Since living with PTSD remains a top challenge for veterans, WWP launched Warrior Care Network in 2015. The partnership with four top academic medical centers and the VA provides mental healthcare to treat PTSD and TBI. The Warrior Care Network provides more than 70 hours of clinical treatment in two to three week outpatient programs.
Some more positive data came out of the survey as well, including:
The unemployment rate for non-active duty veterans improved to 13 percent (greater than 16 percent in 2016)
- 1 in 3 veterans have earned a bachelor's degree or better (30 percent in 2016)
- 88 percent of veterans are receiving VA benefits (85 percent in 2016)
- 80 percent of veterans say social engagement/support led to them registering with WWP