NEOCH Veterans Index

by Luke Drotar

Minimum estimate of the up-to-date cost plus the future cost (veteran health care, price of rebuilding the military, etc.) of the Iraq War alone, according to Linda J. Bilmes & Joseph E. Stiglitz : $3 trillion

Cost of the nine Gulfstream luxury jets that U.S. military aid has financed the purchase & upkeep of for Egypt’s for-profit military : $333,000,000

Cost savings achieved by the Republicans’ budget proposal to eliminate rental assistance to veterans (HUD-VASH) : $75,000,000

Year the VA has planned to have ended veterans’ & chronic homelessness by : 2015

Chance that an Iraq/Afghanistan war vet was unemployed in 2010, according to Dept. of Labor : 1 in 5

Minimum number of vets who were homeless on a given night in 2009 : 107,000

Minimum number of vets who spent at least one night in shelter during 2009, according to the VA : 136,000

Minimum number of vets who were sleeping in a place unfit for human habitation (unsheltered) on one night in January 2009 : 32,512

Estimated number of new vets who request services for homelessness each year, according to the National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans : 27,000

Number of vets who have characteristics that put them at-risk of homelessness, according to a 2007 National Alliance to End Homelessness report : 500,000

Percent more likely than the general population that veterans are of becoming homeless : 50

Percent of homeless veterans who experience mental illness, according to the VA : 45

Rank of Ohio among states with the highest number of veterans living below the poverty level, according to the 2009 American Community Survey : 4

Percent change in vets served by the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center over the last decade : +140

Number of troops that have returned from Iraq or Afghanistan with a diagnosis of PTSD, depression, traumatic brain injury, or some combination of these : 300,000

Ratio of U.S. deaths in Iraq & Afghanistan to troop diagnoses of the above illnesses, as of March 2011 : 1:51

Percent of Iraq/Afghanistan vets & non-Iraq/Afghanistan vets, respectively, who report combat participation : 73, 16

Chance that a vet with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) also had a psychiatric diagnosis, according to a study in the February 2010 issue of Journal of Traumatic Stress : 4 in 5

Rate that vets with a TBI develop PTSD rather than vets without a TBI : 3

Rate that vets with a TBI develop a substance abuse problem rather than vets without a TBI : 2

According to a 2010 Army report on suicide, portion of the Army that is on at least one prescription medication : 1/3

Percent change of illegal use of prescription drugs in the military from 2005 to 2008, according to a 2010 Defense Department survey : +300

Rate at which troops claim to abuse prescription drugs rather than illegal drugs (marijuana, cocaine, etc.) : 5

Percent of al l veterans who suffer from drug and/or alcohol abuse, according to the VA : 70

Percent of callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in 2010 who were vets : 61

Percent of vets who make up the 30,000 suicides in the United States each year, according to the VA : 20

Number of minutes, on average, that separate one veteran’s suicide from another’s : 88

Estimated percent change since 2000 in the U.S. defense budget, not including the wars in Iraq/Afghanistan : +80

Number of American civilians who died worldwide in terrorist attacks last year : 8

Minimum number who died after being struck by lightning : 29

Percent of all female vets who have undergone sexual assault, according to a 2004 Journal of Women’s Health study : 29

Rate that those with Military Sexual Trauma (MST) developed a mental health diagnosis rather than those without MST, according to the October 2007 issue of American Journal of Public Health : 3

Number of soldiers who underwent amputation at Landstuhl Medical Center, where virtually every evacuated soldier stops en route to the U.S., in 2009 & 2010, respectively : 75, 171

Number of U.S. soldiers who suffered injury to their genitals in 2009 & 2010, respectively : 52, 142

Percent of veterans from Vietnam who lost a lower limb, but now use prostheses & take part in low- or high-impact activities (sports, farming, etc.) : 20

Percent of veterans from Iraq/Afghanistan who do, according to the July VA Research Currents : 52

Average range of years elapsed between a Vietnam vet’s discharge and their first homeless episode, according to the Swords to Ploughshares Project : 9-12

Copyright Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless and the Street Chronicle published April 2011 Cleveland, Ohio