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The Definition of a Veteran
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are roughly 18.5 million veterans in the country. Do you really know what a veteran is? The more we learn about this unique group, the more we become aware of the diversity that our nation’s veterans represent.
“Veterans have served our country proudly, and have ensured our freedom endures,” explains Nicole Motsek, executive director of the EOD Warrior Foundation, eodwarriorfoundation.org, an organization that helps the families of the 7,000 people in the military who are explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technicians, and perform bomb-disposal duties.
“Veterans are made up of a diverse group of servicemen and -women, representing every aspect of this country.”
The statistics show that 1.6 million of the veterans are women, almost 12% of them are African-American, and just more than 6% of them are Hispanic. When it comes to age, 9.2 million of our veterans are older than 65, while 1.6 million of them are younger than 35.
Additional interesting facts from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) about what a veteran is include:
• Careers: Female veterans are more likely to have completed some college compared to non-veteran females. They are also 7% more likely to be working in management and professional occupations, and twice as likely to be working for state, local or federal government.
• Wages: Compared to non-veterans of the same age, veterans who work full-time had higher earnings.
• Entrepreneurs: According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), more than 2.5 million businesses are majority-owned by veterans, which is around 9% of all firms. Of that, more than 442,000 of them employ other people, employing more than 5 million people. Their businesses collectively earn around $1.14 trillion per year.
• Industries: The top industries where veteran entrepreneurs own businesses include professional, scientific and technical services, followed by construction. The top states with veteran-owned businesses include California, Texas, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania.
“One look at the statistics on veterans tells us there isn’t a ‘typical’ veteran,” adds Motsek. “Our veterans come from all backgrounds, religions and neighborhoods, and have a diverse background. We’re proud of all of our veterans and for all they’ve contributed to this country during times of war.”
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