Commentary

By the numbers

American veterans can be (and are) just about anyone you know

Who are those veterans we honored on Monday? All the answers aren’t in the numbers but here are some that hint at the scope of the men and women who have served in the armed forces (all numbers from 2012, according to the U. S, Census Bureau):

• 21.2 million—The number of military veterans living in the United States. (Slightly more than the populations of New York or Florida).

• 1.6 million—The number of female veterans.

• 9.6 million—The number of veterans 65 and older.

• 1.8 million—The number of veterans 34 and younger.

• 5.4 million—The number who served during the Gulf Wars Era, representing everyone in a branch of the armed services from August, 1990, to the present.

• 7.4 million—Number of Vietnam War veterans.

• 1.6 million—Number of World War II veterans. (This number is, obviously, declining very rapidly.)

• 2.3 million—Number of Korean War veterans.

• 50,004—Number who served in World War II, the Korean and Vietnam eras.

• 54,117—Number who served in the Vietnam era and both Gulf wars.

• Three—Number of states in which one million or more veterans reside. California has 1.9 million, Texas 1.6 million (about the population of Houston) and Florida 1.6 million.

• 13.6—Percentage of Alaska residents (18 and older) who are military veterans, highest percentage of any state.

• 8.7 million—Number of veterans (ages 18 to 64) in the labor force.

(If you only read one number, read this one) 3.6 million, number of veterans with service-connected disabilities. Of that number, 888,981 (about the population of Austin) had a disability rating of 70 percent or higher.

However many times “thank you” was said Monday, it wasn’t enough.—M.B.


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2013-11-14 digital edition



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