Some key findings from a Pew survey of veterans and the general public:
- Veterans who served on active duty in the post-9/11 era are proud of their service (96%), and most (74%) say their military experience has helped them get ahead in life. The vast majority say their time in the military has helped them mature (93%), taught them how to work with others (90%) and helped to build self-confidence (90%). More than eight-in-ten (82%) say they would advise a young person close to them to join the military.
- Only about one half of one percent of the U.S. population has been on active military duty at any given time during the past decade of sustained warfare. Some 84% of post-9/11 veterans say the public does not understand the problems faced by those in the military or their families. The public agrees, though by a less lopsided majority—71%
- Politically, post-9/11 veterans are more likely than adults overall to identify with the Republican Party—36% are Republicans, compared with 23% of the general public. Equal shares of these veterans and the public call themselves independents (35%), while 21% of post-9/11 veterans and 34% of the public describe themselves as Democrats.
- Patriotic sentiment runs high among post-9/11 veterans. Six-in-ten (61%) consider themselves more patriotic than most other people in the country. Just 37% of Americans overall say the same.