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Friday
Nov112011

US Veterans: A Look at Those Who've Served

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- America has been at war with Iraq and Afghanistan for more than a decade, and during that time, more than two million Americans have been deployed overseas.

Friday, on 11-11-11, as the country celebrates Veteran's Day, the millions of Americans who have not worn the country's uniform will take a moment to honor and remember those who have.

Here's a look at America's veterans, by the numbers.

Those Who Have Served: 2,333,972

In the decade since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, 2.3 million American military personnel had been deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan or both, as of Aug. 30, 2011.  Of that total, 1,353,627 have since left the military and 711,986 have used Veteran Affairs health care between fiscal year 2002 and the third-quarter fiscal year 2011.

According to the Defense Manpower Data Center, nearly half -- or 977,542 -- of those who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan have been deployed more than once.

Those in Uniform Right Now: 2,317,761

There are currently 2,317,761 men and women in uniform.  Of this total number, 1,348,405 have been deployed since the Sept. 11 attacks.  About 58.2 percent of those currently in uniform have served a deployment since 9/11.

Population: 0.75 percent

According to the 2010 Census, the population of the United States is 308,745,538.  Including active duty, national guard and reserves, the population of Americans in uniform is 2,317,761, meaning that less than 1 percent, 0.75 percent to be exact, of the country's population is a member of the military.

Unemployment Rate: 11.5 percent

While members of the military make up a tiny fraction of the country's population, the unemployment rate for America's veterans far exceeds the national average.  About 11.5 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are unemployed, compared with 9 percent of Americans nationwide.  And that number is on the rise.

In 2007, 6.1 percent of current-war veterans were unemployed.  In 2009, the unemployment rate for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars had risen to 10.2 percent.  It is now more than two percentage points higher than the national average.

According to a Labor Department report released last week, Iraq and Afghanistan vets have higher unemployment rates than living veterans from previous wars because of their young age.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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