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DAV’s landmark veteran survey reveals attitudes and gaps

The DAV Veterans Pulse Survey

Landmark survey reveals attitudes and perceptions of veterans of all generations, identifies gaps in support for veterans

While veterans of all generations have a very positive view of their military service, only one-in-five feel the government treats veterans well and less than half believe they receive the benefits and support they were promised. These are some of the major findings of a landmark survey by DAV.

The DAV Veterans Pulse Survey, nationally representative of America’s 22 million veterans, is the largest, most comprehensive assessment ever taken to reveal how generations of veterans from WWII through post-9/11 view their military experience, benefits and overall quality of life.

The survey also explores meaningful differences between the attitudes and experiences of post-9/11 veterans and those who served in earlier eras as well as between men and women.


“The survey shows veterans of every generation are proud of their military service and believe it had a positive impact on their life, even though many paid a price,” said Marc Burgess, DAV CEO and National Adjutant. “Yet the results also point to major gaps in the support, health care and disability benefits they receive. It also reveals challenges many younger veterans face finding employment. It’s clear our government and country need to step up and keep the promises made to America’s veterans.”

View the report

Find DAV's veteran survey. Understanding the veteran experience.

The survey paints an illuminating picture of how veterans feel about their past experiences in the military, what it was like to transition to civilian life, and their feelings about how the government and the American public treat veterans.

Highlights from the study


Almost 8 out of 10 veterans say they would repeat their military service, but only half would encourage their sons and one-third would encourage their daughters to serve.


While 84% of post-9/11 veterans feel military service had an overall positive impact on their lives, 37% feel that their service had a negative effect on their physical health.


44% of veterans agree they have received the benefits they were promised. Less than 1 in 5 believe that disabled veterans have received their benefits.


Just 38% of veterans say that when they left the military and re-entered civilian life, they felt they had the support they needed. Employment, finances and housing are some of the biggest challenges veterans face when they leave the military.


87% of veterans believe that the federal government should provide a health system dedicated to the needs of ill, injured and wounded veterans. 5O% of veterans do not feel the government is providing quality, accessible health care to veterans.


More than half of women veterans feel they do not get the same respect as their male counterparts, while only 34% of male veterans think women do not receive the same respect as men do.

Conducted for DAV by global research firm GfK utilizing KnowledgePanel®, the largest online panel representative of the United States. The DAV Veterans Pulse Survey was completed by 1,701 veterans. It is a national probability sample representative of the entire population of veterans in the United States.