Introduction

After the Homecoming

For many veterans in Orange County, their toughest fight begins when they return home.

American veterans of wars before 9/11 faced huge challenges and made great sacrifices. The men and women who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq, however, have endured longer combat, completed more deployments, and carried a greater share of the burden of war than any previous generation. Never before has America waged sustained warfare with so small a share of its population carrying the fight.1

After two, three, or even four wartime deployments, Orange County veterans need more help than is currently available with safety net issues such as employment and housing, health and wellness services, and the education necessary for civilian jobs.

1 War and Sacrifice in the Post-9/11 Era, Pew Research Center, October 5, 2011.

2 Sources: Institute for Veterans and Military Families, Syracuse University. “The Employment Situation of Veterans: June 2013”; Labor Market Information Division of the California Employment Development Department (EDD)  June 21, 2013