OCCF Reveals First-ever Study on Orange County Veterans 

Release Date: February 19, 2015View Full Report

The Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF) released groundbreaking data today from a first-ever study finding that military veterans coming home to Orange County are significantly underprepared for civilian life. The study exposed significant challenges faced by returning veterans in securing adequate employment, finding stable housing and meeting physical and mental health needs. OCCF unveiled the report to 250 donors and business and community leaders, preceded by an address from Admiral Mike Mullen, 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and 28th Chief of Naval Operations.

Report Summary

The Orange County Veterans Study provides groundbreaking data that found military veterans coming home to Orange County are significantly underprepared for civilian life. The study examined three chronic issues veterans face, including:

  • Employment and Finances
  • Housing and Homelessness
  • Physical and Mental Health

Data Exposes Differences in the Transition Home for Pre- and Post-9/11 Veterans

  • Sixty-one percent of post-9/11 veterans report adjustment challenges; compared to 30 percent of pre-9/11 veterans.
  • Nearly 45 percent of pre-9/11 veterans and 61 percent of post-9/11 veterans reported they need time to determine what they wanted to do with their civilian lives.

Barriers to Care and Access Challenges

Veterans who served after 9/11 were more likely to report a challenging transition home, with 45 percent not even knowing where to get help. A startling number reported problems accessing services in the following areas:

  • Veterans Administration (50 percent)
  • Health Care (47 percent)
  • Education (47 percent); pre-9/11 veterans ranked this as their greatest need.
  • Employment (43 percent)