DON’T CONFUSE IT WITH MEMORIAL DAY — Memorial Day (the last Monday in May) and Veterans Day (November 11) both honor the men and women who served in our nation’s military, but there’s a major difference between the holidays. While Memorial Day is reserved for those who died while serving their country, Veterans Day is a time to recognize all veterans, both the dead and the living.
THE DATE HOLDS HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE — Though the date changed a few times throughout the 20th century, today Veterans Day falls on November 11 of each year. The date was chosen to coincide with the anniversary of the end of World War I, which occurred “at the 11th hour of 11th day of the 11th month.”
ALMOST 20 MILLION VETERANS — There are approximately 18.6 million military veterans in the United States. The number of female veterans was reported as 1.7 million in 2022, representing 10.3% of the total veteran population at that time
WORLD WAR II VETERANS ARE ALIVE TODAY — World War II ended more than 78 years ago, but some of the veterans who fought in the war are still around to thank. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, approximately 167,000 of the 16 million people who fought in the Second World War are alive in 2023.
VIETNAM VETERANS ARE MANY — Approximately 610,000 Americans who served in land forces during the Vietnam War or in air missions over Vietnam between 1954 and 1975 are still alive as of 2023.
NOT EVERY VETERAN FOUGHT IN A WAR — Military missions that don’t involve war may include protecting U.S. embassies, providing natural disaster relief, and bringing medical assistance to impoverished communities.
VETERANS ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE HOMELESS — Veterans make up roughly 6 to 11 percent of the adult homeless population.