Colorado Springs has one of the largest veteran populations in the nation

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Published Wednesday, May 11, 2022
by Samuel Stebbins, 24/7 Wall St. via The Center Square

Young Americans enlist in the armed services for many reasons, including the opportunity to gain new skills, get physically fit, and earn financial assistance to pay for college. One of the most common reasons, however, is to serve the country. On top of the more than 1.4 million active-duty service members in the military, the United States is home to over 17.8 million veterans.

The sacrifices veterans have made for the country often follow them long after their service. Nearly half of those who served after the terror attacks of 9/11 say they had an emotionally traumatic or distressing experience while serving, and about one in four of all veterans say readjusting to civilian life was at least somewhat difficult, according to a Pew Research study.

Still, the same study also found that over half of all veterans say their service provided them with useful skills and training for the civilian job market, and that veterans are less likely to live in poverty and more likely to have higher incomes than their non-veteran counterparts.

The Colorado Springs metro area, located in Colorado, is home to a higher concentration of military veterans than the average across the country. There are an estimated 89,829 civilians living in the metro area with a background of military service, or 17.0 percent of the local adult population. Nationwide, just 7.1 percent of the civilian adult population are veterans.

It is important to note that while many veterans chose to enlist out of a sense of patriotic duty, many living veterans did not choose to serve and were drafted into service during the Vietnam War. In Colorado Springs, those whose period of service is confined to the Vietnam Era account for 20.0 percent of the total veteran population. Another 22.7 percent of veterans in the metro area enlisted after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

All data in this story are five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2020 American Community Survey.

Rank

Metro area

Civilian adults who have served (%)

Total number of veterans

Veterans who enlisted after 9/11 (%)

Veterans who served in Vietnam only (%)

1

Hinesville, GA

21.9

11,307

35.5

10.2

2

Jacksonville, NC

21.5

24,005

38.5

13.4

3

Killeen-Temple, TX

21.0

64,366

29.1

14.3

4

Sierra Vista-Douglas, AZ

19.4

18,520

13.3

28.1

5

Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL

19.0

39,238

17.1

22.6

6

Clarksville, TN-KY

17.8

36,244

29.5

16.7

7

Lawton, OK

17.6

15,582

22.8

20.3

8

Fayetteville, NC

17.2

60,970

26.7

16.5

9

Colorado Springs, CO

17.0

89,829

22.7

20.0

10

Fairbanks, AK

16.5

11,188

31.8

20.0

11

Bremerton-Silverdale-Port Orchard, WA

16.3

32,540

15.6

26.9

12

Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC

16.0

207,174

21.9

19.6

13

The Villages, FL

15.5

18,647

2.0

48.2

14

Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, KY

15.4

17,235

17.8

23.7

15

Panama City, FL

15.3

21,209

14.3

25.7

16

New Bern, NC

15.2

14,023

17.7

27.6

17

Great Falls, MT

15.1

9,183

23.1

24.3

18

Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL

15.0

56,550

15.3

25.9

19

Warner Robins, GA

14.9

19,920

13.8

22.5

20

Homosassa Springs, FL

14.6

18,362

5.7

42.6

21

Cheyenne, WY

14.4

10,592

17.4

24.7

22

Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ

14.3

25,050

6.4

43.1

23

Columbus, GA-AL

13.9

32,239

20.3

23.8

24

Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL

13.8

66,519

9.8

31.0

25

Prescott Valley-Prescott, AZ

13.7

26,676

9.6

42.7

26

California-Lexington Park, MD

13.6

11,411

15.5

20.0

27

Punta Gorda, FL

13.4

21,986

4.8

41.7

28

Watertown-Fort Drum, NY

13.2

9,829

31.4

19.5

29

Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater, WA

13.1

28,586

17.7

27.3

30

Anchorage, AK

12.9

37,357

21.6

24.0

31

Gulfport-Biloxi, MS

12.8

39,680

16.7

26.3

32

Dover, DE

12.8

17,242

14.9

28.0

33

Goldsboro, NC

12.8

11,699

16.0

24.3

34

Manhattan, KS

12.6

11,496

34.5

18.9

35

Rapid City, SD

12.5

13,283

15.4

29.0

36

Ocala, FL

12.3

36,149

6.4

36.9

37

Grants Pass, OR

12.3

8,638

9.5

39.2

38

Jacksonville, FL

12.1

142,111

15.9

24.6

39

Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC

12.0

54,770

18.0

28.1

40

Wichita Falls, TX

11.9

13,256

22.9

25.8

41

Sumter, SC

11.9

12,505

18.3

27.3

42

Hilton Head Island-Bluffton, SC

11.8

20,397

12.4

34.0

43

Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL

11.7

15,362

4.4

37.3

44

Sebring-Avon Park, FL

11.5

10,026

3.1

37.0

45

Longview, WA

11.3

9,468

9.7

38.3

46

Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL

11.2

60,761

10.1

36.3

47

Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL

11.2

19,174

10.9

40.6

48

Charleston-North Charleston, SC

11.0

67,058

15.8

26.7

49

Huntsville, AL

11.0

39,804

15.1

24.6

50

Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA

10.9

10,744

13.6

34.1

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The Kiowa County Press is an independent newspaper published in Eads, Kiowa County, Colorado, and to the world at KiowaCountyPress.net.


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