The online survey of more than 2,000 veterans and non-veterans conducted Oct. 12 to Nov. 12 found that 84% of employers and 75% of civilians see veterans as heroes. But only 26% of employers and 22% of civilians think veterans are “strategic assets” in their communities. The survey of civilians had a margin of error of +/-3.95%, for veterans +/- 4.53% and employers +/- 5.26%.
Brian Duffy, incoming national commander of the 1.7-million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars service group, said such views are not surprising and unhelpful.
“There is a disconnect between the civilian population and those that serve,” Duffy said. “We understand that in times of war, yes, there are heroes. But just because you went to war, doesn’t mean that you came back a hero and by calling everybody a hero, it devalues the term.”