First-Ever Sociological Examination of Civic Health as it Relates to Veterans Released by Got Your 6 and National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC)
Washington, D.C. – (April 30, 2015) – Got Your 6 today unveiled the findings of the first-ever Veterans Civic Health Index, a major study that reveals significant and positive trends in levels of civic engagement among veterans. Findings from the report were highlighted this morning at an event at The National Press Club featuring Secretary Robert A. McDonald of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Got Your 6 managing director Chris Marvin, and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D – Hawaii), who were joined by leaders from national veteran-focused groups.
Among other data points, the Veterans Civic Health Index found,
- Service – Veteran volunteers serve an average of 160 hours annually – the equivalent of four full workweeks. Non-veteran volunteers serve about 25% fewer hours annually.
- Civic Involvement – 7% of veterans are involved in civic groups (versus 5.8% of non-veterans).
- Voting – 5% of veterans under 50 vote in local elections, versus 48.7% of non-veterans under 50.
- Community Engagement – Veterans are more likely to fill leadership roles in community organizations, attend community meetings and fix problems in their neighborhoods.
The full report is available here.
Got Your 6 is a campaign that unites nonprofit, Hollywood, and government partners, to empower America’s military veterans. Working in partnership with the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), Points of Light and American Express, the Got Your 6 campaign developed the Veteran Civic Health Index by examining data from the Census Current Population Survey from 2012 and 2013 relating to volunteering, political participation and social connectedness.
Civic health, defined as a community’s capacity to work together to resolve collective problems, has been shown to positively impact local GDP, public health, upward income mobility, and has other benefits that strengthen communities. By releasing this study, Got Your 6 and its partners aim to eliminate common misconceptions about veterans, while highlighting the civic strength of America’s returning servicemen and women.
“Service to our nation does not end when the uniform comes off,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald. “As proven leaders dedicated to public service, veterans are valuable assets. The Veterans Civic Health study highlights how those who continue to serve in their communities strengthen our nation.”
“Through our research, we have found that veteran status is a powerful predictor of civic engagement, which translates to tangible and measurable positive impacts in our communities,” said Chris Marvin, Army veteran and managing director of the Got Your 6 campaign. “Veterans return home from service hungry for their next mission and we, as a nation, should empower them to use their training to strengthen communities here at home.”
The findings of the Veteran Civic Health Index suggest that veterans strengthen communities through volunteering, engaging with local governments and community organizations, voting, and helping neighbors, all at rates higher than their non-military counterparts. Additional key results include:
- Income – Over the past eight years, veterans have consistently earned more than their non-veteran counterparts
- Housing – Veterans only comprise 8.6% of the current homeless population, with non-veterans comprising 91.4%
- Education – Veterans who participate in the GI Bill program complete their degree programs at a similar rate to the general population’s traditional postsecondary student.
Around a quarter of a million veterans return to communities across the nation each year, and Got Your 6 celebrates this as an enormous opportunity for the nation. Upon their return home, veterans should be met with high expectations and encouraged to continue their service in meaningful ways.
Got Your 6 will use the Veteran Civic Health Index to create a new dialogue in America, one that explores the unique experiences of America’s veterans, in efforts to foster understanding between veterans and civilians and build stronger communities.
About Got Your 6
Got Your 6 is a campaign that unites nonprofit, entertainment industry, and government partners. Got Your 6 believes that veterans are leaders, team builders, and problem solvers who have the unique potential to strengthen communities across the country. Got Your 6 works to integrate these perspectives into popular culture, engage veterans and civilians together to foster understanding, and empower veterans to lead in their communities. In 2013 and 2014, Got Your 6 and Macy’s raised and distributed more than $4.2 million in grants to the campaign’s nonprofit partners. For more information, visit www.gotyour6.org. Be the Change, Inc., an independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, is the organizing body of Got Your 6.
About National Conference on Citizenship
At the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), we believe everyone has the power to make a difference in how their community and country thrive. We are a dynamic, non-partisan nonprofit working at the forefront of our nation’s civic life. Through our events, research, and reports, NCoC expands our nation’s contemporary understanding of what it means to be a citizen. We seek new ideas and approaches for creating greater civic health and vitality throughout the United States. For more information, visit www.NCoC.net
About Points of Light
Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages more than four million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year. We put people at the center of change. For more information, visitwww.pointsoflight.org.
About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress,foursquare.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/company/american-express,twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.