Got Your 6 works to foster understanding between veterans and civilian communities. Through our research, Got Your 6 provides data-informed analysis on the perceptions, strengths, and opportunities of veterans. Got Your 6 also provides specific recommendations related to the reports findings.
America’s Greatest Assets: How Military Veterans Are Strengthening Our Communities
Got Your 6 and the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) share a fundamental belief that our communities are stronger when people actively participate in public life. While veterans are often recognized for their military commitment, their service to country does not end when they return home—veterans need to be recognized and empowered as civic assets as well.
Our communities, and our veterans, can only reach their full potential when both are given meaningful opportunities to engage together.
In 2015 and 2016, Got Your 6 and NCoC collaborated on the “Veterans Civic Health Index.” These reports have provided evidence-based support for a broad conversation about veterans’ civic health and how to strengthen it. Results also aid the efforts of Got Your 6 to work through the entertainment industry to shift cultural perceptions of veterans and ensure that they might be empowered to become community leaders and civic assets.
Civic health is defined by the degree to which people trust each other, help their neighbors, and interact with their government. Communities with strong civic health have higher employment rates, stronger schools, better physical health, and more responsive governments. NCoC determines civic health by examining data collected by the Census Bureau. That data includes indicators related to volunteering, political participation, group membership, and social connectedness.
Break down the stats and get the full reports here.
Strengthening Perceptions of America’s Post-9/11 Veterans
The Strengthening Perceptions of America’s Post-9/11 Veterans survey demonstrates America’s current views of veterans is fundamentally defined by a duality that allow people to see them as concurrently damaged and heroic—a combination that tends to produce the result of charity rather than opportunity for continued leadership. The survey proves, that it requires some cognitive dissonance for people to say that post-9/11 veterans are more likely to suffer from mental health issues, have substance abuse problems, and be unemployed than average civilians of a similar age, while simultaneously reporting that the same post-9/11 veterans are nearly five times more likely to be a strong leader or valuable community asset than an average comparable civilian.
Further, the polar extremes of “damaged” or “hero” represent what respondents to this survey report as the standard depiction of veterans on television and film. These are the dynamics that set the stage—and illustrate the need—for change. This study set out to gauge the American public’s existing impressions of post-9/11 veterans and to establish a baseline for future tracking of key measures. It was also designed to test the hypothesis that the entertainment industry can help in the effort to create a new generation of American leaders by moving beyond the traditional definitions that tend to force veterans into one of two extremes—“heroes” or “charity cases”—and adopting a new, more compelling, and more authentic way of writing post-9/11 veterans into their content.
Break down the stats and get the full report here.