THERE are 20.4 million living veterans in the United States, representing less than 10 percent of the population.
There are 7.1 million living veterans who served in the Gulf War Era (1990 to present)
There are 6.8 million living veterans who served in the Vietnam Era.
There 770,000 living World War II veterans.
There are 1.6 million living Korean War Era veterans
A total of 77 percent of living veterans served during wartime.
Only 7 percent of living U.S. adults are veterans. In 1980, while most of our World War II veterans were still alive, almost 20 percent of living adults were veterans.
A total of 9 percent of living veterans are women; that’s projected to increase to 18 percent by 2045.
A total of 3 percent of veterans are unemployed, and that’s lower than the non-veteran unemployment rate.
• I have written about the USS Enterprise many times in this column since 2012, when the Navy announced it was decommissioning the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.
At that time the General Accounting Office estimated the cost of taking apart the vessel and sending the reactors to a nuclear waste storage facility at $500 to $750 million. The cost now has soared to $1.5 billion, or about one-eighth the cost of a brand-new aircraft carrier.
Now the Navy has put a pause on disposal while it seeks cheaper options. The Enterprise’s proud history includes service in the Cuban Missile Crisis blockade, the Vietnam War, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The third carrier of the new Gerald R. Ford class will be named Enterprise, so the name will live on.
• Scientists at the Air Force Research Laboratory and Purdue University are exploring the properties of “spider silk” in hopes of engineering lighter, stronger battlefield gear. These new synthetic materials would be stronger than Kevlar and would likely be used for body armor and possibly parachutes.
• The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs reminds veterans to file their military documents, such as a DD-214, at their county courthouse of record immediately upon leaving the military. This will allow veterans to obtain free certified copies for life.
VINCENT DARCANGELO is a retired Disabled Veterans Employment Representative. The Veterans Unit at the Pennsylvania CareerLink of Mercer County can be reached at 724-347-9257.