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U.S. Government Not Doing Enough to Help Veterans

Thursday, May 22, 2014

RMU Poll: U.S. Government Not Doing Enough to Help Veterans


  • 88.7% Say We Don’t Do Enough for the Families of Those Who Died in Service to the Nation

  • 69.7% See “Too Little” Support for Veterans in Transition to Civilian Life


PITTSBURGH – As the United States pauses during the Memorial Day holiday to honor those who died for our nation, a majority of Americans believe their government is doing too little for its veterans, according to a poll by the Robert Morris University Polling Institute Powered by Trib Total Media.

According to the survey, 88.7 percent of Americans believe the United States doesn’t do enough for the families of troops who die in action. And at a time when U.S. Veterans Administration hospitals are under fire for providing abysmally poor care to veterans, 81.3 percent of Americans said they believe the nation does too little to support veterans' health care, including not providing adequate mental health care services.

Dan Rota, the director of the Veterans Education and Training Services Center at RMU, said the public’s perception is unfortunately correct, and the problem is exacerbated because many veterans and their families are unaware of all the benefits that are available to them. This includes an “Aid and Assistance” benefit of approximately $2,000 to defray the cost of care for aged veterans.

“I experienced this first-hand while applying for a VA benefit for my dad, who is 95 and a World War II vet,” said Rota, a retired brigadier general in the Pennsylvania Air National Guard and a professor emeritus of computer and information systems.

Further, large percentages see the U.S. doing too little to help veterans with housing support, retirement pensions and education benefits – 46.6 percent, 44.6 percent and 38 percent respectively.

Among veterans and active duty personnel surveyed, 61.2 percent have or plan to use their health and medical benefits while 48.8 percent, 41.1 percent and 17.8 percent would use home loan, education and employment support services and benefits – respectively. 

“What surprised me is the number of veterans who indicated the use of educational benefits. I would have thought the number would be higher,” said Rota.


ABOUT THE POLL: The poll was conducted by the Robert Morris University Polling Institute Powered by Trib Total Media. Polling by the Institute is conducted on a regular basis and may also include spontaneous polling on occurring events.

METHODOLOGY: The poll sampled opinions of 1,004 people, approximately proportional to state population contribution nationwide. The survey was conducted May 6-13, 2014. All surveys were conducted using an online survey instrument. The poll has a +/- 3.0 percent margin of error at a 95 percent confidence level on a composite basis. 

Through 60 undergraduate and 20 graduate degree programs across five academic schools, Robert Morris University (RMU) in Pittsburgh, Pa., works to change its students' lives so that they can go out and change the lives of others for the better. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate, nontraditional and online students from 37 states and 37 nations are enrolled at RMU, which sits on 230 scenic acres just 20 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh. Emphasizing experiential learning, Robert Morris focuses on professional development, service learning, global awareness, undergraduate research, campus leadership, and cultural experiences, all of which are documented on our innovative Student Engagement Transcript. More than 100 clubs and organizations help students to develop leadership skills, network professionally, and meet friends. RMU also has 16 NCAA Division I athletic programs, including football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s ice hockey, and men's and women's lacrosse.

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