Many people who have not joined the military only have a sense of what that lifestyle looks like from movies and TV shows. These are often very inaccurate. For instance, it’s easy to assume that everyone who signs up is going to get deployed into a combat zone, but the reality is that the vast majority of modern American troops never see combat. 

That said, even not getting deployed doesn’t mean a soldier doesn’t face risks. Being in the military is still dangerous and it is a physically intensive occupation. Injuries happen in training and non-combat operations. The daily life of a soldier, even just stationed on a base in the United States, is much more hazardous than someone who simply works in retail or in an office building. 

The total number of vets in America changes yearly, of course, but you can still get a sense of what the population looks like. For instance, some reports indicated a declining overall veteran population of about 18.5 million. Out of those, roughly 4 million had disabilities. In 2010, there were more than 20 million veterans in the United States, showing just how quickly the size of this group is declining — largely due to the aging of those who served in the Korean War, the Vietnam War and other such conflicts. 

Even so, these numbers definitely show just how common disabilities — and not just injuries — are among veterans. This is an issue that cannot be overlooked. Anyone whose life has been changed by a disability must know as much as they can about the options they have moving forward.