‘TakePart Live’ Launches Yearlong Vets Program Aimed at Millennials

In our new campaign, we ask readers and viewers to Return the Service and give back to those who have given so much for us.

(Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

May 22, 2014· 1 MIN READ
Shaya Tayefe Mohajer is TakePart's News Editor.

At a time when gridlock and division are all we see in Washington, Americans are in near total agreement on one issue: As a country, we must do a better job taking care of our military’s young men and women after they return from service.

In a new survey released Thursday by Participant Media, TakePart’s parent company, a whopping 90 percent of respondents say that “young vets are not getting the support and help they need to successfully return to civilian life.”

The timely national phone survey collected responses just as investigators dug into allegations that 40 veterans died while waiting for medical appointments at Veterans Affairs facilities in Phoenix. Opinions were gathered from 1,000 adults between April 29 and May 8.

The survey is part of a yearlong campaign called Return the Service that is being launched by Participant to empower Americans who want to help young veterans to take action.

The campaign is being championed by Meghan McCain, cohost of TakePart Live, the nightly news program on our sister network, Pivot. Her father, Sen. John McCain, and her brother James both served in the military.

“I’m also personally aware of the many issues that our returning vets face, especially those who are my age and trying to acclimate into civilian life and start careers,” McCain said.

With 6.5 million veterans seeking care at about 1,000 Veterans Affairs–operated facilities across the country—and many reporting long waits—Return the Service couldn’t come at a better time.

The campaign works with several NGOs, including Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, to address a broad range of veterans’ needs, including jobs, health care, benefits, and helping vets feel a sense of community after their tours end and they return to the States. About 78 percent of those surveyed said mental and physical health are leading challenges for returning vets.

The survey also found that Americans admire members of the military more than they do other members of society, with 79 percent saying they believe members of the military contribute a great deal to society. By comparison, only 24 percent said business executives do. About 70 percent of those surveyed also believe that business leaders—better known as job creators in the divisive political lingo of the day—should be doing more to help veterans find jobs.

Check out the Return the Service campaign page for updates and information on how to help Millennial vets.