State of the American Veteran Conference


Recommendations from the 2017 State of the American Veteran Conference now available online.


Thank you for attending last week’s State of the American Veteran Conference by the Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families (CIR) at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. More than 300 leaders from California and from around the country came together to tackle some of the biggest issues facing today’s veterans and military families. Please check back as we will be updating this page with the recommendations developed from the conference in each of its population-focused tracks.

The State of the American Veteran Conference focused on understanding the military transition issues of veterans and families, learning about their needs and challenges, and moving toward concrete policy recommendations to ease their transition and increase their well-being.

Last year’s conference focused on making California more military- and veteran-friendly. This year’s conference will continue our statewide efforts, while also identifying common themes that can be carried out in the rest of the nation. California is home to almost 2 million veterans and more than 57, 000 service members currently serving in the national Guard and Reserve components. With more veterans than any other state, California leaders have the unique ability to show the way forward for the rest of the nation.

In 2014, Dr. Carl Castro, CIR director, and Dr. Sara Kintzle, CIR research assistant professor, led the first comprehensive needs assessment of the veteran community in Los Angeles, followed by similar studies in Orange County, San Francisco, Chicago and Alabama. Though the results are unique to each location, emerging trends point to issues facing all veterans when accessing care and local support. It is with this data in mind that CIR brings together leaders in the veteran sphere to spotlight the main issues facing veterans and families, and guide the work moving forward.


The State of the American Veteran Conference included five different tracks focused on:

  • Combat Veterans
  • Student Veterans
  • Women Veterans
  • National Guard & Reserve
  • Children & Families


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