Baker Scholar Projects

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-2023


The United States Department of Veterans Affairs is the agency of the federal government that is responsible for providing benefits, health care, and cemetery services to US military Veterans and their families. About a quarter of the nation’s population, approximately 70 million people, are potentially eligible for VA benefits and services because they are veterans, family members, or survivors of veterans. Due to this expansive demand, the United States has developed the most comprehensive system of Veterans assistance programs in the World. But many argue that the US VA still falls short of expectations and fails to fulfill the needs of American veterans completely. This is where American NGOs and nonprofit organizations step in. There are more than 45,000 nonprofits in the United States that are registered with the IRS and state to be dedicated to helping veterans and their families. While this number seems significant, it does not represent the whole picture and may cause us to overlook the hundreds of thousands of veterans who are still in need of services and assistance. This report will provide an overview of the needs of the veteran community as outlined in relevant literature as well as updated information and analysis regarding the availability of services and programs to meet these needs. The question of what barriers are there to making these services more abundant/ readily available will also be answered.

This study brings awareness to the modern needs and focuses of today’s American veterans and their families as well as the evidence and reasoning for why these needs are unfulfilled due to gaps in the services provided by the US Department of Veterans Affairs as well as gaps within the non-profit and philanthropic sector. This evidence seeks to encourage conversation, awareness, and action among the general population to foster increased support for American veterans and the service organizations that work to provide for the unmet needs of these individuals.

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