Reading through the The Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity by Veteran Status, and the verdict is not good. Veterans made up only 6% of all new entrepreneurs last year, compared to 12% in 2000.
Kauffman cites, "The total share of the working-age veteran population declined from 11.2 percent in 1996 to 6.4 percent in 2011. These estimates confirm that the decline in the veteran share of the working-age population drives most of the decline in the veteran share of new entrepreneurs." In other words, less Veterans means less Veteran-Owned businesses.
In Maine, Veteran-Owned businesses have fallen 48% since 2000. An aging Veteran population, multiple deployments, high rates of PTSD and suicide, on top of record unemployment have stacked the deck against Veterans, but we have seen this situation throughout history. Granted, it is a smaller army, but the "Next Greatest Generation" is smarter, better educated, better trained and more motivated than any other soldier in history. It's just a matter of time before the ranks of business swell with those that know how to get it done.
Thank you for your sacrifice and continued service.