Special Report

Veterans Graphic

Photo Illustration (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons via CreativeCommons.org)

Juan Perez Photo

Videos: Coming Home

Four Illinois veterans talk about the challenges -- and opportunities -- of returning home to civilian life after life in the military. Photo: Juan Perez. (Photo/Arlyn Crabtree)

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Meagan Sims-Washington Photo

Discharged, Then Homeless

Illinois has more than 10,000 homeless veterans, and government funding can afford to provide for only about 10 percent of that population, research shows. Video | Finding jobs for veterans. Photo: Meagan Washington-Sims talks about being homeless. (Photo/Cassaundra Sampson)

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Devon Edwards Photo

From Soldier to Visual Artist

After an illness ended his military service, Chicago's Devon Edwards has found a new career in filmmaking. Other veterans are returning to work with the military as civilians. Others head to college, where they find the transition to the classroom can be a difficult one. Other vets work to ease that transition. Photo: Devon Edwards lines up a shot. (Courtesy photo)

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Illinois Veterans Icon

Infographics and Multimedia

The profile of Illinois veterans has shifted. They're younger, and there's a growing population of female veterans. This presents new challenges for the Department of Veterans Affairs and other organizations to meet the needs of a young, diverse group of veterans.

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The New Illinois Veterans
A comprehensive study of Illinois veterans -- one of the few statewide studies in the nation -- was conducted by the Heartland Alliance's Social IMPACT Research Center in 2012. It showed that more than half of the state's veterans are in their 20s, and 18 percent are women. Both statistics are a far cry from past generations.

This site explores some of the issues and challenges presented by the changing profile of Illinois veterans. It will be updated regularly through Memorial Day.

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