The Civilian Lives of U.S. Veterans

Issues and Identities

by Louis Hicks, Eugenia L. Weiss, and Jose E. Coll, Editors
Foreword by Robert A. McDonald, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs


Recent veterans, though more diverse than their predecessors, face the same difficulties transitioning to civilian life.

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Cover image for The Civilian Lives of U.S. Veterans

December 2016


Pages 794
Volumes 2
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Current Events and Issues/Society
  Military History/Home Front
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In this book, 50 experts study the lives of U.S. veterans at work, at home, and in American society as they navigate issues regarding health, gender, public service, substance abuse, and homelessness.

The aftermath of modern war includes a population of veterans whose needs last for many decades—far longer than the war itself. This in-depth study looks at life after the military, considering the dual conundrum of a population benefiting from the perks of their duty, yet continuing to deal with trauma resulting from their service, and of former servicemen and servicewomen trying to fit into civilian life—in a system designed to keep them separate. Through two comprehensive volumes, essays shed light on more than 30 topics involving or affecting former servicemen and servicewomen, offering a blueprint for the formal study of U.S. veterans in the future.

Contributions from dozens of experts in the field of military science cover such issues as unemployment, homelessness, disability, access to higher education, health, media portrayal, criminal justice, substance abuse, guns, suicide, and politics. Through information gleaned from surveys, interviews, participant observations, secondary analyses, and content analyses, the chapters reveal how veterans are able to successfully contribute to civilian life and show how the American workforce can benefit from their unique set of skills.


  • Considers the changing demographics of U.S. veterans as compared to previous generations of military personnel
  • Shows the impact that veterans are having on federal, state, and local government organizations
  • Describes how servicemembers transition from active duty to veteran status
  • Includes cross references for ease of use
Author Info

Louis Hicks, PhD, is professor of sociology and department chair at St. Mary's College of Maryland. He has been a visiting professor at Brigham Young University, the United States Army War College, the Canadian Forces College, Lingnan University (Hong Kong), and Kwansei Gakuin University (Japan). Formerly, he served as research director of PBS's The First Measured Century. His published works include The First Measured Century: An Illustrated Guide to Trends in America, 1900–2000; Systems of War and Peace; and several articles in numerous professional journals. Hicks is a U.S. Army veteran.

Eugenia L. Weiss, PhD, LCSW, is an educator and a California licensed clinical social worker and licensed psychologist. She is a clinical associate professor at the University of Southern California (USC), School of Social Work, and serves as the interim director of the military social work program at USC's San Diego Academic Center. Her published works include A Civilian Counselor's Primer to Counseling Veterans; Handbook of Military Social Work; and Supporting Veterans in Higher Education: A Primer for Administrators, Faculty, and Academic Advisors.

Jose E. Coll, PhD, is director and professor of the School of Social Work at Texas State University and a 2014–15 American Council on Education (ACE) fellow. He is the founder and previous director of the Office of Veteran Student Services at Saint Leo University, which provided resources and support to more than 7,200 student veterans annually. Prior to Saint Leo, Coll was the founder and director of the University of Southern California San Diego Academic Center and served as chair of military social work. Coll is a Marine Corps veteran.



"This work takes a research-based approach that sociologists, social scientists, and social policy makers will greatly appreciate. Rather than supplying quick fixes, the editors have chosen to identify the difficulties faced by veterans and let readers search for solutions at a higher policy level. VERDICT Academic libraries and collections supporting veterans' services will find this a superb addition."Library Journal, Starred Review

"A fantastic read! For institutions with sociology, social work, political science, or military history programs, or any public library serving substantial military populations. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries."Choice

Top Community College Resource, June 2017Choice


Outstanding Academic Title, 2017 — Choice

Other Titles of Interest

The Praeger Handbook of Veterans' Health cover imageReturning Wars' Wounded, Injured, and Ill cover imageSoldier's Heart cover image
Emerging Military Technologies cover imageCombat Leader to Corporate Leader cover image

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