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The Next Great Generation?. Mapping the Most Impoverished Military Veterans and their Resource Availability. Dani Molina Graduate School of Education and Information Studies University of California, Los Angeles. Background on Military Veterans.

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the next great generation

The Next Great Generation?

Mapping the Most Impoverished Military Veterans and their Resource Availability

Dani Molina

Graduate School of Education and Information Studies

University of California, Los Angeles

background on military veterans
Background on Military Veterans
  • More than 2.6 million servicemembers have served during Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-2011) and/or Operation Enduring Freedom (2001-Present).
  • On October 21, 2011, President Barack Obama ordered the withdrawal of nearly 40,000 servicemembers from theater of combat operations in Iraq by the end of 2011.
  • These servicemembers will join the remaining 70,000 combat troops scheduled to leave Afghanistan by the summer of 2013.
  • Many of them will be expected to transition into civilian life, becoming veterans.
  • Currently, there are no descriptive or empirical studies that investigate the location and needs of veterans.
research objective
Research Objective
  • Objective = Locate the neediest veterans at the national, state, and local levels and their proximity to resources.
  • Neediest Veterans = Veteran Status + Income in the Past 12 Months Below Poverty Level + Living with a Disability (for the civilian population 18 years and over)
  • Midterm Research Question = What economic, health, education, and employment features can we learn about veterans?
  • Final Research Question = Where are the most deprived military veterans and what educational and health resources are within proximity to them?
midterm findings
Midterm Findings
  • Net loss of veterans overall considering the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • The number of veterans aspiring to earn a college or university degree has been steadily increasing since 2000.
  • Veterans are less likely to be unemployed and more likely to have higher median incomes (per household) and baccalaureate degrees than nonveterans.
  • However, veterans are significantly more likely to have a disability compared to nonveterans.
final analysis
Final Analysis
  • Map Algebra: Combined layouts of veterans below poverty level and with a disability into one map (Neediest).
  • Geocoding: Located RU/VH (Research Universities with Very High research activity) according to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement in Teaching.
  • Service Area Analysis: Mapped proximity of neediest veterans to VAMC and RU/VH institutions.
  • Origin-Destination Cost Matrix: Determined the estimated time (minutes) of travel from underserved veteran areas to RU/VH.
findings and future inquiries
Findings and Future Inquiries
  • Where were the most underserved veterans and their proximity to education and health opportunities?
  • Located mostly in Congressional District 34, which includes include the cities of Bell, Bell Gardens, Commerce, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Maywood, Downey, Bellflower, Vernon, East Los Angeles, and Walnut Park-Florence.
  • What services and/or programs, if any, might veterans need to successfully transition into RU/VH institutions?
  • Are they providing access to impoverished veterans (social mobility)?
  • Can the VA build a partnership with USC-LAC Medical Center to serve Congressional District 34?
  • Is it feasible to build a VAMC in the region given the neediest veterans and the drawdown of servicemembers?
data sources
Data Sources
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics (NCVAS)
  • U.S. Census Bureau, 2008-2010 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates and 2010 Geography Division
  • UCLA Spatial Data Repository, Mapshare
  • Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education
skills used
Skills Used
  • Inset Map- Inset map of Los Angeles within California within the U.S.
  • Geocoding- Geocoded the location of Research Universities with High Research Activity and VA Medical Centers
  • Original Data- Original data of RU/VH and VAMC in Los Angeles County created as shapefiles
  • Geoprocessing- Clipped Los Angeles boundary from Census Congressional District data
  • Weighted Index- Used Field Calculator [(DisabledbyTotal * .5) + (Povertyby Total * .5)] * 100 to create an equally weighted construct
  • Modeling- Created a model for use with Hotspot Analysis of proximity of RU/VH and VAMC to impoverished veterans
  • Metadata- Metadata of original data for RU/VH institutions of higher learning
  • Hotspot Analysis- Used to create neediest veterans construct by calculating areas with the most disabled and with income below the poverty level
  • Images- Images of M1A2 Abrams tank, FA/18 Super Hornet Jet Fighter, CH/47 Chinook Helicopter, Navy Destroyer, and me during Operation Iraqi Freedom 1
  • Network Analysis- OD Matrix to find the estimated time to nearest RU/VH
  • Network Analysis- Shown for the Service Area of nearest RU/VH and VAMC
  • Index- Created a weighted index of areas with the neediest veterans (Veteran Status + Income in the Past 12 Months Below Poverty Level + Living with a Disability (for the civilian population 18 years and over))
  • Measurement Analysis- Measured distance by creating centroid of Congressional District by most impoverished veterans

Joined Census Congressional District data with Veterans with Income Below Poverty Line and Living with a Disability.