Veterans’ Health


Center for a New American Security

Funding Area

Veterans’ Health


April 30, 2012


This Center for a New American Security (CNAS) report offers a new understanding of veteran wellness that is informed by both military and civilian circumstances and experiences, but is oriented toward the civilian goal of successfully reintegrating veterans back into communities, rather than the military goal of mission readiness.

America’s veterans are not receiving the care and services they need to transition successfully from military to civilian life. Although many excel out of uniform, some veterans continue to face significant service-related challenges. The CNAS definition of veteran wellness places equal emphasis on the interrelated and multidimensional domains of psychological and physical well-being, and on aspects of life that extend beyond fitness for duty, such as personal relationships, satisfaction of material needs, and a sense of daily purpose. Unlike prominent civilian interpretations that emphasize the absence of illness or infirmity as a prerequisite for being well, CNAS proposes that the new paradigm for veteran wellness must emphasize the possibility of wellness despite physical and mental injuries caused by war.