For many veterans of all eras, readjusting to civilian life after military service has not been particularly difficult. More than seven-in-ten say their readjustment was very (43%) or somewhat (29%) easy. Still, more than one-in-four (27%) report that they had at least some difficulty readjusting.

The re-entry process has been more difficult for post-9/11 veterans than it was for those who served prior to 9/11. More than four-in-ten post-9/11 veterans (44%) say they had difficulty readjusting to civilian life, compared with 25% of pre-9/11 veterans.

This may be due in part to the fact that post-9/11 veterans are much more likely than those who served before them to have seen combat. Among post-9/11 veterans who served in combat, half (51%) say they had difficulty readjusting to civilian life. This compares with 34% of post-9/11 veterans who did not see combat.

The re-adjustment has been particularly difficult for post-9/11 veterans who saw combat. Nearly six-in-ten post-9/11 combat veterans (57%) say that since being discharged from the military, they have experienced frequent incidents of irritability or outbursts of anger. By contrast, only 31% of noncombat veterans say the same. Nearly as many combat veterans (55%) say they have experienced strains in family relations. This compares with 38% of noncombat veterans. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.