‘We’re here to be a viable part of our society:’ 1 in 10 Virginians is a veteran

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — American military history is woven throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia — and the main characters and storytellers of these pages in the history books are Virginia’s veterans.

The Virginia Department of Veterans Services says 1 in 10 Virginians is a veteran.

“We’re here to be a viable part of our society,” said Kimberly Winn, a veteran living in Richmond.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says as of September 2016, roughly 729,398 veterans live in the Commonwealth of Virginia — that’s the 7th largest veteran population across the country.

Kimberly Winn

And of those vets, the V.A. says about 101,778 are women.

“I’ve had opportunities here and I’ve had the opportunity to give back to the resources that I love the people that I love,” said U.S. Navy veteran, Bobbie Blakely. “So Virginia just seemed like a best practice to stay here in the state.”

Of the oldest generation of American heroes, those 80 and older, about 73,885 live in the Commonwealth.

To localize the data, Central Virginia is home to about 116,034 veterans.

“We’re here to help, we’re here to serve and in this capacity, as far as civilian life, we’re here to help just like everyone.” — Kimberly Winn

So along with dozens of military bases, military museums, and military memorials, thousands of the people in Virginia continue their military legacy here even after they return home.

“We are viable,” Winn said.”We are definitely out here and we’ve served our country and [during] this transition, we are here. We’re here to help, we’re here to serve and in this capacity, as far as civilian life, we’re here to help just like everyone.”

The Virginia Department of Veterans Services says it wants to keep veterans here in the Commonwealth because they have valuable skills to use both in the local community and the local workforce.

If you know a veteran with a remarkable story — let 8News know. You could see that Virginia’s Veterans story on 8News.

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