Tricia Braid

Nov 10, 2017  |  Today's News

Each year on November 11, Veterans Day is set aside to thank and honor all those who served honorably in the military - in wartime or peacetime. IL Corn honors this day, too, saluting all our veterans. We would like to draw special attention to those in our leadership who served our nation, and more broadly, the impact that rural Americans have on our nation’s military. Please join us in this remembrance tomorrow by attending a local Veterans Day service, displaying an American flag, contributing to your local American Legion or VFW, or with a simple thank you to a veteran. IL Corn says thank you to Ted Mottaz, a member of the Illinois Corn Growers Association Board of Directors for his service to our country during the Vietnam war. Please listen to the audio file associated with this daily update for additional observations from US Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 5 million (24.1 percent) U.S. veterans 18 years and older live in rural areas. (Read the full Census Bureau report at this link:


Military service members have historically come from rural communities at a disproportionate rate. Although rural residents account for just 17% of the overall U.S. population, some estimate that as much as 40% of military recruits come from rural areas. In a Pentagon report that is now a bit dated, but illustrates the point, it was found that more than 44% of U.S. military recruits come from rural areas. Major cities account for 14 percent, and youth living in the most sparsely populated Zip codes are 22 percent more likely to join the Army, with an opposite trend in cities. Regionally, most enlistees come from the South (40 percent) and West (24 percent). 


The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a memorandum of understanding in place with the American Legion with the intention of better reaching and serving the veterans that live among us in rural areas, who may otherwise find it difficult to access the services available to them.


Secretary Perdue led USDA to produce a new video honoring the role of #veteransinag. You can find that video here. It was debuted at the ceremony held at headquarters earlier this week. Veterans who are interested in learning more about opportunities through USDA can visit or visit their local USDA Service Center.


The website has a page dedicated to Veterans in which they highlight these facts:


The military men and women who serve and protect the U.S. come from all walks of life; they are parents, children, grandparents, friends, neighbors, and coworkers, and are an important part of their communities. Here are some facts about the veteran population of the United States:

  • 16.1 million living veterans served during at least one war.
  • 5.2 million veterans served in peacetime.
  • 2 million veterans are women.
  • 7 million veterans served during the Vietnam War.
  • 5.5 million veterans served during the Persian Gulf War.
  • Of the 16 million Americans who served during World War II, about 558,000 are still alive.
  • 2 million veterans served during the Korean War.
  • 6 million veterans served in peacetime.
  • As of 2014, 2.9 million veterans received compensation for service-connected disabilities.
  • As of 2014, 3 states have more than 1 million veterans among their population: California (1.8 million), Florida (1.6 million) and Texas (1.7 million).
  • The VA health care system had 54 hospitals in 1930, since then it has expanded to include 171 medical centers; more than 350 outpatient, community, and outreach clinics; 126 nursing home care units; and 35 live-in care facilities for injured or disabled vets.