According to the Army Times, nine veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be heading for Congress next year. However, the overall number of veterans in Congress continues to decline in a trend that began in the 1980’s.
This year 107 veterans ran for Congressional office, 60 as Republicans and 47 as Democrats. As a result, there will be nine new veterans in the House of Representatives. However, the overall number of veterans serving in the House will drop from 92 during the last two years to between 83 and 86 (different sources are reporting different numbers). In the Senate, the number of veterans will drop from 26 to 20.
Large numbers of WWII veterans served in Congress until the 1980’s when the number of veterans started declining by about 10 percent each election cycle (every two years). Because the number of personnel serving in Iraq/Afghanistan was, by comparison with WWII much smaller, it is unlikely that veterans will see an uptick in the percentage that serve in Congress.