Veterans Day was initially created to commemorate the service of World War I vets on the anniversary of that war’s armistice. While there are few, if any, servicemen from that war still alive, New Jersey has an estimated 502,800 veterans to honor. That’s about 7.6 percent of the population above the age of 18 (roughly 5 percent of today’s vets are women).
The largest cohort of New Jersey veterans are from the Vietnam War (31.3 percent), followed by World War II (17.3 percent) and the Korean War (15.4 percent). Some 8.6 percent of New Jersey veterans served in the first Gulf War, and about 5 percent have served in the Gulf since 9/11.
Approximately 85 percent of the Garden State’s veterans identify themselves as white; 12 percent are African-American, with 5 percent identifying themselves as Latino.