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TN Cities Need to Improve Quality of Life for Veterans

Memphis is in the bottom five of a survey analyzing cities for quality of life for veterans. (Jeremy Sorrells/flickr

Tennessee cities can do better when it comes to improving the lives of its veterans. Two cities in the Volunteer State are in the bottom 50 of a national ranking of best cities to live for veterans in a survey released by survey-giant WalletHub.
Nashville is ranked 62 and Memphis is 96th.
Analyst Jill Gonzalez says access to jobs and a higher than average homeless veteran population are what contributed to the city’s ranking.
“Memphis is in the bottom five and it really comes down to quite a few things,” she notes. “I think veterans know that it could be a little bit better there. Just economically speaking, it’s hard for these veterans to live and work in Memphis right now.”
According to WalletHub, the median income in Memphis is just under $35,000 annually, which is about $10,000 less than average. Detroit was listed as the worst city for veterans in the survey and Austin, Texas was the best.
Gonzalez says while words like “veterans” and “retirement” can make some think of a population aging out of the workforce, that’s often not the case with people as they transition into civilian life.
“When we think about veterans, a lot of times we really don’t necessarily realize that a lot of times military retirees are pretty young, many of them mid-30s, mid-40s,” she explains. “So a lot of them do have to get out into the job force as a civilian.”
In addition to the availability of jobs, the survey also examined access to mental health care and the city’s rate of homelessness among veterans.