Fewer than 100 veterans could be serving in Congress when a new House and Senate are seated in January. An analysis by the group Veterans Campaign found only 183 of the 865 major-party candidates on ballots next month have served in the armed forces. Forty-six of them served in Afghanistan or Iraq.
If the number does fall below 100, it will be the first time since the 1950s that veteran representation has been that low, according to a story on the report in Military Times. Back then, World War II veterans were on the ballots across the country.
Currently, 106 veterans are among the 535 House and Senate members in the nation’s capital.
According to the National Guard Association of the U.S., more than 30 current and former National Guard members are on ballots next month seeking re-election or election for the first time.
The nonpartisan Veterans Campaign says it is the first time in recent memory that fewer than 200 veterans are running for Congress.
“We’re used to seeing this steady decrease every two years, but this could be an even steeper drop than we normally expect,” Seth Lynn, the executive director of Veterans Campaign, told Military Times. “This is going to be the election that puts us below earlier levels.”