Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Charleston ranked top city in the nation for military members to move to after their service, according to a new study from Navy Federal Credit Union. 

Charleston also ranked fourth best city for military families and seventh best city for veterans to retire, according to the study, which considered factors such as veterans’ average income, unemployment rates, and proximity to Veterans Administration hospitals and military bases. 

The study praised Charleston for its history, housing and affordable costs.

“With reasonable housing and living costs, there are also plenty of cultural activities to check out like the annual Spoleto Festival USA along with great shopping and a growing dining scene in the historic Charleston City Market,” the study said. “The city is dotted with plenty of greenspaces and trails, which are perfect for seeing the charm of this low-rise, harborside town. 

“Additionally, there’s a large military community in the area with Joint Base Charleston just a half-hour drive from the center of town.”

The report cited these aspects of the city as helping veterans transition back into civilian life and encouraging them to thrive. 

Charleston ranked fourth best city for military families.

“While the city tops our overarching list, it’s also an ideal location for military families looking for natural beauty, community engagement and more. Not only does it have a low crime score, but it also shows strong indicators for recreation and high-quality schools.”

Charleston County is home to approximately 30,000 veterans, according to a list compiled by Stacker using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. 

Robin Phoenix, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and comedian, works actively with the veteran community in Charleston by volunteering at the VA hospital and using humor therapy to help vets overcome trauma. She also teaches a Comedy 101 class for vets through the VA and regularly hosts comedy shows and trivia nights around town. 

“My dream is really to scale this to be helping veterans all over the country,” she told City Paper.

In honor of Veterans Day, the Navy Federal Credit Union asked vets nationwide for input on the Top 10 Best Cities After Service.

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