Charleston-based airmen look over Charleston Harbor on July 4, 2020 | U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman William Brugge

Charleston tops a new list of the top 10 cities in the nation for veterans and service members leaving active duty, according to a survey conducted by Navy Federal Credit Union.

The credit union’s “Best Cities After Service” list ranks American cities, taking into consideration existing veteran communities, crime rates, living costs and accessible outdoor activities. 

According to a press release, Charleston made the top due to its wide range of recreational activities, as well as its schools. The city also reportedly features one of the highest incomes for veterans.

“Making the transition to civilian life is a big leap, and where you want to live is often your first decision,” said Navy Federal outreach manager Clay Stackhouse, a retired Marine Corps colonel. “That’s why we created this list with input from real veterans who have made the transition themselves.”

More than 250,000 military personnel transition out of service each year, and Navy Federal said many struggle to find work, evaluate financial plans and more. Transitions have been made even more complicated this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. —Skyler Baldwin