army family 300x199 The Best Places for Veterans to Call HomeAs Americans, we can all agree that there is no greater sacrifice than volunteering for the United States Armed Forces.  Our military men and women honor and protect our country — and are often in places very far from the comforts of home.  So when the time comes for members of the military to retire from active duty, what makes them want to live in one city vs. another?

Military.com examined 379 major U.S. metropolitan areas to identify the 10 best places for service members to retire.  Factors that influenced the ranking include:

  • Proximity to a military base and a VA hospital
  • How the state taxes military pensions
  • Housing costs and housing appreciation (2007-2010)
  • Economic stability, unemployment rate and affordability
  • Local schools and the presence of colleges and universities
  • Climate, health resources and health indicators
  • Recreation, arts and culture

Below are the 10 cities Military.com has named as most attractive, along with some other fun facts that make each of these cities unique:

1. Waco, Texas – Atlanta, GA may be home to the “World of Coca-Cola,” but Waco, Texas is proudly home of the Dr. Pepper Museum.

2. Oklahoma City, Okla. – We have Oklahoma City to thank for the first-ever shopping cart, which was invented and used in Oklahoma City at a Standard Food Markets in 1937.

3. Austin, Texas – This city has an average of 300 days of sunshine a year, allowing residents and visitors to enjoy Texas activities under the sun all year round!

4. College Station, Texas – College Station is not only home to Coldwell Banker’s own Richard Smith and the Coldwell Banker United Realtors team; this city also ranks number 60 on our College Home Listing in affordable markets.

5. Harrisburg, Pa. – There are not many places that can tout that they have the best, biggest or largest in the world when it comes to anything, but Harrisburg is home to the Rockville Bridge –the longest stone arch bridge in the world.

6. San Angelo, Texas – Actor Matthew McConaughey owns a ranch nearby this city and frequently shops in San Angelo.

7. Madison, Wis. –Perhaps most famous for being home to the University of Wisconsin Badgers, this city also sits in the middle of four lakes formed by glaciers.

8. Pittsburgh, Pa. – Pittsburgh is home to the world’s first museum of modern art, the Carnegie Museum of Art, which opened in 1895.

9. New Orleans, La.The term Uncle Sam was coined in the wharfs of New Orleans before Louisiana was U.S. territory because the goods that were labeled U.S. were from “Uncle Sam.”

10. Syracuse, N.Y. – Syracuse’s abundant water supply is perfect for industries that depend on it. The beer industry is just one of those. At one time, there were more than 50 breweries in the Greater Syracuse area.

Hats off again to all of our service members, and here’s hoping that many of them can be with their families at home this holiday season – wherever home may be.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user The U.S. Army