Celebrating 75 Years of Service to America's Heroes
The United States of America is the most generous nation in the world in caring for her military veterans. From world-class health care and disability compensation to the GI Bill and vocational rehabilitation, military veterans are entitled to a broad range of federal benefits honoring their service to a grateful nation.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is the federal agency entrusted with fulfilling this noble mission. This year marks VA?s 75th anniversary.

VA was officially created on July 21, 1930, when President Herbert Hoover signed Executive Order 5398 (Consolidation and Coordination of Governmental Activities Affecting Veterans). The Order consolidated the U.S. Veterans? Bureau, the National Homes for Disabled Soldiers and the Bureau of Pensions into the new Veterans Administration (VA). On March 15, 1989, VA was elevated to a Cabinet-level agency and became the Department of Veterans Affairs.

This 75th anniversary provides an opportunity to look back at how the Department has kept pace with veterans? changing needs.

  • In 1930, there were 4.7 million veterans in America. VA operated 54 hospitals and 54 regional offices with a work force of more than 30,000 and a $786 million budget.
  • Today there are 25 million veterans in America. VA operates more than 1,300 sites of care, including medical centers, clinics, nursing homes, Vet Centers, regional offices, and national cemeteries with a staff of 235,000 and a nearly $70 billion budget.
  • In 1930, VA treated 54,000 veteran patients and paid $208 million in compensation to 440,000 service-disabled veterans or dependents.
  • Last year, VA treated more than 5 million veterans and paid nearly $28 billion in compensation and pension to 3.4 million veterans or dependents.
  • In 1930, VA administered 646,000 GI life insurance policies valued at $3.3 billion.
  • Last year, VA administered more than 7 million life insurance policies valued at $746 billion.

As America?s armed forces serve in harm?s way in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world, VA stands ready to care for this newest generation of combat veterans ? strengthening a legacy of service to America?s heroes.

VA will celebrate its diamond jubilee anniversary through July 20, 2006. Learn more at http://www.va.gov.

To review many of the other benefit programs that are available from the VA, you may also visit GovBenefits.gov's Federal Benefit Programs.