Information about the Veterans Administration
Either you love em or hate em. As Veterans we go to the VA for healthcare, routine or emergency treatment, dental, hearing or vision as it involves service connected issues or services. When we file for disability our claims we see the VBA as the enemy because they often become a never ending source of frustration for Veterans and their family members. As we grow older and require long term or rehabilitative care those are generally taken up by local or state run Veterans Homes. We forget that the VA is also a source of employment for Veterans seeking meaningful ways to give back to the Veteran community, yet many Veterans often overlook or are unaware of the concept or composition of the current Veterans Administration.
I’ve been a patient of the VA over the past 50 years and have used VA educational and home loan service throughout my adult life, including during active military service. Like many I was unaware that the VA has a distinct “separation of powers” which they call a dynamic partnership in the shared mission of the VA, VHA, VBA and the NCA. So rather than harp on negative aspects of the VA, this blog is to highlight the positive aspects so that Veterans like me can see the VA not as the enemy, but as a worthy adversary by understanding the parameters with which the VA must operate. – The Real Truckmaster!
To fulfill President Lincoln’s promise “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” by serving and honoring the men and women who are America’s veterans.
VA carries out four specific missions to make good on that commitment.
Veterans Health Care:
VA’s Veterans Health Administration is the largest integrated health care network in the United States, with 1,255 health care facilities serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.
Veterans can earn a range of benefits that help them transition back to civilian life in the country they fought to defend. Through the Veterans Benefits Administration, VA helps service members transition out of military service, and assists with education, home loans, life insurance and much more.
The job of the National Cemetery Administration is to make sure those who served this nation are never forgotten. NCA provides dignified burial services for Veterans and eligible family members by maintaining 142 cemeteries as national shrines and providing lasting tributes that commemorate their service and sacrifice to our nation.
The Fourth Mission:
VA’s “Fourth Mission” is to improve the Nation’s preparedness for response to war, terrorism, national emergencies, and natural disasters by developing plans and taking actions to ensure continued service to veterans, as well as to support national, state, and local emergency management, public health, safety and homeland security efforts
To provide veterans the world-class benefits and services they have earned — and to do so by adhering to the highest standards of compassion, commitment, excellence, professionalism, integrity, accountability, and stewardship.
Act with high moral principle. Adhere to the highest professional standards. Maintain the trust and confidence of all with whom I engage.
Work diligently to serve Veterans and other beneficiaries. Be driven by an earnest belief in VA’s mission. Fulfill my individual responsibilities and organizational responsibilities.
Be truly Veteran-centric by identifying, fully considering, and appropriately advancing the interests of Veterans and other beneficiaries.
Treat all those I serve and with whom I work with dignity and respect. Show respect to earn it.
Excellence: Strive for the highest quality and continuous improvement. Be thoughtful and decisive in leadership, accountable for my actions, willing to admit mistakes, and rigorous in correcting them.
VETERANS HEALTH ADMINISTRATION (VHA)
VHA physicians, nurses, and health care givers provide nearly 5 million veterans, and their families, per year with quality medical treatment. VHA personnel practice all medical specialties and provide medical and rehabilitative treatment of all kinds, from acute to long term care. We’re especially proud of the VHA’s preeminent role in educating physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals. More than half of the physicians currently practicing in the United States received some part of their training in one of our care facilities.
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION (VBA)
The VBA also provides home loan guaranty, education, and insurance programs. The VBA maintains 57 regional offices in the 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines.
Today more than 13,000 VBA employees are translating the promises of the GI Bill into tangible advantages for veterans. These committed professionals include specialists in education, home loans, vocational rehabilitation, insurance, information technology, and finance and budget management. Here at VA, your skills can really make a difference!
NATIONAL CEMETERY ADMINISTRATION (NCA)
Veterans, their spouses, and dependent children are eligible for burial in VA’s national cemeteries.
The National Cemetery Administration will provide a headstone or marker for veterans buried in any cemetery in the world.
NCA also presents Presidential Memorial Certificates bearing the President’s signature to acknowledge and commemorate the memory of honorably-discharged, deceased veterans.
NCA is in the midst of the largest expansion in its history. By the year 2009, eleven new national cemeteries will join the current 120. Many existing cemeteries are being expanded. State veterans’ cemeteries are being built and expanded with funding assistance from VA.