The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was established on March 15, 1989, succeeding the Veterans Administration. It is responsible for providing federal benefits to veterans and their dependents. Headed by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, VA is the second largest of the 15 Cabinet departments and operates nationwide programs for health care, financial assistance and burial benefits.
Of the 25 million veterans currently alive, nearly three of every four served during a war or an official period of hostility. About a quarter of the nation's population -- approximately 70 million people -- are potentially eligible for VA benefits and services because they are veterans, family members or survivors of veterans.
The responsibility to care for veterans, spouses, survivors and dependents can last a long time. The last dependent of a Revolutionary War veteran died in 1911. About 439 children and widows of Spanish-American War veterans still receive VA compensation or pensions. Six children of Civil War veterans still draw VA benefits.
Additional sites below contain more detail facts on VA history:
Historic preservation within VA and list of Historic Buildings by State
A Brief History of the VA
75 Years of VA History