The United States Department of Veterans Affairs, more commonly known as the Veterans Administration, is an organization dedicated to provide services for all veterans of the U.S. military. It was formed in July 1930, and today employs approximately 280,000 people at hundreds of its offices throughout the U.S. Its annual budget for the 2014 fiscal year is nearly $153 billion, making it one of the largest government agencies in existence today.
The Department is broken into three main subdivisions. It consists of the Veterans Health Administration, the Veterans Benefits Administration, and the National Cemetery Administration. The VA Health Administration is responsible for providing veterans with all health care issues, while the Benefits Administration is designed to help veterans in areas such as guaranteed home loans, insurance vocational rehabilitation and educational benefits. The National Cemetery Administration provides burial and memorial benefits, and is entrusted with the maintenance of the VA's cemeteries.
The VA has served U.S. veterans from several wars beginning with survivors of World War I. It has continued the tradition of serving former military members by providing services for those veterans who need help readjusting to civilian life. Many of these veterans, especially those who saw combat during their time in the military, are in need of basic medical services for wounds suffered in conflicts. This was the original concept for the creation of the VA.
Since that time, the VA has expanded greatly, and now provides additional services such as educational benefits, and home-buying assistance. It also helps those veterans who had become homeless after their service to their country ended. There are approximately 30 million military veterans living in the U.S. today. That number represents nearly 10 percent of the population of the country today.
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