Agency Plans and Reports
To fulfill President Lincoln’s promise to care for those “who shall have borne the battle” and for their families, caregivers, and survivors.
On March 3, 1865, President Lincoln signed legislation that established a network of National facilities to care for the Nation’s wounded Civil War Soldiers. This singular act codified a social contract between the Nation and our Veterans that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) would always be there to help Veterans and their families heal and recover from the illnesses, injuries, or wounds sustained in service to America, and successfully reintegrate into civilian life. This set of principles drives VA’s mission to this day. As the Nation’s largest integrated health care delivery system, VA serves over nine million Veterans by providing many types of care and benefits tailored to Veterans and their families that are not available in the private sector. VA delivers exceptional care in polytrauma, spinal cord injury and rehabilitation, prosthetics, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress treatments and other behavioral health programs. Further, VA plays a critical role in preparing our Nation’s doctors and nurses — 70 percent of whom train at VA facilities – and leads the Nation in innovation that improves the lives of Veterans and their families. VA research contributed to the first liver transplant, development of the cardiac pacemaker, advancements in treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, cutting-edge prosthetics, and many other medical breakthroughs. We also lead the Nation in providing health care through telehealth to make it much easier for Veterans to see a doctor. Other important benefits VA provides for Veterans and their families includes funding for higher education, life insurance, home loans, employment and transition services, pensions, and memorialization and interment services.