The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) celebrates 75 years of serving American service men and women and their families this Veterans’ Day. The Washington Post reports that the VA is among the largest federal agencies having more than 235,000 employees and operating the largest hospital system in the country.
“During times of challenge throughout our history, men and women have stepped forward to defend our freedom. They’re doing that today,” the Honorable R. James Nicholson, Secretary of Veterans Affairs said in a prepared statement. “The people of this country understand, appreciate, and respect that sacrifice.”
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Earlier this month, the VA announced the signing of a formal agreement expanding the efforts of the General Services Administration (GSA) to place additional emphasis on programs awarding contracts to small businesses owned by veterans and service-disabled veterans. This is in addition to providing health care to 5.2 million patients, disability pay to 2.7 million individuals, survivors benefits to nearly 350,000 family members, educational assistance to 500,000, home loan guarantees to approximately 300,000, vocational rehabilitation to 100,000, and insurance coverage to 7.2 million. The VA also buried more than 100,000 and provided headstones for 350,000.
“America’s veterans are a national treasure, a pool of trained, motivated, reliable, entrepreneurs,” Nicholson said in a statement announcing the GSA agreement.
The VA’s efforts on behalf of veteran-owned businesses are overseen by the Department’s Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE). Further Information about the VA’s program for veteran-owned businesses is available on the CVE’s web site at www.vetbiz.gov. Information on the GSA’s activities on behalf of service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses can be found at www.gsa.gov.