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When was the US Department of Veterans Affairs founded?

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Quick Answer

The modern Veterans Administration was created through President Herbert Hoover's executive order on July 21, 1930, in which he elevated the previously established Veteran's Bureau to a federal administration. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan made the Veterans Administration a cabinet-level executive department.

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Full Answer

The history of caring for veterans in America began with the Plymouth Colony's treatment of soldiers injured while fighting the Pequot Indians. The Continental Congress of 1776 offered pensions for disabled soldiers as an incentive to increase enlistment. The federal government's first medical treatment facility for veterans was established in 1811. After the Civil War, many states established homes for veterans. In 1921, Congress combined existing veterans programs for World War I veterans, creating the Veterans Bureau. By 1924, veterans' benefits were expanded to include treatment of non-service-related injuries. The Veterans Bureau was the precursor to the Veterans Administration created in 1930, which also combined the National Homes and Pension Bureau into the Veterans Administration.

In addition to health care of all kinds, many veterans benefited from programs established to help with housing, retirement and educational costs. As of 2015, the Veterans Administration now includes the Veterans Health Administration, Veterans Benefits Administration and National Cemetery Administration. The National Cemetery Administration oversees the purchase and maintenance of land for National Cemeteries for those who died in service to the country and for honorably discharged veterans.

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