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If you have ever wondered how the Veterans Health Administration came to be, the following article details it’s origins through where we are today. Thanks for visiting us at VeteranCare. We are a veteran care coordination company, assisting veterans and their spouses in enrolling into a federally funded claims program, administered through the Veterans Administration (VA).

The Department of Veterans Affairs evolved from the first federal Veterans’ facility established for Civil War soldiers and sailors of the Union Army, known initially as the National Asylum for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers.

On March 3, 1865, a month before the Civil War ended, President Abraham Lincoln signed a law to establish a national soldiers and sailor’s asylum. Renamed the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in 1873, it was the first government institution in the world created specifically for honorably discharged volunteer soldiers.

The first National Home, known as the Eastern Branch of the National Asylum for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, opened November 1, 1866, near Augusta, Maine.

As the U.S. entered World War I in 1917, Congress established new benefits for World War I Veterans that included programs for life insurance, disability compensation, prosthetics, vocational rehabilitation, and hospitalization, along with new federal agencies to administer them. Federal Veterans medical care shifted from lifelong residential care to short-term treatment in general or specialized hospitals, supplemented by job re-training or disability pensions.

General Omar Bradley took the reins at VA in August 1945 and steered its transformation into a modern organization. In January 1946, Public Law 293 established VA’s Department of Medicine and Surgery, along with numerous other programs like the VA Voluntary Service to provide better services to Veterans. The law enabled VA to recruit and retain top medical personnel by modifying the civil service system, establishing medical research, and affiliating VA hospitals with medical schools to place Veterans’ medicine on par with the private sector.

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