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VA Updates Mission Statement to Commit to All Veterans, Caregivers, Families

It prioritizes the inclusion of women

spinner image A sign for the Department of Veterans Affairs
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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), seeking to emphasize its support for women veterans, military caregivers, families and survivors, updated its 1959 mission statement after surveying approximately 30,000 veterans.

The new mission statement, “To fulfill President Lincoln’s promise to care for those who have served in our nation’s military and for their families, caregivers, and survivors,” was unveiled during a ceremony at the Military Women’s Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.

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“Today we take a step toward making sure all who have served know, VA is their VA,” said department Secretary Denis McDonough. “Today we’re bringing our mission statement into the moment — embracing the fullest meaning of President Lincoln’s sentiments, promise (and) unquenchable passion.”

Unlike the previous VA mission statement, the new version omits the pronouns “his” and “him” in a nod to the 600,000 women the VA serves, its fastest-growing cohort. It acknowledges the agency’s support of 50,000 veteran caregivers, survivors and millions of service members who didn’t serve in combat.

McDonough noted that the system is committed to providing women veterans a full range of health benefits, including reproductive care, contraception, fertility services, family building, gender-specific cardiac care and more.

“The new mission statement reflects that VA serves all of the heroes who have served our country, regardless of their race, gender, background, sexual orientation, religion, zip code or identity,” the agency said in a news release.

The VA’s previous mission statement is posted in about half of the agency’s facilities and will be replaced in the coming months.

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