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A "Soldiers' Home" illustration, 1885
A "Soldiers' Home" illustration, 1885

Some Civil War veterans had access to ten national “Soldiers’ Homes.” This illustration of a Soldiers’ Home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, appeared in an 1885 almanac.

Amputees from WWI Recovering at Walter Reed Hospital
Amputees from WWI Recovering at Walter Reed Hospital

This picture is dated from 1918, showing two WWI soldiers with amputations recovering at Walter Reed Hospital.
 

Chief Nurses, Veterans Bureau, 1923
Chief Nurses, Veterans Bureau, 1923

Women played an important role in running the Veteran's Bureau. This photo of chief nurses is dated November of 1923.

Clerks at the Bureau of War Risk Insurance, 1918
Clerks at the Bureau of War Risk Insurance, 1918

Clerks of the Bureau of War Insurance processed massive amounts of paperwork as seen in this photograph from 1918.

Jobs for fighters, U.S. Employment Service, Bureau for Returning Soldiers and Sailors
Jobs for fighters, U.S. Employment Service, Bureau for Returning Soldiers and Sailors

The VA was certainly not the only public service offered to returning soldiers and sailors as this advertisement, dated 1917, illustrates. The poster shows a soldier holding his "Honorable Discharge" form, crossing a welcome mat to pass through the door of a "Bureau for Returning Soldiers and Sailors."

Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney

Former Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney wondered in 2011 “if there would be some way to introduce private sector competition” to the VHA.

New York's famous 369th regiment arrives home from France
New York's famous 369th regiment arrives home from France

New York's famous 369th regiment arrives home from France, dated from 1919

Official Seal of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Official Seal of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Upon the creation the new Department of Veterans Affairs in 1989, this seal was adopted. The creator, David E. Gregory, described the key components of the seal:  the eagle represents the United States; the circle of five stars represents the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard; the two flags in the eagle's talons represents the 13 colonies and the current 50 states; the golden cord symbolizes fallen Americans; and the eagle holding the cord to symbolizes the memory of those veterans who have sacrificed for the nation.

President Obama Signs the ACA into Law
President Obama Signs the ACA into Law

President Barack Obama signing the Affordable Care Act into law on March 23, 2010

President Wilson Addresses Congress in 1917
President Wilson Addresses Congress in 1917

On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson delivered his War Message to Congress. The declaration of war was passed on April 4.

Robert Marx
Robert Marx

Judge Robert S. Marx, Nat. Commander, Disabled Am. Vets of World War, 1921

Soldiers and Nurse at Walter Reed Hospital
Soldiers and Nurse at Walter Reed Hospital

Under the watchful eye of a nurse, wounded soldiers recovered at Walter Reed Hospital. This picture is dated from 1918.

Two women process checks from the Bureau of War Insurance
Two women process checks from the Bureau of War Insurance

Two women using a check-signing machine for the War Risk Bureau, Washington, D.C. (ca. 1914-1921)

VA Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina
VA Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina

A modern VA Medical Center in Durham, NC, in 2008 (photo by Ildar Sagdejev)

Women putting checks in envelopes in the Veterans Bureau, Washington, D.C.
Women putting checks in envelopes in the Veterans Bureau, Washington, D.C.

Women putting checks in envelopes in the Veterans Bureau, Washington, D.C.