We at VA trace our lineage to our first facility in Togus, Maine — the very first of a network of facilities across the nation, the result of President Abraham Lincoln’s 1865 legislation that established “National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers.” That first facility was about Civil War Veterans having a place they could call home.
A lot has changed over the last century and a half. Today, we care for Veterans at more than 1,200 health care facilities made up of 168 medical centers and more than 1,000 outpatient clinics across the country — creating the largest integrated health care system in the United States. Still, we want VA to feel like home to our Veterans. That’s the purpose behind VA’s MyVA Transformation efforts. We want Veterans to see us as their VA, an institution that serves them the way they want to be served and one they can be proud of — just like the Veterans who found a home of their own in Togus so many years ago.
On this Veterans Day, we salute our Veterans and extend our gratitude for their service. They are our relatives, friends, neighbors and co-workers, and the committed to a cause larger than their own by accepting the challenge to defend our nation.
Our Veterans put everything on the line to protect our freedom. In turn, everyone can do something to let our Veterans know how much we appreciate their service.