What We Do
The Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs serves an important two-fold purpose. First, it distinguishes and elevates issues and opportunities for veterans and transitioning service members in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Of primary importance are the employment, health care, and education needs of our veterans. With the Nation’s fastest growing veteran population and the greatest number of veterans in the workforce per capita, the Secretariat maintains a particular focus on employment of our newest generation of veterans who have the new and current skills needed here in the Commonwealth.
The Secretariat also leads the Governor’s initiatives focused on relationship building with and support of our military and defense installations and the communities surrounding them. Through the Governor’s Virginia Military Advisory Council (VMAC) and active Secretariat community involvement, the Commonwealth continues to be an engaged host in support of the military and defense missions in the state.
We are honored to serve the Commonwealth and our veterans, and look forward to working with you to continue to make Virginia the most veteran and military friendly state in the Nation.
At a Glance: Virginia Veterans Statistics Compared to the Nation
★ Virginia Has:
- The fastest growing veteran population in the Nation.
- The greatest number of veterans in the workforce per capita.
- The largest percentage of women veterans.
- The largest percentage of veterans under the age of 28.
- 1 in 10 Virginians is a veteran (approx. 800,000).
- Added more Veterans to its workforce than all other states put together
★ Virginia is First for Veterans:
- On November 11, 2015, Virginia became the first state to functionally end veteran homelessness.
- Virginia is the first state to convene a summit, inspired by the Governor's A Healthy Virginia plan, with key Veterans Administration (VA), state, and private health provider leaders to accelerate access to health care for veterans.
- Virginia is the first state to develop provider agreements between Federally-Qualified Health Centers and the VA (partnerships at 22 sites throughout the state).
- Virginia was the first state to file VA Benefits electronically.
- Virginia was the first state to create a unique program to employ former military medics and corpsmen in Virginia’s health systems.