Located within the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Veterans Benefits Administration is charged with providing a wide variety of services to former members of the US armed forces and their families. Care for veterans has been a source of controversy for generations, going back to the Bonus March of the Depression era and later the post-Vietnam debates over Agent Orange and post-traumatic stress. Even during the current administration of George W. Bush, criticisms have arisen over budget cuts and other problems regarding veterans’ benefits.
(PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer)
The VBA offers life insurance to service members and veterans who may not be able to get insurance from private companies because of the extra risks involved in military service, or because of a service-related disability. See the website for more information.
(by Edmund L. Andrews, New York Times)
Embattled Veterans Official Resigns Post (by Aaron Glantz, Inter Press Service)
Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Troy, N.Y., Patrick Dunne graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1972 with a B.S. in mathematics. He earned an M.S. in mathematics from the Naval Postgraduate School and also graduated from the Navy’s Nuclear Power training program. Dunne served in the Navy for 33 years, commanding the attack submarine USS Baltimore and the USS Frank Cable, as well as the U.S. naval forces in the Northern Mariana Islands. In August 2006, Dunne took over as the VA’s Assistant Secretary for Policy and Planning. Following the resignation of Daniel Cooper in February 2008, retired Rear Admiral Dunne was named Acting Under Secretary for Benefits. He left the position when Barack Obama took over as President.