The mission of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is to fulfill President Lincoln's promise “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” by serving and honoring America’s veterans.
VA is organized into three administrations, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), which is responsible for providing health care services; National Cemetery Administration (NCA), which is responsible for burial and memorial benefits, maintenance of all VA cemeteries, and grants funding to develop and maintain tribal and state veteran cemeteries; and Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), which is responsible for programs that provide financial assistance to veterans.
VA has over 8,350 buildings and structures within its three administrations. Approximately 2,325 of these are historic, National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) eligible or listed, or National Historic Landmarks (NHLs). Of these, nearly 2,000 are being used in support of veterans. More than 5,000 other buildings and structures have been evaluated and determined not eligible. VA maintains the fourth-largest inventory of historic buildings among land-owning federal agencies and is responsible for a broad array of historic properties (e.g., districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects).
NCA operates 155 national cemeteries and 34 soldiers' lots and monument sites in 42 states and Puerto Rico. More than 4 million Americans, including veterans of every war and conflict, are buried in VA's national cemeteries. The National Park Service (NPS) has identified all national cemeteries as eligible for the NRHP regardless of age due to their exceptional significance as a result of their Congressional designation as nationally significant places of burial and commemoration.
The VA Historic Preservation Office (HPO) keeps information about VA's programs to comply with federal preservation requirements. The VA History Office (VAHO) provides material documenting the history of the unique relationship between America and its veterans; its mission is to: Establish an overarching program to collect, preserve, and provide access to our history in order to tell the full story of the Department of Veterans Affairs and its predecessor organizations.
The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) and VA established a partnership in 2008 to enhance and streamline historic preservation efforts. The partnership provides for a full-time staff member in the Office of Federal Agency Programs (OFAP) at the ACHP who serves as the the primary point of contact for handling VA program and project reviews.
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