According to a news release on Thursday, the Department of Veterans Affairs is updating its mission statement.
The new motto, announced in a Thursday news release, includes a gender-neutral change from the previous mission statement.
The old motto referenced both male and female veterans and featured a direct quote from President Abraham Lincoln:
“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 the men and women who are America’s veterans.”
The new mission statement reads as follows:
“To fulfill President Lincoln’s promise to care for those who have served in our nation’s military and for their families, caregivers, and survivors.”
The previous mission statement included a quote from President Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address in 1865, in which he promised to provide for those who served the country during the Civil War. This quote is now only briefly mentioned in the updated mission statement.
According to the news release, “The previous mission statement is posted in roughly 50% of VA’s facilities. Over the coming months, VA’s new mission statement will replace the previous version.”
Both male and female veterans have always been eligible for treatment at VA facilities.
In the news release, McDonough said the department wanted to include more people in its mission statement.
“He stated that the mission statement displayed outside VA facilities should reflect the inclusivity of all veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors. The VA aims to address the concerning increase in veteran suicides, with reports suggesting up to 44 veterans per day are affected, surpassing the official estimate of 17 suicides per day by the VA, as reported by the Military Times. As a step towards inclusivity, the VA has introduced a new gender-neutral motto.”
“The eligibility criteria for veterans to receive mental health treatment as in-patients has been expanded by the agency.”