CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Last fall, after being named Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance (WVDVA), I launched a statewide tour to better understand and get to know West Virginia’s veterans. During this tour, I had the opportunity to visit five different cities across the state, and learned about the concerns and ideas circulating in our state’s veteran community. I also had the privilege of sharing with West Virginia veterans and their families what the WVDVA is all about and the range of services available.
With countless veterans’ service organizations, nonprofits and other state agencies, there are often common misconceptions about the WVDVA. In many cases, our department is confused with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Our agency operates under West Virginia state government and is a completely separate entity from the federally supported VA. Still, we encourage veterans and their families to contact us about any issue that may be affecting them, regardless of which organization is best suited to assist them. Our sole mission is to support our state’s veterans and their families, and we constantly strive to provide quality services.
The WVDVA is comprised of three facilities, sixteen field and claims offices and an outreach program. Our direct facilities include the West Virginia Veterans Home in Barboursville, the Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery in Dunbar, and the West Virginia Veterans Nursing Facility in Clarksburg. Our agency’s field and claims offices are located across the state and help veterans and their families obtain a number of benefits, including pensions or service-connected disability compensation. Operated by a team of dedicated social workers, our outreach program connects veterans in need with programs and resources. We also administer one grant program and a variety of state benefits for veterans including the War Orphans Education Program and the Veteran’s Bonus Program.
With so many services available across the state, both within and outside our department, the confusion about who does what is understandable. At the end of the day, what matters most is that we share the common goal of caring for West Virginia’s veterans. For more information about WVDVA facilities and services, please visit www.veterans.wv.gov