A Message From Our President
November 12, 2012
Department of Veteran Affairs and SCCO
SCCO wishes to pause and thank the Department of Veterans Affairs for their wonderful service to America and optometry. The DVA is the largest employer of optometrists with hospital rotations of optometry student externs and postgraduate optometry residency training. From clinical papers and CE lectures, every optometry school is affiliated with the DVA and rotates students and cooperates with residencies at one or more VA hospitals or clinics. Ironically, in 1972 there were no DVA optometry teaching affiliations.
The establishment of the Veterans Administration came in 1930 when Congress authorized the President to consolidate and coordinate Government activities affecting war veterans. The VA health care system has grown from 54 hospitals in 1930, to include 152 hospitals; 800 community based outpatient clinics; 126 nursing home care units; and 35 domiciliaries.
VA health care facilities provide a broad spectrum of medical, surgical, and rehabilitative care. The responsibilities and benefits programs of the Veterans Administration grew enormously during the following six decades. World War II resulted in not only a vast increase in the veteran population, but also in a large number of new benefits enacted by the Congress for veterans of the war. The World War II GI Bill, signed into law on June 22, 1944, is said to have had more impact on the American way of life than any law since the Homestead Act of 1862. Further educational assistance acts were passed for the benefit of veterans of the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam Era, Persian Gulf War, and the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.
SCCO proudly engages alumni and students in the DVA all over the United States. We look forward to continuing this important work for our veterans and their families. We honor their service and stand at the ready to provide the care they so truly deserve.
Kevin L. Alexander, O.D., Ph.D.