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Peake notes progress VA made under Bush

Peake notes progress VA made under Bush
Veterans Affairs Secretary James Peake (UPI Photo/Roger L. Wollenberg) | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- The Veterans Administration has met the challenges of a new generation of veterans, Veterans Affairs Secretary James Peake said Monday.

In his 2008 Veterans Day message released Monday, Peake said President George Bush and Congress provided the Veterans Affairs Department with a 98 percent increase in funding, guidance "to enable (the) VA to honor America's debt" to military personnel, provide medical and financial assistance, and build and maintain national cemeteries "to perpetuate their memory and their accomplishments."

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"During this administration," Peake said in the message released by the Armed Forces Press Service, "(the) VA has met the challenge of a new generation of veterans: Those tempered by war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and those who have defended America's interests elsewhere while their comrades served in combat."

Caring for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is one of the department's top priorities, but "we continue to provide the full spectrum of care and benefits to our veterans of other eras," Peake said.

"I am proud of this great record of accomplishment, prouder still of the approximately 270,000 men and women of (the) VA who daily fulfill President (Abraham) Lincoln's promise to care for veterans and their families," he said.

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