VA’s new mission statement ditches gendered language

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has updated its mission statement with a new statement that does not include gendered language.

According to a VA press release, the prior mission statement read, “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 statement drops the gender-specific terminology and no longer includes the Lincoln quote, though it still references the sixteenth president. The text of the new statement reads, “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 VA reported that various demographics of veterans surveyed preferred the new statement.

“In crafting the new mission statement, VA surveyed roughly 30,000 Veterans. Among Veterans surveyed, the new version of VA’s mission statement was chosen over the current version by every age group; by men and by women; by LGBTQ+ Veterans; and by white, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian and American Indian/Alaska Native Veterans,” the press release states. “The new mission statement reflects that VA serves all of the heroes who have served our country, regardless of their race, gender, background, sexual orientation, religion, zip code or identity.”

“Whenever any Veteran, family member, caregiver, or survivor walks by a VA facility, we want them to see themselves in the mission statement on the outside of the building,” VA Secretary Denis McDonough said, according to the press release. “We are here to serve all Veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors — and now, our mission statement reflects exactly that.”

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