ODVA Celebrates 71st Birthday

Agency established by governor, Legislature in June 1945

The bill authorizing the creation of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs was signed into law by then-Gov. Earl Snell on March 12, 1945. But the agency was not officially established until June 16 (90 days after the Legislature’s adjournment that year), making today the ODVA’s 71st anniversary.

For a nostalgic look back at how ODVA has served veterans through the decades, click here

Snell, who had supported the bill from its initial proposal as a way to honor World War II service members, called the formation of this department “an important step in Oregon’s determination to provide every possible service and assistance to our returning veterans.”

“Oregon will occupy a foremost position among all states of the union in discharging its obligation to the brave men and women who have served our country so gloriously during this terrible conflict.”

“Followed by other enactments, including education assistance and real estate loan measures, Oregon will occupy a foremost position among all states of the union in discharging its obligation to the brave men and women who have served our country so gloriously during this terrible conflict,” Snell said.

Today, the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs proudly serves more than 331,000 veterans spanning four generations across five major eras of warfare. But our focus has remained the same for over seven decades: to ensure that those who have served our country receive exactly what they deserve, namely, the best in care, resources and opportunities our veteran benefit system can provide.

We exist because the people of Oregon are grateful for your courage, your sacrifices, your willingness to protect us and our way of life. For 71 years, it has been our honor and privilege to serve you.

The Oregonian, March 13, 1945