On this day in Alabama history: Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs began operations

On this day in Alabama history: Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs began operations
United States Department of Veterans Affairs. (Getty Images)

Oct. 1, 1945

With thousands of World War II returning veterans qualified for increased federal benefits, the American Legion Department of Alabama began calling for a state department dedicated to veterans. The Alabama Legislature established the ADVA on June 23, 1945. The Legislature also created the State Board of Veterans Affairs, with offices in all 67 counties, to oversee the ADVA.

The ADVA began operations on Oct. 1, 1945. Then-commander of the American Legion Department of Alabama, Clarence C. Horton, was appointed as the first commissioner of the ADVA and served in that role until 1962.

In 1945, the ADVA helped 251,789 veterans and their beneficiaries receive services totaling $43 million. Each year, the ADVA assists Alabama veterans with 20,000 compensation, pension and medical claims through the VA.

The state’s efforts to help veterans began with the creation of the Alabama Confederate Veterans Home in 1901. In 1927, the Legislature formed the State Service Commission, the first official support agency for veterans.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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