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Top 10 accomplishments in MVAA’s 10-year history

At the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA), we’re proud of the progress we’ve made during our first decade of serving Michigan veterans and their families. But make no mistake: We couldn’t have done it without the help of our partners. From the federal VA to the Veteran Service Organizations, from county veteran service offices to community groups, from employers to universities, and from the Gov. Whitmer administration to our fellow state departments, we’re just one of many institutions working collaboratively to fully support our 550,000-plus veterans. Here’s a list of some of our proudest accomplishments:

10) The MVAA has won four prestigious Abraham Lincoln Pillar of Excellence Awards from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for innovative programming in collaboration with our partners. Awarded programs include the Michigan Veteran Resource Service Center and Michigan Veterans Community Action Team (both in 2016), Incarcerated Veterans Program (2019) and Veteran-Friendly Schools (2020).

9) By emphasizing partnerships, MVAA has helped bring together veteran-friendly organizations across Michigan for better coordination of service. This includes collaborating with hospitals, universities and businesses through our Michigan Veteran Connector program, aimed at identifying more veterans and connecting them to earned -- and often critical -- benefits.

8) Our Women Veterans Program has reached millions of people through our She is A Veteran awareness and social media campaign, MVAA Women Veterans Conference, Women Veterans 5K Run/Walk and our support of Women Veterans Recognition Day on June 12.

7) We’ve connected countless veterans to educational opportunities through awareness and outreach efforts, including our Veteran-Friendly Schools program. The VFS program has grown to 63 universities, colleges and trade schools throughout Michigan.

6) Our Veteran-Friendly Employers program, which helps Michigan employers hire and retain veterans, has grown to more than 550 companies and organizations and includes employers from every industry.

5) The MVAA has distributed tens of millions of dollars in grant funding to our various stakeholders serving veterans and their families. In the past three years alone, we distributed more than $27 million in grant funding to county veteran service offices, Veteran Service Organizations and other stakeholders. Grant-funded veteran services range from food assistance to transportation to dental services.

4) The MVAA serves as a leader in the Governor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide Among Service Members, Veterans and their Families. Along with our many partners, we are addressing the factors that can lead to veteran suicide including mental health, unemployment and other issues.

3) MVAA’s accredited Veteran Service Officers have handled more than 6,500 claims and recovered over $85 million in federal benefits for veterans and their dependents. We’ve also helped connect countless veterans to Veteran Service Officers who work for other agencies and organizations, resulting in tens of millions of dollars in additional recoveries for Michigan veterans and their families.

2) Our Michigan Veterans Trust Fund has distributed more than $126 million in emergency aid to 645,000 eligible veterans or their dependents during its 77-year history. The Trust Fund was created in 1946 and became part of the MVAA in 2013.

1) Our Michigan Veteran Resource Service Center (1-800-MICH-VET) recently surpassed 150,000 cases for veterans and their families! Out Resource Service Center technicians are plugged in to the myriad services offered by our partners and are connecting veterans to everything from their discharge papers to employment and educational assistance to emergency financial aid.