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SECRETARY LACERTE INVITES VETERANS TO SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES WITH VA HEALTHCARE SYSTEM - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA) todayannounced a July schedule of town hall meetings with LDVA Secretary DavidLaCerte to be held across the state.  The purpose of these meetings is toallow Louisiana Veterans to share experiences they have had with the U.S.Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system including VA clinics,hospitals, and mental health services.

"As Secretary of Louisiana Department of VeteransAffairs and a Veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, I am extremely frustrated bythe lack of transparency from federal VA regarding their current healthcarecrisis," says Secretary LaCerte.  "VA officials need to engageVeterans in a two-way conversation and seek real solutions to theseproblems.  On the state level, I will continue to meet personally withLouisiana Veterans so that I can learn about the issues they are facing andwill continue to push my federal counterparts to start giving Veterans the carethey deserve."

Secretary LaCerte met earlier in July with Veterans inBossier City, Monroe, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lake Charles and Lafayette. Today's announcement expands the July town hall meeting schedule in order toallow more Veterans to participate in their local area.  Additionalmeetings for the month of August will be forthcoming.

LDVA will compile the information Veterans share at the townhall meetings and will share findings with local, state, and federal electedofficials as well as key staff at VA in hopes of influencing positive changeand increased transparency. 

The July schedule of meetings is as follows:

  • Wednesday, July 23 at 6:00 p.m. at the Regional Military Museum in Houma (1154 Barrow Street, Houma, LA  70360.  Telephone:  985-873-8200)
  • Wednesday, July 30 at 2:00 p.m. at VFW Post 3106 in Leesville (205 East Harriet Street, Leesville, LA  71446.  Telephone:  337-238-0041)
  • Wednesday, July 30 at 6:30 p.m. at VFW Post 1736 in Alexandria (701 Veterans Drive, Alexandria, LA  71303.  Telephone:  318-448-9271)
  • Thursday, July 31 at 1:00 p.m. at the Colfax Town Hall in Colfax (1290 Main Street, Colfax, LA  71417.  Telephone:  Representative Brown, 318-627-5153)
  • Thursday, July 31 at 6:00 p.m. at Winnfield Funeral Home in Shreveport (3701 Hollywood Avenue, Shreveport, LA  71109.  Telephone:  Representative Barbara Norton, 318-632-5887)

The mission of LDVA is to provide comprehensive care andquality service to Louisiana’s veterans and families with regard to healthcare, education, disability benefits, long-term care and burial honors. For more information about LDVA programs and services or to find the LDVAparish service office nearest you, please call toll free 1-877-GEAUX-VA(1-877-432-8982) or visit www.vetaffairs.la.gov.



 
LDVA ONE STEP CLOSER TO SECURING NORTHEAST LOUISIANA VETERANS CEMETERY - Tuesday, June 24, 2014

On December 18, 2013 the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA) announced that it is one step closer to securing a Veterans cemetery in Northeast Louisiana with the selection of Meyer Engineering, LTD to provide architectural and engineering services for theproject planned for location in Rayville. Meyer Engineering, which was selected this week by the Louisiana Architectural Review Board, currently serves as the architectural and engineering firm for LDVA's Southeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Slidellwhich is slated to open in Spring 2014.

"I am pleased to learn that Meyer Engineering was selected to lead the planning and design for the Northeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery project," says Rodney Alexander, former Secretary of Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs.  "The team at Meyer has done outstanding work on the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery and I know they will give their all to provide the Veterans of Northeast Louisiana with a cemetery worthy their service and sacrifice."

On October 1, 2013, LDVA announced that it had received a letter of intent, from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) stating its plans to provide grant funds to establish the Northeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Rayville.   Pending approval by Congress of VA's 2014 budget, this grant will fund 100% of the initial costs to develop the cemetery which will be located on property donated by the Franklin family of Rayville.

This newest cemetery location is planned to provide for the needs of the approximately 35,000 Veterans and their families who reside in and around Northeast Louisiana. The property is located near I-20 off of Hwy 425/137 and will span approximately 50 acres.

LDVA currently operates two other Veterans cemeteries, Northwest LA Veterans Cemetery located in Keithville just south of Shreveport and Central LA Veterans Cemetery located just outside Fort Polk in Leesville.  A third cemetery location, Southeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Slidell, is currently under construction with an anticipated opening in Spring of 2014.

The mission of LDVA is to provide comprehensive care and quality service to Louisiana’s veterans and families with regard to healthcare, education, disability benefits, long-term care and burial honors. 

 
LDVA ANNOUNCES OVER $1 BILLION IN VA COMPENSATION AND PENSION BENEFITS PAID TO LOUSIANA VETERANS - Tuesday, June 24, 2014

On May 8, 2014 the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA) announced that Louisiana's 315,342 Veterans received $1,016,206,000 in VA compensation and pension benefits payments last year, according to the latest data released from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  The Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) VA data was issued to report national statistics including total veteran populations,federal dollars received in the form of compensation and pension, education benefits and more.

“I am so pleased to learn that our Louisiana Veterans have successfully secured over 1 billion dollars in VA benefits,” says Rodney Alexander, former Secretary of Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs.  “Compensation and pension benefits are particularly important because they go directly into the pockets of the men and women who earned them through their honorable service to our country.”

LDVA maintains offices across Louisiana, ensuring that Veterans and their family members have local access to the assistance they need in obtaining the federal benefits they earned through their military service.  These offices operate in partnership with local parish governments which provide office space and basic utilities as well as at least 25% of the costs to staff each office. 

Each year, VA releases data outlining a breakdown of the number of veterans located in each state and the amount and types of benefits veterans have received.  Compensation and pension benefits are paid directly to veterans while other benefits, such as education benefits, are paid by VA to certified higher learning institutions.  In FY12, the Louisiana veteran population was reported at 319,349 with $873,881,000 secured in compensation and pension benefits.  In FY13, Louisiana veteran stook advantage of $120,767,000.00 in education benefits, up significantly over FY12 education benefits of $109,907,000.00. 

The mission of LDVA is to provide comprehensive care and quality service to Louisiana’s veterans and families with regard to healthcare, education, disability benefits, long-term care and burial honors. 

 
GOVERNOR JINDAL APPOINTS DAVID LACERTE AS NEW LDVA SECRETARY - Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Governor Bobby Jindal appointed David LaCerte to serve asSecretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA) upon theresignation of Rodney Alexander.
Governor Jindal said, “I am sorry to see Secretary Alexander step down from hispost. Rodney has dedicated his life to public service. He has served our statewith honor and integrity, and I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of David LaCerte to head theLouisiana Department of Veterans Affairs. David already has a proven trackrecord of tireless service for the LDVA. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitudeto our veterans for the sacrifices they have made for our country. It isimportant that we have a leader in place that understands the needs of ourmilitary men and women and their families. David is that leader, and I lookforward to continuing to work with him.”

Former Deputy Secretary David LaCerte said, “Rodney has been a strong advocatefor our veterans and I am very sorry to see him go.  I am excited to buildon our momentum from recent years and make a great Louisiana Department ofVeterans Affairs even better for our veterans, service members, and theirfamilies.”

The appointment of David LaCerte as Secretary of the Louisiana Department ofVeterans Affairs is effective immediately.

David LaCerte Bio

David LaCerte was appointed Deputy Secretary and ExecutiveCounsel of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs in June of 2010. AsDeputy Secretary, LaCerte served as the department’s Chief of Staff, ExecutiveCounsel, and Legislative Liaison.

Prior to joining LDVA, LaCerte served in the Marine Corpsinfantry in the First Marine Division. Under the command of General JamesMattis, he led the first Marines into Afghanistan and Pakistan only weeks after9/11, helping to drive the Taliban from Kandahar and establish several forwardoperating bases in hostile territory. He has led over 100 combat patrols andmissions in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and also served as a member ofinterrogation teams for high value Al Qaeda targets.

He graduated with honors from Nicholls State University, earninga B.S. in business. He also holds a J.D. and B.C.L. from LSU’s Paul M. HebertLaw Center and studied international law and European Union law at UniversitéJean Moulin Lyon III in Lyon, France. LaCerte is licensed to practice law inall Louisiana state and federal courts, as well as the United States Court ofVeteran’s Appeals in Washington, D.C.

He currently resides in Saint Gabriel with his wife, Mandy, ahigh school principal, and his daughter, Ava.

 
LDVA SECRETARY LACERTE INVITES VETERANS TO SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES WITH VA HEALTHCARE SYSTEM - Tuesday, June 24, 2014

On June 20, 2014 The Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA) announced a schedule of townhall meetings with LDVA Secretary David LaCerte to be held across the state.  The purpose ofthese meetings is to allow Louisiana Veterans to share experiences they havehad with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare systemincluding VA clinics, hospitals, and mental health services.

"As Secretary of Louisiana Department of VeteransAffairs and a Veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, I am deeply disturbed by thegrowing allegations of mismanagement and even fraudulent behavior at VA mentaland physical health facilities," says Secretary LaCerte.  "While LDVA does not operate any ofthese facilities, we hope we can help influence our federal counterparts bymaking sure Louisiana Veterans' voices are heard and by keeping the pressure onto make sure these serious issues are not swept under the rug." 

LDVA will compile the information Veterans share at thetownhall meetings and will share findings with local, state, and federal electedofficials as well as key staff at VA in hopes of influencing positive changeand increased transparency.  The scheduleof meetings is as follows:

  • Friday, June 20, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. at Northeast LA Veterans Home in Monroe (6700 Hwy 165 North, Monroe, LA, 71203)
  • Tuesday, June 24 at 10:00 a.m. at American Legion Post 38 in Baton Rouge (151 S. Wooddale Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA  70806)
  • Wednesday, June 25 at 6:00 p.m. at VFW Post 8973 in New Orleans (531 Lyons Street, New Orleans, LA 70115)
  • Thursday, June 26 at 1:00 p.m. at VFW Post 2130 in Lake Charles (1900 Country Club Road, Lake Charles, LA 70605)
  • Thursday, June 26 at 7:00 p.m. at South Regional Library in Lafayette in conjunction with Acadiana Veterans Coalition meeting.  (6101 Johnston Street, Lafayette, LA 70503)

The mission of LDVA is to provide comprehensive care and quality service to Louisiana’s veterans and families with regard to healthcare, education, disability benefits, long-term care and burial honors.

 
Commemorative Book for Korean Veterans - Friday, April 04, 2014

To commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War, the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs is distributing  special books to those veterans who served in the Korean conflict.

"Korea Reborn: A Grateful National Honors War Veterans for 60 Years of Growth" is available for free to Korean War Veterans as a gift of gratitude from the Korean Government. 

The book is printed in the United States and paid for by the South Korean government. 

If you are a Korean veteran or family member of a Korean veteran and are interesting in obtaining a copy, 
please email veteran@la.gov 

If you would like to view the book online, please visit http://www.remembermyservice.com/Downloads/Korea-Reborn-Book-Preview.pdf 



 
Governor Jindal declares March 29, 2014 as "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day" in Louisiana - Saturday, March 29, 2014

Governor Jindal has declared Saturday, March 29, 2014 as "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day" in the State of Louisiana. 


 
LDVA PARTNERS WITH ACADIAN AMBULANCE TO HIRE VETERANS - Thursday, March 20, 2014
Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2014

LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS PARTNERS WITH ACADIAN AMBULANCE, ANNOUNCES INITIATIVE TO GARNER SUPPORT FROM LOUISIANA EMPLOYERS FOR HIRING VETERANS

The Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA) announced today a new initiative to secure support from Louisiana employers to hire Veterans, service members and military dependents.  This initiative seeks to streamline efforts to connect Veterans with employment opportunities with a goal of lowering unemployment rates among the Louisiana Veteran population.  

"With the U.S. Department of Defense proposing massive cuts to troop levels, we can expect the number of Veterans seeking civilian employment opportunities to rise sharply in the near future," says Rodney Alexander, Secretary of Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs.  "By partnering with companies like Acadian Ambulance that actively support hiring Veterans, we hope to connect more of our former service members with career opportunities for themselves and their families."

“Acadian Ambulance was founded in 1971 by employing medics returning from Vietnam.  The incredible training and work ethic of these veterans set the foundation for our company.  We are pleased to join the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs in this initiative.  Acadian has a tremendous need for employees to fuel the growth in all of our divisions and we actively recruit veterans because they make phenomenal employees,” said Richard Zuschlag, chairman and CEO of Acadian Ambulance Service and Acadian Companies.

The new LDVA initiative will take a three-tiered approach to connecting Louisiana Veterans with job opportunities.  First, LDVA will actively seek statements of support from Louisiana employers that are willing to establish goals for hiring Veterans.  LDVA will establish a database of companies committed to recruiting and hiring Veterans and their family members and will promote these corporate pledges across the state.

Secondly, LDVA will provide assistance to employers as they seek to connect with Veteran job seekers including sharing of state resources, outreach efforts, recruiting event coordination and promotion, and more.  Finally, LDVA will work with Louisiana Veterans and their families to educate them on high demand careers within the state and will seek to connect them with educational programs and benefits as well as on the job training opportunities to develop skill-sets in these high demand areas.

"The values and leadership skills our Veterans developed during their military careers make them excellent candidates for companies that seek to employ persons with demonstrated skills and solid work ethics," says Secretary Alexander.  "I am passionate about supporting our Veterans and I am proud to partner with more companies like Acadian Ambulance as we bolster employment opportunities for the brave men and women who served our country with honor."

Since 1971, Acadian has provided the highest level of emergency medical care and transportation possible. In the past decade, the company has expanded to include a diverse suite of services in health, safety, and transportation. Acadian's six divisions are Acadian Ambulance Service, Acadian Monitoring Services, Air Med, Executive Aircraft Charter Service, National EMS Academy and Safety Management Systems.

For more information on jobs available through Acadian Ambulance, please visit www.acadian.com/military

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LDVA ANNOUNCES PREPARATIONS FOR TROPICAL STORM KAREN - Thursday, October 03, 2013

The Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA) announced today actions it is taking to prepare for Tropical Storm Karen which is expected to make landfall this weekend with a projected path that could impact the eastern portion of Louisiana. LDVA is projecting possible impact to its Louisiana parish veterans service offices located in the southeast portion of the state as well as to the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Home in Reserve.

"On the heels of the Governor's emergency declaration, LDVA is closely monitoring Tropical Storm Karen and is taking several steps to secure the facilities at greatest risk should this storm strike southeast Louisiana," says Rodney Alexander, secretary of Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs.  "While we remain cautiously optimistic that Tropical Storm Karen will not have a significant impact on Louisiana, we are taking the threat seriously and are making all the necessary plans to ensure our Veterans and staff are secure."

Southeast Louisiana Veterans Home located in Reserve will provide shelter-in-place to all 150 resident Veterans. A limited emergency generator is on-site and ready for use to supply power to essential operations should the facility experience a loss of electrical power.  Additional supplies of medications, food and medical supplies have been secured and are in place at the facility. 

At this time, all LDVA Parish Veterans Service Offices will remain open and will operate on their normal schedules.  No other LDVA programs or services are expected to be impacted at this time.

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LDVA ANNOUNCES VA PLANS TO FUND GRANT APPLICATION FOR NORTHEAST LA VETERANS CEMETERY IN RAYVILLE - Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA) announced today that it has received a letter of intent, sent overnight prior to the Federal government shut-down, from Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) stating it plans to provide grant funds to establish the Northeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Rayville.   Pending approval by Congress of VA's 2014 budget, this grant will fund 100% of the initial costs to develop the cemetery which will be located on property donated by the Franklin family of Rayville.

“I am extremely gratified to announce we are one step closer to securing grand funding for our state’s newest Veterans cemetery,” states Rodney Alexander, Secretary of Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs. “After many years of planning, I am grateful to everyone who has supported this project and am pleased that VA has announced their support as well.”

This newest cemetery location is planned to provide for the needs of the approximately 35,000 Veterans and their families who reside in and around Northeast Louisiana. The property is located near I-20 off of Hwy 425/137 and will span approximately 50 acres.

LDVA currently operates two other Veterans cemeteries, Northwest LA Veterans Cemetery located in Keithville just south of Shreveport and Central LA Veterans Cemetery located just outside Fort Polk in Leesville.  A third cemetery location, Southeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Slidell, is currently under construction with an anticipated opening in early 2014.

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Governor Jindal issues Proclamation to Honor Purple Heart Day - Wednesday, August 07, 2013
Governor Jindal Appoints Rodney Alexander as Secretary of LDVA - Wednesday, August 07, 2013