About LDVA

Our Purpose

We exist for you.

The Department of Veterans Affairs aids residents of the state of Louisiana who served in the military forces of the United States during any war, combat, or special periods of service during peacetime, along with their dependents and beneficiaries, in receiving any and all benefits to which they may be entitled under the law of the United States or the states thereof. In addition, this department also provides nursing care for veterans at five homes across the state.

Our mission is clear.

Our mission is to provide comprehensive care and quality service to Louisiana’s Veterans, and their families, with regard to health care, education, disability benefits, long-term care, and burial honors.

Our staff are experts on the VA claims process. LDVA works with veterans to:
1. Identify what evidence is needed to have the best possible chance of having a claim approved.
2. Explain and clarify VA procedures that apply to the claim.
3. Monitor the claim as it progresses through the development process and intercede if problems with a claim should arise.
4. If a claim is denied by the VA and the veteran disagrees with the VA's decision, LDVA's PSOs and Claims Office will help through the appeal process. For example, LDVA can assist in preparing a proper notice of disagreement, representing the veteran at a personal hearing, etc.

Veteran with American flag in hat
Our Structure

This is where we fit in the big picture.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

The federal VA offers a variety of benefits including education, compensation, pension, housing, and health care. They decide on claims and administer the allotted funds for each of these programs.

LA Department of Veterans Affairs

LDVA works with Louisiana’s veterans and their families to help them access USDVA funds. We help veterans understand potential benefits, apply for compensation, pursue denied claims, and ultimately, receive due honors. Though we cannot administer the funds that come from the federal VA, we work closely with individual vets to help them get the benefits and care they earned. Services are free and may be obtained by visiting any PSO.

Louisiana's Veterans

In 2017, LDVA connected 287,373 veterans and their families with $1.3 billion in VA compensation and pension. Let us help you and your family get benefits you deserve.

Our People

Leadership

  • John Bel Edwards

    Governor, State of Louisiana

    On January 11, 2016, Governor John Bel Edwards was sworn in as the 56th Governor of Louisiana.

    The governor grew up in Amite, Louisiana as one of eight children. With four Tangipahoa Parish Sheriffs in his lineage, he learned the importance of public service at an early age.

    Governor Edwards graduated in 1988 from the United States Military Academy at West Point. The governor served eight years as an Airborne Ranger on active duty with the United States Army and commanded a rifle company in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He went on to graduate Order of the Coif from Louisiana State University Law Center and set up a civil law practice in his home town of Amite.

    In 2008, he was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives from District 72, where he served for eight years until the voters of Louisiana elected him governor in November 2015.

    Governor Edwards and his wife, First Lady Donna Edwards, have three children: Samantha Bel, Sarah Ellen, and John Miller.

  • Joey Strickland

    Secretary, LDVA

    Joey Strickland was appointed Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs by Governor John Bel Edwards on Jan. 13, 2016. In this position, he is responsible for overseeing five Veterans Homes, four State Veterans Cemeteries, the department’s Parish Service Offices, the Administrative, Contact Assistance, and Claims Divisions, the Military Family Assistance Fund, the Veterans Honor Medal Program, and a myriad of outreach initiatives for Veterans Service Organizations, our homeless, incarcerated, and women Veterans.

    A large part of his responsibilities include advocating on behalf of Louisiana’s over 287,000 Veterans and their families to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Secretary Strickland is no stranger to VA, having served for more than 15 years as either Director or Deputy Secretary in two states; Louisiana and Arizona.

    At the national level, Secretary Strickland served as Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee for Minority Veterans and as President of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs (NASDVA) from 2003-2004. As NASDVA President, he testified on behalf of Veterans issues before the U.S. Congress.

    Secretary Strickland served 28.9 years in the U.S. Army, including two tours of duty in Vietnam. In 1994, he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel and was later appointed Colonel in the Louisiana State Guard by Governor Mike Foster, while serving on the Governor’s Military Advisory Board.

    His awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal (2nd award), Air Medal (3rd award), Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with 7 battle stars, Airborne Medal, Overseas Ribbon, among others.

    Secretary Strickland is married to Leila Hiestand Strickland, an “Army brat”, and they are the proud parents of three sons, all Army soldiers, and twin daughters who are educators.

  • Homer F. Rodgers

    Undersecretary, LDVA

    Homer F. Rodgers was appointed Undersecretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs by Governor John Bel Edwards on Jan. 11, 2016. In this position, he serves as both Undersecretary and Chief of Staff for the Department. He is responsible for helping Secretary Strickland oversee five Veterans Homes, four State Veterans Cemeteries, the department’s Parish Service Offices, the Administrative, Contact Assistance and Claims Divisions, the Military Family Assistance Fund, the Veterans Honor Medal Program, and a myriad of outreach initiatives for Veterans Service Organizations, our homeless, incarcerated, and women Veterans.

    While serving in these roles, he has also testified on both VA healthcare and VA cemetery issues before the U.S. Congress while advocating for Louisiana’s 287,000 plus Veterans and their families.

    Undersecretary Rodgers served as LDVA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary from 2004-2009 before leaving to serve as the Assistant Deputy Director for the Arizona Department of Veterans Services.

    He brings nearly 30 years of private sector experience to public service work that was primarily focused on long-term healthcare Administration. Undersecretary Rodgers currently holds a license as a Nursing Facility Administrator in the State of Louisiana.

    Undersecretary Rodgers is United States Army Veteran who served honorably during the Vietnam War era as a Communications Center Specialist, Airborne with the XVIII Airborne Corps.

    After his service to our country, he earned a degree in business administration from the University of Kentucky College System, at Jefferson Community College in Louisville, Kentucky.

    Undersecretary Rodgers has been married to his wife Janie for 51 years. They divide their time between the Baton Rouge and the Houma/Thibodeaux areas. Together, they raised three children in Louisiana and are the proud grandparents of three grandchildren.

  • Mr. Elvin R. “Ray” Bass

    Veterans of Foreign Wars

  • Mr. Michael R. Beissinger

    At-Large Member

  • Mr. Rudolph A. "Rudy" Bourg, Sr.

    AMVETS

  • Mr. William Detweiller

    American Legion

  • Mr. Paul Hermann, Jr.

    Disabled American Veterans

  • Ms. Sulanda V. Lonnette

    At-Large Member

  • Ms. Mary Mills

    American Legion

  • Mr. Richard O'Brien

    Military Order of the Purple Heart

  • Mr. Deron G. Santiny

    At-Large Member

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