US Veterans Affairs Dept Adopts Gender-Neutral Motto

The Washington Post reports:

For decades, the mission statement of Veterans Affairs came from a line from President Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address on March 4, 1865 — “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” — a phrase adopted by the department in 1959.

On Thursday, Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough announced that the department will adopt a modern-day statement that reflects the generational changes among veterans — women, for one, became eligible to serve in 1948, and the old mission statement does not represent them.

The new statement will be: “To fulfill President Lincoln’s promise to care for those who have served in our nation’s military and for their families, caregivers, and survivors.” It presents a slight, gender-neutral revision of Lincoln’s original remarks.

The Military Times reports:

The use of male-specific language in the original mission statement has long drawn criticism from veterans advocates who note that women veterans are the fastest growing cohort of the community, expected to make up one in every five living veterans in America by 2040.

VA leaders said the decision was made after interviews with more than 30,000 veterans over the last two years. According to those surveys, the change was supported by the majority of every age group, racial group and gender group.

Both McDonough’s predecessor, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie, and former President Donald Trump had adamantly opposed any change in the motto, calling it an attack on history and an attempt to erase Lincoln’s words. Wilkie sought new ways to ingrain the motto with the department and had begun installing plaques inscribed with the old motto at 142 VA-operated cemeteries nationwide in 2020.

As you’d expect, the cult is screaming on Twitter.