WASHINGTON, April 20, 2009 - The Veterans Affairs Department has launched its new "Returning Veterans" Web site to welcome home veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts with a social, veteran-centric Web site that focuses on their needs and questions, VA officials announced today.

"VA is entering the world of Web 2.0, because that's where this generation of veterans is already communicating," said Dr. Gerald M. Cross, VA's principal deputy undersecretary for health. "We're opening our doors to them virtually to let them know what they can expect when they step through our doors in reality."

The Web site will feature videos, veterans' stories and a blog where veterans are encouraged to post feedback. The site also will restructure the traditional index-of-benefits format found on other VA pages into question-based, categorized, and easily navigated links by topic. This will allow veterans to find benefits of interest easily and discover related benefits as they explore, officials said.

"We hope our returning veterans find this site easy and helpful, but also engaging," Cross said. "As the site grows, we will be linking to veterans' blogs and highlighting more of their own stories from their own views. We are their VA, so we are eager to provide a forum for veterans to discuss their lives."

(From a Veterans Affairs Department news release.)