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Lane Carson - Decision to Retire

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Dear Fellow Veterans and Supporters,

Since 2008, I have had the privilege of serving as Secretary of Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA). It has been an honor to work on behalf of Louisiana Veterans and their families and to have worked alongside the exemplary LDVA staff in support of the Department's mission to provide comprehensive care and quality service to Louisiana’s Veterans and their families. After five years as Secretary, I have made the decision to retire effective January 1, 2013.

As I formally announce my retirement, I have taken time to reflect upon the many accomplishments of LDVA, some of which I have listed below:

Opening and maintaining Veterans Parish Service Offices in every parish across the state, ensuring Louisiana Veterans and their families receive the help they need right in their local community. Through LDVA parish offices, Louisiana Veterans and their families received nearly one billion dollars in VA compensation and pension benefits in Fiscal Year 11.

Expansion of eligibility for all Louisiana Veterans and their spouses into LDVA's five state-of-the-art Veterans Homes as well as the addition of generators at all locations for use during emergencies. These top rated facilities are located across the state and offer long- and short-term care, rehabilitative therapies, Alzheimer’s care and more.

Growing the LDVA Veterans Cemetery program from one location to two fully operational cemeteries, Northwest LA Veterans Cemetery in Keithville and Central LA Veterans Cemetery in Leesville with a third location, Southeast LA Veterans Cemetery at Camp Villere in Slidell, currently under construction.

Incorporating the Military Family Assistance Fund (MFA) into LDVA programs to help members of the Louisiana National Guard and the Louisiana Military Reserves and their families address financial hardships they may encounter when members are placed on active-duty status. Since LDVA took over this program it has awarded over $350,000.00 to more than 2,500 members of the Louisiana National Guard and military reserves.

Developing LAVETBIZ, a business initiative established to provide additional opportunities for Louisiana-based Veteran and service-connected disabled Veteran-owned small businesses when they seek work with the State of Louisiana.

This is just a small sampling of the numerous accomplishments of LDVA and I am proud beyond measure to have been a part of these achievements.

I would like to thank Governor Jindal for allowing me to serve my fellow Veterans as Secretary of LDVA; his leadership and unwavering support for Louisiana Veterans is an inspiration. I would also like to thank the countless individuals who helped support me in so many ways and whose collaborative spirit was always there to guide the mission and goals of the Department.

As I move on to the next chapter of my life to spend more time with my family, I will always be grateful for the opportunity to serve my state and my fellow Veterans and I look forward to the continuing success of LDVA on behalf of Louisiana Veterans and their families.

Sincerely,

Lane A. Carson