Begaye approves changes to veterans department
FARMINGTON — Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye has signed into law several changes to the tribe’s veterans affairs department.
On Saturday, Begaye ceremonially signed a resolution to amend the entity that oversees benefits, programs and services for veterans.
The resolution establishes the Navajo Nation Veterans Administration, which, under the president's office, will manage benefits, outreach and services.
Those services were previously managed by the Department of Navajo Veterans Affairs, which was under the Division of Human Resources.
Members of a new veterans advisory council the law established will provide the tribal president policy advice on veterans issues and concerns.
Begaye signed the resolution on Saturday at the Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort in Arizona, according to a press release from his office.
“This is your act. It came from your hearts and your prayers,” Begaye said to the veterans who attended the signing, according to the release.
Members of the Navajo Nation Council, as well as state and county officials, attended the event/
The president said housing, medical benefits and behavioral health are immediate priorities for veterans assistance.
"We need to help them as they have sacrificed for our freedom," Begaye said, the release states.
After the event, the president traveled to each of the five agencies to conduct symbolic signing ceremonies on Saturday and Sunday.