Sioux Falls in Minnehaha County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Department of Veterans Aﬀairs
Near the beginning of the 19th century two wars were fought in two widely separated Spanish possessions. Men from South Dakota were federal combatants in both conflicts. The 1898 Spanish-American War was fought in Cuba, only 90 miles from Florida, while action in the 1899 Philippine Insurrection took place thousands of miles away in the North Pacific Ocean in the Philippine Islands. Two decades later another generation of men from South Dakota served in Europe during World War I. To attend to the needs of these veterans, a federal office opened in 1921 in Sioux Falls to process benefit claims. This small contact benefits office soon became a regional office, and it then assumed oversight of benefits for all veterans living within the state.
South Dakota Congressman Royal C. Johnson successfully spearheaded a movement to consolidate the administration of benefits for veterans at a time when veterans affairs were managed by a number of federal agencies and bureaus. In 1930 the Veterans Administration (VA) was established. Later, legislation was introduced in Congress for the construction of a hospital in eastern South Dakota to be named Royal C. Johnson Veterans Memorial Hospital.
After an influenza outbreak struck the Sioux Falls Army Air Force base during World War II, the War
Following the end of World War II, a general medical and surgical hospital for veterans was constructed. It opened in July 1949. Twenty-five years later a major mission change occurred when an agreement was sighed with the University of South Dakota School of Medicine. The VA medical center then became a teaching hospital and first USD medical students arrived in 1964.
The name Veterans Administration was change to the Department of Veterans Affairs in 1989 at the time the national director became a member of the President's cabinet. However, it still continued to be known by many as "the VA."
The Sioux Falls VA has had an enviable record of growth and high-level professionalism since its unpretentious beginning as a small contact benefits office. Today the medical center provides 17 specialty programs and state-of-the-art diagnostic and monitoring equipment. While the Dakotas Regional Office administers benefits other than health care for veterans and their families.
Erected 2008 by Minnehaha County Historical Society.
Location. 43° 31.967′ Touch for map. This marker is at the entrance to the Sioux Falls VA Medical Center. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2501 W. 22nd St., Sioux Falls SD 57117, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Columbus College (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Children's Care Hospital & School (approx. ¼ mile away); Drs. Van Demark (approx. 0.7 miles away); Battleship X (approx. 0.8 miles away); AAUW Sioux Falls Branch (approx. 0.8 miles away); The Old Yankton Trail and Stage Road (approx. 0.9 miles away); Ronald Reagan (approx. 1.3 miles away); Abraham Lincoln (approx. 1.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sioux Falls.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
Also see . . . Royal C. Johnson Wiki Page. (Submitted on January 12, 2016, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota.)
Categories. • Politics • War, Spanish-American • War, World I • War, World II •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 12, 2016, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 334 times since then and 39 times this year. Last updated on January 13, 2016, by Keith S Smith of West Chester, Pennsylvania. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 12, 2016, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.