Secretary Wilkie talks Veterans experience, welcome kit

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VA Secretary Robert Wilkie addressed the Student Veterans of America (SVA) National Conference last week via live stream from Washington, D.C. In his speech, Wilkie outlined his priorities and the role the Veterans Experience Office (VEO) plays in the department’s improvement.

“Customer service is what our [VEO] team is all about,” said Wilkie. “VEO is about listening to Veterans like you, and then making improvements based on your feedback.”

One way VEO has used feedback is by creating a helpful product called the VA Welcome Kit. The kit, which was designed with student Veterans in mind, was first introduced and tested at the SVA National Conference last year in San Antonio, Texas. This year, after refining the kit, VEO passed out hundreds of them before Wilkie’s speech.

“The Welcome Kits can help guide you,” said Wilkie. “Whether it’s time to go to school, to get a job, to buy a house … or make plans for your own care as you age.”


The Welcome Kit has guides and checklists to help Veterans apply for education benefits, VA health care, disability ratings, and caregiver benefits.

Welcome Kit guides

The kit also includes a booklet explaining eligibility and VA processes. Additionally, it maps out the life of a Veteran from transition out of the military to retirement and care. Veterans can use this map to find out where they are in the VA system.

“I was able to readily identify how this [map] relates to where I am today,” said Navy Veteran, Jae Kwon, after reviewing the Welcome Kit for the first time. “So, when I go to a VSO or the VA to and talk to a representative . . . I’ll be more prepared.”

Click on the carousel below to view sample pages of the Welcome Kit.

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