During remarks delivered just prior to the signing of the bill giving the Veteran’s Administration Cabinet rank, President Ronald Reagan said, “This bill gives those who have borne America’s battles, who have defended the borders of freedom, who have protected our nation’s security in war and in peace—it gives them what they have deserved for so long, a seat at the table in our national affairs. . . . I like to think that this bill gives Cabinet rank not just to an agency within the government, but to every single veteran. And so in signing this bill, I’m saying to all our veterans what I say to new Cabinet members, ‘Welcome aboard.’” The bill was signed at the National Defense University in October 1988. This and other photos are available as prints through the Naval Institute Photo Archive. You may order online , place orders or leave messages 24 hours a day at 1-800-233-8764, or contact [email protected] .