Bruce, I am a real estate broker in Jacksonville NC (Camp Lejeune). There is a difference in a VA Loan, and a VA Vendee loan. A VA loan, is one in which a member of the Armed Services (past or present) can use as one of the benefits of having served in the military. The VA loan is not obtained thru the government;it is BACKED by the government. Sort of like, the Veteran's Admin, "co-signs" for the borrower. A VA loan can be obtained thru lenders such as Countrywide, etc.
The VA Vendee Loan program is for properties that have gone into foreclosure, and are actually loans given by the Veteran's Admin. The administration still has to approve the loan based on the usual criteria such as credit history, income, and debt. Anyone can apply for these loans, whether military or civilian. There is a down payment requirement with vendee financing. You can get more info about these loans at http://www.ocwen.com
website, which is the service provider for VA foreclosures.
Good Luck. If I can help let me know. firstname.lastname@example.org