I worked for the VA for several years and I loved it. I love the population, and that the ethic, at least at my VA was that it was an honor and privilege to care for those who served -- patients were less likely to become "the pna in room X," but to be treated with dignity and respect.
It can be a difficult group to work with -- a lot of MH and substance issues, chaotic lives, histories of not taking care of themselves -- it seems everyone has DM, CAD, some kind of pulmonary thing going on.
The pay is based on the going salaries in the area -- they will not be the highest paying, but they will be comparable, and yes, the benefits are good: 5 weeks of a combination vacation/sick leave, 11 paid holidays (which if you work you get double time), good retirement plan...and if you stay in the system you can move to any state and not have to get a local license, plus your benefits move with you. Usually have a good tuition reimbursement program too, and they want their nurses to move up (if you're ADN, you'll get plenty of encouragement to get a BSN, they also want master prepared nurses). VA nurses are unionized as part of the federal workers union. The good thing is that you are well protected. The frustrating thing is that so is everyone else, so sometimes it's really hard to get rid of people who are incompetent.
I don't know how things are in Atlanta, but my sense it that in general they have good orientation/preceptiving programs for new grads. They also tend to do a lot of research, and are often located near universities and have a teaching mission, so there's lots of opportunities to be exposed to new ideas and approaches.
The hardest thing about the VA is that it is the federal government -- that means everything (like getting hired) usually takes a really, really long time. You have to be prepared to wait out, and wade through, the system. Also get used to an amazing collection of acronyms -- again, the legacy of the military.