WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today urged the Obama Administration to expedite the establishment and construction of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Archives at the VA Medical Center campus in Dayton. In a letter to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric Shinseki, Brown asked the VA to move up the project on the list of prioritized projects.
“The Miami Valley’s proud military tradition would make it a fitting home to the VHA Archives,” Brown said. “By continuing to delay this project, we increase long-term costs, threaten historic artifacts and records, and stymie economic development in Montgomery County.”
Currently, the VA archives are kept in multiple locations. When the VHA decided to consolidate its archives into one central location, Dayton was immediately considered as a potential home. If Dayton is chosen, the facility would be open to the public and would be the central location for all records, photos, and information gathered by the VHA over the years. It would be housed in one or two buildings on the site. This complex would bring jobs to the Miami Valley and solidify its reputation as a region with a high-concentration of military and veterans’ expertise and knowledge. In January 2012, Brown met with Sec. Shinseki urging him to select Dayton as the home to the Veterans Affairs Health Administration (VHA) Archives.
Full text of the letter is below.
July 24, 2012
The Honorable Eric K. Shinseki
Department of Veterans Affairs
Washington, DC 20501
Dear Mr. Secretary:
As the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) prepares its FY 2014 budget, I ask that you give full consideration to moving up the “Renovate for Historical Archives” projects – Building 129 and Building 116 on the Dayton VA Medical Center Campus—on the Integrated Priority List. For the FY 2013 VA budget, Building 129 project was listed as priority number 703 and Building 116 was number 792, ensuring that they would not be built during FY2013.
As we have discussed many times, there is no better place to house the archives of the Veterans Health Administration than in Dayton, home of the “Central Branch” of the National Home for Disabled Veterans. Created by Abraham Lincoln, the National Home was the precursor to the Department of Veterans Affairs. , From 1867 until 1930, the Central Branch housed and cared for thousands of veterans. Today, the Dayton VA Medical Center continues the Central Branch’s tradition as it continues to serve our nation’s veterans.
Delaying the establishment and construction of Veterans Health Administration archives adds to the long term costs of the project and threatens historic records and artifacts whose protection and utilization were the original motivators for establishing the archives project.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to continuing our work regarding the archives project.
United States Senator