WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, following actions by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs officially established the National Veterans Affairs History Center at the Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC). A representative of Brown’s office will attend the Memorandum of Agreement signing ceremony today in Dayton, which empowers the VA and community partners to start staffing, fundraising, and developing the Center’s operations and facilities.
“All Ohioans should be proud Dayton will be home to the National VA History Center, and I join the Dayton community and Ohio veterans in celebrating this huge honor today,” said Brown. “The Dayton VA Medical Center has a distinguished 150-year history serving Ohio veterans and now people from around the country will come to the Miami Valley to learn about those who’ve served. This is a big day for Ohioans and all those who’ve worked to bring this center to Dayton.”
Community partners at today’s ceremony will include: the City of Dayton, Montgomery County, Dayton Development Coalition, American Veterans Heritage Center, Greater Miami Valley MyVeteran Engagement Board, Dayton History, and the Dayton Foundation. This action is the final step toward the History Center becoming a reality.
In January, Brown secured a commitment from VA Secretary David Shulkin to uphold the Memorandum of Agreement placing the VA History Center at the Dayton VAMC. Brown has also written to the VA in support of locating the Archives in Dayton – which is home to one of the nation’s largest Air Force bases and one of the original U.S. veteran’s facilities – and has continuously called for Dayton to house the Archives in talks with former VA Secretaries Robert McDonald and Eric Shinseki.
A timeline of Brown’s efforts calling for the VA National Archives, now the National Veterans Affairs History Center to be placed in Dayton are below:
The VA History Center will complement the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson – the world’s oldest and largest museum of military aviation – and will become the anchor of Dayton’s West Third Street “Corridor of Innovation,” which includes a Wright brothers’ bicycle shop, the home of African American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, the Wright brothers’ airplane factory, and a building that was part of the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb. The VA National Archives could also work seamlessly with nearby Wright State University, with its nationally recognized Graduate Program in Historical and Archival Administration.