Brown Convenes Roundtable with Ohio Veterans in Geauga County

CHARDON, OH – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) traveled to Chardon today to meet with Ohio veterans. Veterans from Geauga County attended the roundtable. Brown will take the veterans’ priorities back to Washington, where he sits on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

“Our men and women in uniform answered the call to serve, and we have a responsibility to make sure they have everything they need to support their families, care for their health, and land good-paying jobs as they transition to civilian life,” said Brown.

As a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Brown has long fought to improve the lives of Ohio veterans. Some of his recent actions include:

  • Passing legislation to secure benefits for Ohio veterans exposed to Agent Orange:
    • President Trump signed legislation into law to help ensure veterans who served in Vietnam’s territorial waters and were exposed to toxic Agent Orange chemicals during the Vietnam War receive the benefits they’ve earned. 
  • Securing an amendment to key Defense bill to help Ohio veterans harmed by toxic burn pits
    • In June, the Senate passed its National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which included an amendment based on Brown’s bill to help study the effects of burn pits on servicemembers’ health.
      • The military relied on open-air burn pits to dispose of toxic waste in Afghanistan and Iraq, which exposed servicemembers and veterans to toxic chemicals and fumes that have been linked to certain deadly diseases. The House of Representatives passed its own version of the bill, and the two bills will soon be reconciled in a conference committee when Congress returns in September.
    • This legislation would:
      • Require Department of Defense to evaluate servicemembers for toxic exposure during routine medical exams and directing the Department to share whether each servicemember was stationed near an open-air burn pit; and
      • Enroll servicemembers exposed to toxic airborne chemicals or stationed near an open burn pit in the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry, unless the servicemember opts out.
  • Introducing legislation to prevent the VA from punishing veterans for its own accounting mistakes:
    • Brown reintroduced legislation alongside Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.) earlier this year to prevent the VA from charging veterans for its own accounting mistakes.
      • The Veterans Debt Fairness Act would reduce overpayment errors and require the VA to hold itself, and not veterans, accountable for its mistakes.
      • The VA annually sends as many as 200,000 overpayment notices totaling thousands of dollars to veterans and their families, sending them into crippling debt and withholding future benefits payments until the debt is paid. These overpayments are often a result of the VA’s own accounting errors, but the VA puts veterans and their families on the hook for repaying the debt.

Brown is the longest-serving U.S. Senator from Ohio on the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.