WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown joined state leaders, veterans' service organizations, members of the military and veterans for the second annual Ohio Military and Veterans Summit today. The summit, hosted by Attorney General Richard Cordray, is a collaborative effort to address the latest issues affecting veterans, military members, and their families.
"Too many Ohio veterans struggle to access the critical benefits they earned through their service," Brown said. "This summit is about increasing awareness of the services and programs available to Ohio veterans."
Organizations and individuals from across the state discussed how to build new partnerships to connect veterans and military members with the resources that are available to them. Other topics discussed include a financial bonus approved by Ohio voters last fall for new veterans, recently-passed legislation to help family members of active-duty military members, and other services available to those that serve and have served our country.
At the summit, Brown was joined by an Ohio veteran who recently received $25,000 in retroactive benefits that he earned through his service, but struggled for six years to receive.
Other officials attending today's hearing include: Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, Ohio Supreme Court Justice; John McWilliam, U.S. Department of Labor Deputy Assistant Secretary; Jack Hetrick, Director, Veterans Affairs' Integrated Service Network 10; and Bill Hartnett, Director, Ohio Department of Veterans Services.
Brown recently met with VA Secretary Eric Shinseki at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center to highlight improvements to the Medical Center provided for by the Recovery Act. They also discussed issues affecting veterans in Ohio. In April, Sen. Brown convened a field hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs in Cambridge, focusing on access to services and benefits for veterans living in the Appalachian region.
A member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Brown is the author of several legislative initiatives that would strengthen our nation's commitment to veterans by improving education reimbursements and expanding employment protection for former service members. Brown has held more than 150 community events since being sworn into office in 2007 - holding at least one roundtable discussion with community leaders in each of Ohio's 88 counties. Many of Brown's legislative priorities, including his jobs initiatives, originated from these discussions.