WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH), along with U. S. Representatives Mike Turner (OH-10) and Warren Davidson (OH-8), applaud the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) formal announcement establishing the VA History Office (VAHO), which includes the National VA History Center (NVAHC) at Dayton’s VA Medical Center (VAMC). The lawmakers were instrumental in working with the VA Secretary Robert Wilkie to move this monumental project forward.  

Brown, Portman, Turner, and Davidson have been working for years to make the History Center in Dayton a reality. In August 2018, the members of the Ohio delegation penned a letter to VA noting that this partnership would not only help honor our nation’s servicemembers, but also bring greater economic development and tourism to the area. In June 2018, during then-nominee Wilkie’s Senate hearing, Brown secured a commitment from Mr. Wilkie that he would work to move forward with plans to house the VA History, Research, and National Heritage Center at the Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC). Brown fought for years to bring the history center to Dayton (learn more).

“The establishment of the VA History Office is an exciting development to officially launch the National VA History Center, which will be a great honor for the Dayton community and Ohio veterans,” said Brown. “I applaud VA’s decision to establish a formal office to collect and preserve the history of countless servicemembers for display at Dayton’s VA Medical Center, which has a distinguished 150-year history serving Ohio veterans.”

“Ohio is home to nearly one million veterans and I’m pleased that Secretary Wilkie has begun the process to formally collect and preserve the department’s history which will be housed at the VA National Archives in Dayton,” said Portman. “The VA helps honor those willing to risk their lives for our safety and security, and the history of their work should be preserved.  Today’s announcement furthers our efforts to make good on that promise.”

“I strongly advocated over the past two administrations for the VA’s history be placed here in Dayton, which is home to thousands of veterans. Additionally, the Dayton VA Medical Center was one of our first disabled soldiers’ homes established by President Abraham Lincoln. I am proud that we are finally seeing this commitment come to fruition and that Dayton will be the hub of researching, organizing, and preserving the VA’s history,” said Turner.

“As a former Army Ranger and avid student of history, I’m glad this new educational resource will be available in the Dayton VA History Center,” said Davidson.

The National VA History Center complement the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson – the world’s oldest and largest museum of military aviation – and anchors 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 National VA History Center also works seamlessly with nearby Wright State University, with its nationally recognized Graduate Program in Historical and Archival Administration.