WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) was presented with a commemorative flag and certificate by representatives of the U.S. Vietnam War Commemoration for joining its Commemorative Partner Program. The U.S. Vietnam War Commemoration program was authorized by the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act to honor the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. As a Commemorative Partner, Brown can host events that demonstrate our nation’s gratitude to and respect for Vietnam veterans and their families. Each event must meet at least one of the following objectives:
- To thank and honor Vietnam War veterans, prisoners of war, personnel missing in action, and their families for their contributions and sacrifices.
- To recognize the contributions of the Armed Forces during the Vietnam War and of the Federal agencies, governmental agencies, and non-governmental agencies that worked with or helped support them.
- To recognize the contributions made by Americans at home during the Vietnam War.
- To emphasize how the military research conducted during the Vietnam War advanced technology, science and medicine.
- To highlight the contributions of the United States’ allies during the Vietnam War.
Brown’s first event as a Commemorative Partner will be this Saturday, June 14, 2014. Brown and his staff worked with the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) and the U.S. Armed Forces to track down more than 140 missing, lost, or overdue medals for 20 Northeast Ohio veterans and local families of deceased veterans, including 15 who served in the Vietnam War. The veterans will receive their military honors at a ceremony held before the Akron RubberDucks baseball game, where Brown will give remarks.
“I am proud and honored to be a Commemorative Partner to the U.S. Vietnam War Commemoration,” Brown said. “The courageous Americans who served in the Vietnam War and their families made an unimaginable sacrifice and have our deepest gratitude.”
Brown continues to recognize the contributions that veterans have made to our country. As the only Ohio Senator to serve a full term on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, Brown is committed to addressing issues facing Ohio veterans. Yesterday, legislation Brown voted for that would ensure accountability at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and improve the quality of health care that veterans receive passed the Senate. The Restoring Veterans Trust Act of 2014, sponsored by Senate Veterans Affairs Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT), would provide new authorities to the VA to help address system wide shortages and substantive changes in the leadership structure of the Department. The legislation would empower VA officials to remove poorly performing senior executives or those found to be manipulating data or other violations within the Department.
The legislation would also broaden the available medical options for veterans seeking care by extending provider networks to include community health centers, military hospitals, or private doctors. Additionally, the legislation would authorize emergency funding to help VA officials increase staffing levels of doctors, nurses, and other health care aids to address system-wide shortages.
In May, Brown toured the state to build support for his Significant Event Tracker (SET) Act, legislation that would ensure that unit commanders document events that individual service members are exposed to which might later be connected to Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS), mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI), or other injuries.