WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today met with U.S. Secretary Eric Shinseki to urge him to place the Veterans Affairs Health Administration (VHA) Archives at the VA Medical Center campus in Dayton.
"The Miami Valley - one of two sites still under consideration - is a natural fit for the VA Archives," Brown said. "Ohio is home to nearly one million veterans and world class VA facilities. The proud military tradition of the region would make it a fitting home to the VHA Archives. This move would promote economic development and solidify Ohio as the nation's leader in veteran's medical care and expertise."
Earlier this year, Sen. Brown co-authored a letter with the Ohio Congressional Delegation urging the Obama Administration to locate the archives in Ohio.
Currently, the VA archives are kept in multiple locations. When the VHA decided to consolidate its archives into one central location, Dayton was immediately considered as a potential home. If Dayton is chosen, the facility would be open to the public and would be the central location for all records, photos and information gathered by the VHA over the years. It would be housed in two buildings. This complex would bring jobs to the Miami Valley and solidify its reputation as a region with a high-concentration of military and veteran's expertise and knowledge.
Dayton is home to one of the nation's largest military bases and one of the original U.S. veteran's facilities. The VHA Archives would also complement the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson, which is the world's oldest and largest museum of military aviation - hosting 1.3 million visitors annually.
The VHA archives at the Dayton VA Medical Center would become the anchor of Dayton's West Third Street "Corridor of Innovation" which includes a Wright Brothers' bicycle shop, the home of renowned 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 VHA archives could also work seamlessly with nearby Wright State University, with its nationally recognized Graduate Program in Historical and Archival Administration.