Supporting and Strengthening Our Local Military Community
A guest column by Senator Dave Burke
June 19, 2018
Veterans, active duty, reserve military members and their families all play a critical role in keeping our nation and community safe. Many of them have sacrificed in ways that are difficult for those who have not served in that capacity to comprehend. As a community, it is important for us to support our service men and women to ensure they are connected to the many resources that are available to them.
I encourage you to share some of these resources with your friends and family who may find value in them, and do not be afraid to offer your support personally. We are a community that takes care of one another, and our military members and their families are often some of the last to ask for help.
The Ohio National Guard Family Readiness and Warrior Support Programpromotes family readiness, quality of life and empowers military families through education, communication, resources and community involvement. The national guard is oftentimes a geographically dispersed force, and this program is a good resource to connect them with one another.
Ohio Military Kids offers a statewide program that partners with the 4-H Youth Development of the Ohio State University to support the military youth of any branch—not just the National Guard. The program offers educational and recreational opportunities such as day camps, museum and zoo visits and traditional camp programs.
There are also a number of USO organizations who take care of our Active Duty, National Guard, Reserves and their families every day, which you can contact at any time:
USO of Northern Ohio
Executive Director: Bruce Bille
USO Of Central and Southern Ohio
Executive Director: Sherry Ems
A full directory of veterans service organizations is available at https://va.gov/vso/. These groups offer a wide range of support and opportunities to build camaraderie among veterans, service members and their families.
Finally, the Ohio Department of Veterans Services will be accepting nominations for the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame Class of 2019 on September 1. I encourage you to take steps to recognize the many incredible members of our community who have shed the uniform, hung up their boots and have continued to serve their communities through exceptional volunteer work, advocacy, business and public service. Visit the Ohio Department of Veteran Services website at http://dvs.ohio.gov/main/veterans-hall-of-fame.html to learn more.
If you have questions about any of the resources above or have ideas about how we can better support our military community, I encourage you to reach out to my office by calling (614) 466-8049 or emailing me at Burke@OhioSenate.gov.