Veterans Day provides a special opportunity for us to recognize the bravery and service of the men and women who protect our freedom. Ohio is home to almost 800,000 veterans, the sixth largest veteran population in America. They come from diverse backgrounds, walks of life and points of view, but all share one trait in common: a commitment to a cause higher than self.
I have had the privilege of meeting many courageous and self-sacrificing men and women who have served our country. They have defended our country’s values and freedoms, and their remarkable contributions to both country and community are a primary reason that America remains the great country that it is today.
Honoring our veterans also means finding ways to support and assist them as they return home and reenter civilian life. In the Ohio legislature, we’ve worked hard to remove barriers and create opportunities for our veterans to continue their education and provide ways for them to receive college or licensure credit for their military training and experience. We’ve directed resources to connect veterans with employment opportunities and encouraged Ohio’s employers to hire veterans and recognize the important contributions they can make in the workplace.
In the state’s new operating budget, my colleagues and I worked diligently to help increase funding for various veterans’ organizations, like Save a Warrior, a program aimed at helping veterans and first responders who suffer from PTSD. The bill also includes $3 million in FY20 and $3 million in FY21 for an innovative program called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), which focuses on groundbreaking research for brain trauma and other mental health concerns.
I hope every Ohioan will join me in taking the opportunity this Veterans Day to pause and thank a neighbor who served many years ago; to stop a stranger in uniform and shake their hand; to listen to the stories of those who have served; or to help connect a veteran with resources available to them. But please remember, this goes well beyond Nov. 11.
To veterans — past, present and future — we thank you.
Senator Schaffer represents the 20th district in the Ohio Senate, which encompasses all of Fairfield, Guernsey, Hocking, Morgan, Muskingum, and parts of Athens and Pickaway counties. Schaffer wrote this column to be published in The Circleville Herald.