Honoring Fallen Heroes And Assisting Ohio's Veterans
By Rep. Al Landis (R-Dover)
June 20, 2013
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It has been a busy first six months of the 130th General Assembly. The House of Representatives has addressed a wide array of issues affecting Ohioans across the state. Each week brings new legislation before the House, ranging from bills aiming to reduce unemployment to statutes regarding boating regulations.

Despite the ever-changing nature of the state’s affairs, one issue that is consistently a priority is addressing how to best care for our veterans. Recently, we have been busy in the House working to ease the transition back to civilian life by ensuring good-paying jobs are available to our returning service members, while simultaneously doing our best to honor those who, sadly, do not return home.

I am proud to report that the House recently passed House Bill 98, legislation that strives to help Ohio’s returning soldiers by assisting them in finding employment. This bill would allow state licensing agencies to consider a veteran’s skill set when they apply for a license, as well as grant special extensions to members of the Reserve and National Guard whose licenses expired while they were mobilized. This is common-sense legislation that connects employers with well qualified jobseekers, and works to ensure that when our service members return from duty, they can still call Ohio home.

It is always the hope that every single one of our service members safely returns home to their families after completing their tour of duty. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. The deep sense of sorrow that accompanies the loss of a loved one in the line of duty is an all too familiar feeling for many Ohioans. When our service members do not return home from the field, it is vitally important that their families are still cared for, and the memories of our fallen soldiers are honored.

In an effort to express our gratitude, last month the Ohio House of Representatives presented the Ohio Military Medal of Distinction to the families of 16 fallen soldiers. The Medal of Distinction ceremony is a somber time of recognizing the great loss our state has suffered, while honoring the memory of some of our finest military members. It’s always a sobering occasion, but also a privilege to stand alongside these families that are suffering such great loss, express our gratitude, offer our condolences, and celebrate the life of their loved one.

Because Ohio has the sixth-largest veteran population in the nation, the members of our armed forces are always a top concern for the House of Representatives. Whether it is honoring those who gave their lives so bravely for our freedom or helping returning soldiers find jobs, we are continually making efforts to support our military members and their families.

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