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Timothy A. Espich

Timothy A. Espich

A native of Springfield, Ohio, Tim joined the military in 1981 at 17 years old and served in the Army and Ohio Army National Guard for nearly 24 years. Soon after retiring as a master sergeant in 2005, he began to make an indelible mark on Ohio veterans. In fact, Gov. Bob Taft tabbed him with the duty of Director of the Governor’s Office of Veterans Affairs. When Ted Strickland was elected as Governor in 2007, he asked Tim to continue in that capacity, and eventually leaned on him to create a new state agency: the Ohio Department of Veterans Services (ODVS). Known as a poised and highly effective leader, Tim took this challenge to heart by structuring the department and its position descriptions, reaching out to veterans organizations across the state, establishing satellite offices at VA facilities, and pushing forward several new programs and initiatives such as the Ohio Veterans Bonus, the Ohio Women Veterans Conference, and Justice Involved Veterans. He also expanded training standards for County Veterans Services Officers and Commissioners and helped establish Ohio’s first Veterans Outreach Program. In addition, he was instrumental in shaping numerous pieces of key legislation that help Ohio vets – and in improving military records-keeping nationally. With Governor Strickland’s support, Tim worked with the Department of Defense to start a pilot program with a defense contractor and all five branches of the military to allow ODVS to access military records electronically. This reduced wait times on retrieving DD214 discharge papers from weeks to mere minutes and saved taxpayer dollars by eliminating manual processing. Currently the Executive Director at the Greene County VSO, Tim enters the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame at age 56.