Spring 2019 Edition
Wreath Laying Honors Gold Star Families
ODVS Director Deborah Ashenhurst and the entire ODVS Columbus staff were privileged to join Governor Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Frank LaRose, the Ohio National Guard, legislators, veterans organization leadership and other dignitaries in honoring Ohio's Gold Star families during the annual Governor's Wreath Laying ceremony outside the Ohio Statehouse on May 22.
The solemn ceremony was highlighted by words of gratitude from the Governor and Secretary of State, heartfelt remarks from Gold Star father Jim Groves, a military flyover and a stirring rendition of “Taps.”
During her brief comments and introduction of Gov. DeWine, Director Ashenhurst said, “Today and this weekend, we honor our true heroes of our great country – not the star athletes, not the stars in Hollywood, but we honor tnickhose who gave their lives wearing the uniforms of our military fighting for the greater good of all humanity and preserving the rights that we hold so dear.”
The official party presented the wreath at the north end of the Veterans Plaza, which pays tribute to fallen men and women of service from Ohio.
All of us at ODVS join our state leaders and all Ohioans in expressing our deepest respect to all who serve as well as their loved ones, especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Watch the entire ceremony.
Recognizing Vets on Military Appreciation Month
May was Military Appreciation Month, and ODVS was in high-octane form with involvement in scads of events that paid tribute to our men and women of service. The list includes Director Ashenhurst joining Gov. DeWine at both the Ohio Military Hall of Fame for Valor Induction Ceremony on May 3 and the annual Holocaust Commemoration Ceremony on May 9, each held at the Ohio Statehouse. Also on the ODVS radar was the opening ceremony for the Eyes of Freedom traveling memorial in Wauseon (May 11), Military Signing Day at Hilliard Davidson High School and the Carry The Load Rally at the National Veterans Memorial & Museum (May 13), and the MilVets Armed Forces Day Luncheon in Columbus (May 17).
The month culminated with several memorable events leading into or wrapped around the Memorial Day weekend, including the Stark County Honor Court Mentor Breakfast in Canton (May 24), Westerville’s Field of Heroes tribute to women in the military (May 26) and the Gallia County Memorial Day ceremony (May 27). On May 29, Director Ashenhurst also participated in several events at The Memorial Tournament in Dublin including a brunch to honor current and past service members on Military & Veterans Day – tournament founder and host Jack Nicklaus made the rounds – and the Dublin AM Rotary’s tribute to service, which included a visit from Gov. Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine.
ODVS would like to thank all who made May 2019 one of our most memorable and enjoyable months of all.
Now's a great time to check out some of Ohio's best military monuments.
#SheServedToo - Ohio Women Veterans Conference
Be inspired. Be empowered. Be equipped.
At the 2019 Ohio Women Veterans Conference, attendees will hear from influential entrepreneurs, progressive panelists and perceptive healthcare professionals.
This year, we will host 12 breakout sessions and topics include:
- Maximizing Education Benefits
- The Veteran Entrepreneur
- Public Service as a Career Choice
- The Changing Landscape of the VA for All Generations
- Resiliency, Wellness ang Growth after Trauma
- Aging: It's Everybody's Business
- Sense of Purpose through Volunteering
Listen to the experiences of some of the most powerful and influential entrepreneurs while connecting with other like-minded women. Here’s a look at one of our new speakers.
Lyla Kohistany served on active duty from 2001-2007 as a Naval Surface Warfare and counter-terrorism intelligence officer. Today, Lyla consults for U.S. Special Operations Command and is the Director of Government Programs at the Cultural Intelligence Center, a global research and consulting firm focused on diversity and inclusion. Lyla also is President/Co-founder of PROMOTE, a nonprofit focused on creating inclusive, innovative Special Operations teams. Her conference topic: Cultural Change in the Military and Civilian Sectors.
Health and Wellness Areas
This year we are pioneering into new interactive areas such as HER2 – Health, Empowerment, Restoration, Relaxation. The HER2 Room is for one’s mental, physical, spiritual and emotional care. Learn to take care of your body, mind and soul. Join in early morning yoga, iRest during the afternoon, and expressive art and small group topics throughout the day.
Mix, Muster & Mingle
This year, uncover the pulse of Columbus while networking with fellow women veterans. Tours of the Ohio Statehouse and the new National Veterans Memorial and Museum are planned for the afternoon. The Columbus Clippers are hosting Ohio Women Veterans Night at Huntington Park – complete with reserved seats and VIP dining area. And yes, a woman veteran will throw out the first pitch!
ODVS Adds to In-Demand Jobs Week
ODVS was happy to stage several events in May as part of In-Demand Jobs Week, a statewide celebration of jobs, industries and skills that are in-demand in Ohio. Recognized annually during the first full week of May, In-Demand Jobs Week brings together community leaders, businesses, state agencies and legislators all across Ohio to inspire excitement and awareness among students and jobs seekers.
This year’s campaign began on May 6, which also happened to be National Nurses Day and the onset of Public Service Recognition Week – and ODVS led off by honoring registered nurses, LPNs and STNAs at our Ohio Veterans Home in Sandusky, the largest nursing care facility in Ohio. OVH Superintendent Terry Prince offered words of gratitude to all nurses on hand and supervisors handed out certificates of appreciation signed by Director Ashenhurst and Prince. Meanwhile, Assistant Director Sean McCarthy spent May 6 personally thanking all public employees at the Ohio Veterans Home in Georgetown.
The following day, Director Ashenhurst commended two local businesses – Spectrum and Hikma Pharmaceuticals – for their efforts to seek out, hire and incentivize veterans. She was joined during the Spectrum visit by State Representative and Air Force veteran Laura Lanese, who also offered remarks.
Nursing is considered to be one of the state’s most in-demand professions while telecommunications engineering specialists and pharmacists also are listed on OhioMeansJobs.com as official In-Demand Jobs in Ohio. View the complete list.
Learn more about Spectrum's Apprenticeship Program.
Enshrining Our Latest Hall of Fame Class
May began with the department joining forces with the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame Foundation to present the Enshrinement Ceremony to honor the 2018 Class of the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame. The event, held May 1, was held in the main lobby of the Riffe Center in downtown Columbus, where the beautiful bronze plaques of each Hall of Fame class are displayed.
HOF Foundation President Richard Finan served as emcee and introduced class members to the crowd, which included 31 state legislators, other distinguished guests and family members of the Hall of Famers. Director Ashenhurst and 2018 class representative Dr. Dana L. Robinson-Street offered remarks and spoke about a class that includes...
- Fredric Abrams, who established a sanctuary for orphans in the most impoverished areas of Africa;
- Paul Haller, who developed the Buckeye Hero Hunt for disabled veterans in southeast Ohio; and
- Cassie Barlow, who founded the annual Veterans Moving Forward resource fair that is held annually in Dayton.
The Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame recognizes veterans who served their country honorably and continue to serve and inspire after military service. The statewide 13-member Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame Executive Committee reviews nominations, selects the honorees and elevates the positive image of Ohio’s veterans through year-round promotion of the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame in collaboration with ODVS.
The 2018 class was inducted back in November and the plaque bearing the names of the class was on display at the Ohio Statehouse until its unveiling and permanent display at the Enshrinement Ceremony.