Memories on Memorial Day A soldier’s story, a family’s grief Thank You for your sacrifice Seaman community honors local veterans with special tribute Former PES teacher dies in tragic accident All County Senior Citizens Day celebrated Parks signs with SSCC Soccer Senior Profile: Lexie Bunn Jessie Rodgers Memorial Day services set for county Truly our greatest generation Bertha Lashley Maia Swartz Jessie Rodgers Errors spell the end of Devils’ baseball season Senior Profile: Carry Hayslip Lady Hounds’ season ends with tourney loss to Paint Valley North Adams hosts Youth Volleyball Camp Time to get “Stroke Savvy” OVCTC, GE host Community Service Day 65 years in the pulpit Jamison, Richmond, Minshew conquer second race of 2017 Brushcreek season Manchester’s Cox signs with Rio basketball program Senior Profile: Andrew Weeks A dozen SHAC champions Thomas D Lute Sandra F Schwab Turning something broken into something beautiful Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide One dead, two injured in ATV accident 2017 Graduation Ceremonies West Union Alumni and Friends Educational Fund announces 2017 Scholarship Awards TAG students tour Pennsylvania Commissioners proclaim Older Americans Month Building an anti-drug culture one t-shirt at a time SECTIONAL CHAMPIONS NAES students awarded Science Camp scholarships SSCC’s Associate Degree Nursing program celebrates graduation Bauman selected to National 4-H Congress Lois Pertuset Hazel Nixon Philip L Paeltz Manchester Youth Volleyball Camp begins May 30 Jase Thatcher Figgins’ walk-off winner sends North Adams to Division III sectional finals Lady Hounds top East 10-3 in sectional opener Commissioner Pell, union reps travel to DC Forgotten experience brings back good memories for WUHS seniors Gordon Boldman Local teen injured in jeep accident BCI Investigation underway Rick Arnold Happy Mother’s Day- Do you want food? Robert Hodge Melvin Tipton Lady Dragons Basketball Camp begins May 22 Lady Devils Basketball Camp is May 30-June 1 National Day of Prayer celebrated in county NAES students enjoy day at GABP Car strikes Amish buggy near Winchester Eldon J Shoenleben Farming out life lessons to children and parents Proposed Medicaid changes could cost Adams County millions Annual ‘Redneck Run” returns to Manchester May 13 They really were the best of times West Union hosts Junior High, High School County Track Meets Figgins signs with SSCC Soccer Perfect again! Senior Profile: Caley Grooms James T Hughes Anderson signs with Rio Grande Basketball Senior Profile: Miranda Schiltz Playing for Dad, Part II Lady Indians win SHAC Big School title Danny Bryant Sadie Stamm Franklin E Brayfield Softball, baseball tourney match ups announced Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall coming to Georgetown next week Southern Ohio Genealogical Society offers program on ‘Family History Sources at the Ohio History Center’ Joseph A Johnson Jr Kramer tosses two shutouts in five days Trip to Akron = two more wins for Lady Indians softball Devils blank Dragons in non-conference battle Meade twins part of Rio baseball program Playing for Dad Senior Profile: Madison Welch As Mr. Seas It, for ACOVSD High School graduates We stayed up all night with Bob Clean up of Manchester’s abandoned gas stations continues Ribbon cutting held for canoe/kayak access sites Columbus Industries donates driveway repair to Animal Shelter North Adams Elementary recognizes March Students of the Month Animal Shelter Adoption Center announces new hours of operation Major road construction planned for summer months West Union Elementary honors March Students of the Month Charles D Jordan Betty Ginn Pamela M Hampton Former county sheriff celebrates 80th birthday

They fought for us

By Representative Brad Wenstrup –

You may have passed him on the street, or stood behind him in the checkout line at the grocery store. Perhaps you’ve sat next to him in the pew on Sunday morning. If you did, you probably didn’t realize you just brushed shoulders with a hero.
Like so many veterans, Joe (whose name is changed for privacy) is deeply humble about the sacrifices he made for our country. He answered the call to serve during the Vietnam War. After returning home from the frontlines, Joe later continued his service as a Cincinnati police officer. Then one day he received the news we all dread – the kind that sends your heart sinking and stomach churning. Joe’s doctor looked him in the eye, and told him he had bladder cancer and heart disease.
Joe visited my office to voice his frustration with the Cincinnati and Chillicothe VA hospitals – after serving our country with courage, he still couldn’t get the medical care he needed. Thankfully, the caseworkers at my District Office were able to contact both VA hospitals and work to get him immediate care for his heart and his cancer. We also helped him with his VA disability rating, which was bumped up to 100%.
Unfortunately, Joe’s story is all too common. When returning home from service, too many of our warfighters face an array of medical challenges further complicated by bureaucracy, delays, and significant variance in quality of care depending on where they seek treatment. But Joe’s story is a poignant reminder that fighting for veterans’ healthcare reform should be a cause close to every American’s heart.
Why? Because the staggering statistics of veterans caught up in the Department of Veterans’ Affairs claims backlogs or struggling to receive proper care are not just numbers on a piece of paper. Every number has a face and every statistic is a story. As an Army Reserve Officer and Iraq War veteran myself, this is personal to me. I believe it should be personal to all of us. The men and women spending long nights over mounds of paperwork or waiting in line at the VA clinic are our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters, our moms and dads, our neighbors and friends.
They are the ones who fought for us. Now, it’s our turn to fight for them.
Last week, the House of Representatives passed several bills that will translate into tangible improvements in the lives of our veterans. On Thursday, we passed the VA Accountability First Act of 2017 (H.R. 1259), which I cosponsored, to give the VA Secretary more flexibility to remove, demote, or suspend any VA employee for poor performance. Just last year, former VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson testified that it was too hard to fire bad employees at VA. This is common sense: our veterans deserve the best, and the VA should be able to hold employees accountable if they are not demonstratively providing veterans with proper care.
We also passed a bill I introduced to streamline and update the VA hiring process (H.R. 1367). Currently, the bureaucratic, inefficient hiring practices at VA hospitals make recruiting and retaining highly qualified candidates far too difficult. It’s simple: if we want to give our veterans the best possible care, then the VA has to be hiring the best possible medical professionals. And we passed the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protect Act (H.R. 1181), which I joined in introducing, to protect veterans’ constitutional rights from being taken away without due process. Learn more, here.
These common sense reforms are just the tip of the iceberg. As the Chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Health Subcommittee, I am committed to continuing to chip away at the challenges facing our warfighters when they return home, as well as to bringing much-needed accountability to the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital system. Heroes like Joe deserve to get the care they have earned, when they need it. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to shake up the system so we can continue to improve the quality of life and care for our veterans.
So here is what I offer to our nation’s veterans – We are grateful for you. Our nation called. You were the ones who answered. You put on the uniform of this country and kissed your family goodbye. Our veterans are remarkable for not seeking any special attention for what they have contributed to this country. Yet they have a right to the best our nation can provide: to uncompromised care, excellence in hospital care, and benefits without strings.
So here is what I want our veterans to know: just as you have fought for America, we will fight for you.

Congressman Brad Wenstrup is a United States Representative from the state of Ohio.

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