WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senators JD Vance (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Representatives Mike Turner (OH-10) and Greg Landsman (OH-1) introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to permanently house the National VA History Center in Dayton. The Veterans Affairs Centennial and Heritage Act of 2024 would help the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) honor and promote the history of America’s service to veterans and permanently place the National VA History Center on the Dayton VA Medical Center campus. The Center will collect and preserve VA related art, artifacts, photographs, records, and other historic materials and contribute to tourism, jobs, education, and economic development in the greater Dayton region.
“Founded in the wake of the Civil War, the Dayton VA Medical Center was one of our nation’s first hospitals for American soldiers,” said Senator Vance. “This institution is steeped in an incredible history, and I am proud to sponsor legislation to honor the crucial role the Department of Veterans Affairs and its predecessors have played for over a century in providing the care our veterans need. I’m incredibly grateful that this history center will be located here in Dayton and that it will advance the history of this Department for generations to come.”
“The National VA History Center is a great honor for the Dayton community and Ohio veterans and recognizes our state’s unique history of service,” said Senator Brown. “This legislation will ensure that this Center will be permanently, in Dayton doing the important work of collecting and preserving the history of countless servicemembers and honoring the Dayton’s VA Medical Center’s 150-year history of serving Ohio veterans.”
“The Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center is among the finest facilities for veterans’ services in the United States, and I am pleased that it is the home for the future museum and archives for VA history,” said Congressman Turner. “For decades, the Dayton VA has served the healthcare needs of over 40,000 veterans in our community, going above and beyond to provide our service members with the benefits that they earned protecting our freedoms. This critical piece of legislation will preserve the Department of Veterans Affairs’ history of outstanding work and document the special relationship between the United States and our veterans.”
“It’s extremely important to honor and support our veterans. The National VA History Center would bridge the past with the present, attracting visitors to Ohio so they can better understand our veterans’ sacrifices and know they will never be forgotten,” said Congressman Landsman.
“The bill honors veterans by helping to preserve and promote the history of America’s support for veterans. It also ensures that Ohio will be central to the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2030,” said Jeff Hoagland, President and CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition.
The National VA History Center will coordinate public education and outreach alongside collecting and displaying historic artifacts and archival records. Before the centennial of the Department takes place in 2030, the history program will recommend plans including the coordination of history-related events and other activities. This will give the VA the ability to operate history and outreach programs similar to the programs other federal departments and agencies have established.
Read the legislation here.