Guest Editorial Week of 9/02/19

By State Senator Theresa Gavarone

Helping Ohio’s military families

Every day, the men and women of our military make significant sacrifices to secure our freedoms. Their bravery makes it possible for those of us at home to live, work, and raise a family peacefully. However, their commitment would not be possible without the love and support of their families. In 2009, the Ohio General Assembly took steps to recognize the important and unique role they play by designating August as "Ohio Military Family Month."
Missed dinners, birthdays, anniversaries and even births of new members of the family are a regular occurrence. However, commitment and strength in the face of adversity is the fuel that gives our soldiers, sailors, and airmen the ability to fight our country's battles. We see this every day from the families who frequently sacrifice treasured time with their own loved ones so that we may be with ours—and for that, the citizens of Ohio are eternally grateful.
Often times, military spouses do not only give up time with their loved ones, but also forgo career opportunities to move to the various places their loved one may be stationed. This often means picking up their entire life and moving as often as every two or three years.
In an effort to help military families who are stationed in Ohio, my colleagues in the Senate and I recently passed Senate Bill 7, which would allow active duty military spouses to obtain a temporary occupational license so that they can continue to work in their profession when they come to Ohio. This bill was identified as one of the Department of Defense and Ohio Senate's top priorities. I was proud to co-sponsor this important piece of legislation to better support our military families by making it just a little bit easier during an often difficult time of transition.
It is also vitally important that while we honor those who have perished to keep us safe, we too recognize and praise their families. Just last year I had the privilege of supporting legislation both in the House and Senate that recognized two fallen heroes: Marine Sgt. David R. Christoff and Lt. Col. Thomas P. Belkofer. I joined their families in two different locations in Wood County to unveil signs forever memorializing their service to our country. The time I was able to spend with those families contain memories I will never forget.
The foundation of the military family is crucial to the defense of our nation, and I hope you will all join me during Ohio Military Family Month to recognize them for their selflessness and commitment to our great nation. So, to all the men, women, and children who serve in this very unique role - thank you, and may God keep your loved one safe

Senator Gavarone represents the 2nd District in the Ohio Senate, which encompasses all or parts of Erie, Fulton, Lucas, Ottawa and Wood counties. SB 7 is pending before the House of Representatives Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Committee.


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