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Bonuses Honor Ohio’s Veterans

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There are currently more than 900,000 veterans living in Ohio, including more than 200,000 who served in Iraq, Afghanistan or the Persian Gulf. These veterans risked their lives to defend our country and establish freedom worldwide, and we must do all we can to give back to those individuals who put their lives on the line when they answered the call to duty.

Last year, Ohio voters approved an initiative to grant veterans and their families a bonus for their service. The Ohio Veterans Bonus Program will award eligible veterans $100 for each month spent on active duty in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Persian Gulf. Veterans are eligible if they served in the Persian Gulf between August 2, 1990 and March 3, 1991; Afghanistan since October 7, 2001; and Iraq since March 19, 2003.

Eligible veterans may receive up to $1,000 for in-theater service. Additionally, veterans who served on active duty anywhere else during this time period may receive $50 per month, with a maximum amount of $500. Veterans may combine these bonuses for a maximum total benefit of $1,500.

Families of deceased veterans may also receive $5,000 if the veteran lost his or her life due to injuries sustained during these wars, as well as the bonus worth $100 per month of service, up to a maximum total of $6,500. Family members of veterans who were classified as prisoners of war or missing in action may also receive a bonus payment of $5,000.

As a staunch advocate for veterans services, I am pleased that Ohio’s men and women in uniform will be afforded these bonuses, even though we can never fully repay them for their service. They have served as true models of the American spirit, and it is vital that we continue to revere their courage and determination.

In addition to providing these brave individuals with bonuses, we can also honor them by flying the American flag and casting our votes in every election. By continuing the legacy that has been protected by our veterans throughout the years, we can be sure that we never take their service for granted.

For more information about the veterans bonuses, I encourage you to visit www.veteransbonus.ohio.gov or call 1-877-OHIO-VET.