VETERANS AFFAIRS CHAIRMAN: BROTHERS, thank you for visiting the Veterans Affairs page on the national website of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America. To the veteran members of our Order, thank you for your service in the Uniformed Services of the United States and your ongoing contribution to our Irish, Catholic, American community. To all Brothers, please take this opportunity to review the links below with information about key veteran services and support available throughout the country as well as a monthly article highlighted key veteran benefits and Hibernian activities around the country. Please do not hesitate to contact our Veterans Affairs Chairman and/or Deputy Chairman if you have questions regarding these services, the National Board Veterans Affairs Committee, the AOH Veterans Pin, or the AOH Member Card Veteran Identifier.
Enumerated Role of the Veterans Affairs Committee Per the AOH National Constitution:
VETERANS AFFAIRS CHAIRMAN: Section 22. Shall: Serve to provide information and advice for members of the Order who currently serve, or who have served, in the United States military. The chairman shall focus primarily in areas pertaining to Veteran’s benefits, advocacy, and the development and maintenance of a historical record of Hibernians that have served. The individual appointed to this position shall be an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Armed Forces or an active duty member of the United States Armed Forces.
Links to Key Veteran Services, Supports, and Community Organizations Nationwide:
United States Department of Veterans Affairs – Key Benefits and Services Links:
- VA Facilities: https://www.va.gov/directory/guide/home.asp
- VA Pension for Wartime Veterans: https://www.benefits.va.gov/pension/
- VA Disability Compensation: https://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/
- VA Education Benefits: https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/
- VA Burial Benefits: https://www.cem.va.gov/cem/burial_benefits/index.asp
- VA Suicide Prevention: https://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/suicide_prevention/
- VA Health Care Enrollment: https://www.va.gov/health-care/
- VA E-Benefits: https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/
- National Archives (Records/Lost Medals): https://www.archives.gov/veterans
- Defense Personnel Record Information System (DPRIS): https://milconnect.dmdc.osd.mil/milconnect/public/faq/Documentation-DPRIS
(Also available through State Departments of Veterans Affairs)
State Veteran Assistance:
- National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs (NASDVA) Links: http://www.nasdva.us/Links.aspx (Link to every State veteran agency)
County & Local Veteran Assistance:
- National Association of County Veterans Services Officers (NACVSO): https://www.nacvso.org/
Other National Resource Sites:
- Federal Veteran Small Business Programs: https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/grow-your-business/veteran-owned-businesses
- US Department of Labor Veteran Employment Assistance: https://www.dol.gov/vets/
- National Resource Directory (Comprehensive National Resource Information): https://nrd.gov/
- Military One Source (Support for Active Duty/Reserve Component Personnel & Families): https://www.militaryonesource.mil/
Major National Veterans Organizations:
- Catholic War Veterans of the United States: http://cwv.org/
- American Legion: https://www.legion.org/
- American Veterans (AMVETS): http://amvets.org/
- Disabled American Veterans (DAV): https://www.dav.org/
- Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW): https://www.vfw.org/
- Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA): https://vva.org/
Service-Oriented National Veteran Non-Profit Organizations:
- Bunker Labs (Veteran Owned Business Incubator): https://bunkerlabs.org/
- The Mission Continues (Veteran Community Service): https://missioncontinues.org/
- Team Rubicon (Veteran Civil Emergency Support): https://teamrubiconusa.org/
- Team RWB (Veteran Community Service & Physical Activity): https://www.teamrwb.org/
Travis Manion Foundation (Veteran Community Service): https://www.travismanion.org/
Chairman Introductory Monthly Article (9/2020):
BROTHERS, I must begin my first report to as Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee by congratulating all the newly elected officers and directors. Our Order continues to benefit from extraordinarily talented and professional leadership, and I extend my gratitude to the departing National Board that has led and served the Ancient Order of Hibernians so ably over these past four years.
I must also express my gratitude to several brothers without whose support I would not have this opportunity to address you now. First, to our National President, Danny O’Connell: thank you for your confidence in me and for this opportunity to serve my fellow comrades-at-arms in our Brotherhood. Next, to “Brother Seamus”, Jim Green of Pennsylvania: thank you for your mentorship, your example, and your achievements in leading our veteran brothers. Your service as National Chairman for Veterans Affairs for President McKay’s administration has been exemplary and transformational. I can only succeed you and I am pleased to share this message from you to our brothers: “I enjoyed my terms in office and hope they were fruitful. As the new Deputy Veterans Affairs Chair, I will be sure to stay in touch!” Finally, thank you to my brothers in the Patrick Pearse Division in Columbus and the Ohio State Board for their tremendous support.
I have been a member of the AOH for just over 5 years and have served as Veterans Affairs Chairman for our Division and the Ohio State Board for most of that time. I have been honored to participate in the initiatives undertaken under Chairman Green’s term regarding the AOH Veteran Pin and the veteran identifier on the AOH Membership Card. I served as our Division Financial Secretary for two years, where I first began the process of identifying Division veterans in our membership database. I am also serving my current term as Division Vice President for the last year and half.
Professionally, I have served as a veteran policy advocate with the Ohio Department of Veterans Services (ODVS) for 11 years. During this time, I have authored and implemented state policies that have expanded veteran opportunities in higher education, professional licensing, business, and employment in the State of Ohio. I also serve as the Governor’s designated Ohio Team Leader for the National Governors Challenge to Prevent Suicide among Veterans, Servicemembers, and their Families.
My military career began with enlistment in the United States Army after the September 11th attacks on Washington and New York. In January 2005 I was deployed to Iraq as a Tank Platoon Leader with the U.S. Army’s 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, where I led more than 300 combat patrol missions. I later joined the Ohio National Guard where I served as a Company Commander and Battalion Executive Officer in the 16th Engineer Brigade.
I look forward to employing my experience in support of our veteran brothers and actively engaging my fellow Veterans Affairs Chairmen across the country as we work to build our Order. I will also be posting monthly updates highlighting key veteran services and support as well as Hibernian veteran activities from across the nation. In the meantime, I encourage all Hibernians, not just veterans, to check out the veteran resources listed above on this website. I also encourage any Hibernian to contact me with questions they may have regarding veteran benefits for themselves, their friends, or family members. GARRYOWEN!
Veterans Affairs Chairman