For over three decades, I have served alongside incredibly brave women in the Ohio Army National Guard who continue to put their lives on the line for our country. However, these women should not needlessly put their health on the line when we can prevent it.
The number of women joining the military continues to increase; it is estimated that there will be over two million female veterans by next year. I am glad that more women are not only joining the military, but achieving more leadership roles than ever before. But as a result, we must keep up with the changing dynamic and prepare for the effects of these changes.
That’s why I recently introduced a bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) directly aimed at better understanding the unique health needs of women serving in the military. It will direct the Secretary of Defense to submit a report that summarizes the findings of the Millennium Cohort Study that relates to women’s health. The amendment will also identify areas for improvement in researching these issues and have a course of action to address any shortcomings. This simple amendment is a great starting point to understanding the specific short- and long-term impacts of service on women’s health. If we seize this window of opportunity to learn the effects of service on women now, we can save individuals, researchers, and hospitals a great deal of time and resources in the future.
The great news is, the information that we need already exists. The Millennium Cohort Study has been gathering data since 1999 in order to understand the “impact of military exposures on long-term health outcomes” on both male and female soldiers, Marines, airmen, and sailors. In fact, one third of the participants in the Study are women. And yet, shockingly little of the results reported focus on the unique health needs of female servicemembers. It is out there, it is time we put it to good use.
These women fought for our country, it is time that we fight for their health. We owe it to these women to make an investment into understanding their unique needs right now that will result in savings in resources, and lives, later on.
It is no secret that our nation’s servicemembers make tremendous sacrifices to protect and defend our nation. My bipartisan amendment takes steps to create a plan of action to ensure that the over 200,000 women serving in our military have the care that they have earned and deserve.
If you would like to learn more about this amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, or any other matters related to improving the quality of life for our servicemembers and their families, please call my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-2015, my Hilliard office at (614) 771-4968, my Lancaster office at (740) 654-2654, or my Wilmington office at (937) 283-7049.
The following may be attributed to Representative Steve Stivers (R-OH):
“I condemn the President’s tweet calling on Members of Congress to go back to the ‘crime infested places from which they came.’
The constituents we represent sent us to Washington with a job to do – maintain our economic growth, fix our immigration system, and look out for our veterans, to start. Swapping insults on the Internet makes our jobs that much harder.
The divisive rhetoric and personal attacks we’ve seen from the President and Members of the House over the weekend are unacceptable and stand directly in the way of progress.”
WASHINGTON – Last month, the Presidential Disaster Declaration delivered critical funds and assistance to help communities across Ohio recover from the recent severe storms, tornadoes, floods, straight-line winds, and landslides. Beginning today, some of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Disaster Recovery Centers across Ohio have new operating hours. The Recovery Center located in Circleville will now open for three days: Monday July 8 through Wednesday July 10. These centers provide assistance to individuals impacted by recent disasters.
“Disaster Recovery Centers play a crucial role in keeping individuals safe and supported throughout Ohio following natural catastrophes,” said Rep. Stivers. “I applaud the ongoing, collaborative efforts focused directly on restoring the homes and aiding the families affected. Especially if you are a resident near Pickaway County, I urge you to see what resources and assistance are available to you at the Pickaway County Office from July 8 to July 10.”
Through collaboration, these FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers are equipped with answers and solutions to the damage that the recent disaster caused. Representatives from FEMA, U.S. Small Business Administration, Ohio Emergency Management Agency and other Ohio agencies are now available at these locations to answer questions and explain further what resources and assistance they can offer.
If you, or someone you know, has been impacted by this disaster, access your assistance now by registering for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance online at disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362, TTY 1-800-462-7585, or VRS 1-800-621-3362.After registering for federal assistance, you can also visit your nearest Disaster Recovery Center, including the Pickaway County Offices at 160 Island Rd. Circleville, OH 43113.
Read more about the Disaster Recovery Center in Circleville by clicking here.
The natural disaster occurred from May 27 to May 29, and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency identified 942 homes and buildings that were destroyed or significantly damaged and 837 additional homes and buildings that suffered minor damage or were slightly affected.
One week following the formal emergency declaration submission, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved the request to deliver critical funds to communities in Ohio, including three in the 15th Congressional District. Hocking, Perry, and Pickaway Counties are eligible for Individual Assistance Program and all Ohioans are now eligible for Hazard Mitigation.
47,640. That is the number of veterans currently living in the 15th Congressional District. They have served our nation in the military, fighting for the principles, freedoms, and liberties we celebrate on the 4th of July. The stories of our veterans are the story of our nation, and I am incredibly grateful to the Library of Congress that documents the stories and memories of our nation’s heroes through the Veterans History Project. With over 110,000 accounts, the Project allows future generations to hear the stories and see the memoirs firsthand to better understand and learn from some of A47merica’s most defining moments.
No two stories are alike. For some, their time in the military was positive and gratifying, for others, it was more difficult. Regardless, their service impacted each of them, and it impacts our nation. That is why this project started in 2000 as an initiative to share a diverse array of veterans' personal experiences from every conflict since World War I. Sharing these stories will better inform and teach future generations to come who may never have the honor of learning about the realities of war directly from veterans who participated.
As a Brigadier General in the Ohio Army National Guard, and as a Member of Congress, I have had the pleasure to serve besides and meet many service members and veterans over the years. I believe that telling their stories is one of the best and most important ways to honor their sacrifice, and that is why I am partnering with the Veterans History Project to ensure the brave men and women from Ohio’s 15th Congressional District have the opportunity to be a part of the project. If you, or a veteran you know, would like to be interviewed for the Veterans History Project, please contact my office at 740-654-2654.
Again, let’s keep these stories alive.
When I served as a Battalion Commander in Operation Iraqi Freedom, I worked alongside countless courageous men and women – and not just Americans. Tens of thousands of Afghan and Iraqi individuals pledged their service to our missions, serving as interpreters and support staff, and they were absolutely critical to our success. Every day in Iraq, I had an interpreter with me. He stood, literally, by my side throughout my time deployed. Never once did he turn his back on me, and I will not turn my back on him, or the thousands of others who put their lives on the line for the United States.
Unfortunately, their service to our missions puts a target on their back, and on their families, for ISIS and other Muslim extremists, and they are seeking safety in America. That is why, in 2009, the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program was created, in order to ensure that their service and sacrifice doesn’t penalize them and their families. Together with Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), and Seth Moulton (D-MA), I am working to increase the number of SIVs. Our bipartisan coalition is cosponsoring the Afghan Allies Protection Act, which authorizes 4,000 new visas to bring 4,000 of our allies to safety. We say “no man left behind,” and the SIV program keeps that promise.
This bipartisan effort to support our allies gives me optimism that we can find solutions to our nation’s immigration problem, despite the divisive rhetoric that surrounds the issue. For instance, Republicans and Democrats agree that all migrants who come to our nation deserve due process and justice. Unfortunately, the massive influx of individuals seeking asylum has put a strain on the system. With only 450 judges available to hear the claims, folks have to wait just under two years to have a decision; currently, over 730,000 cases are pending.
That’s why I partnered with Representative Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) to introduce amendments to increase the number of immigration judges and to speed up their hiring process. Thankfully, Congress passed an aid package that included the language, so the claims can be processed in a timely manner and individuals do not have to be indefinitely detained and children do not have to be separated from their families.
Seeing the bipartisan support for the SIV program and for my amendments shows me that it is possible to build trust and consensus on an issue that continually divides us. I am a firm believer that building trust on small issues can allow us to tackle the big issues, and I will continue to do my part to advocate for solutions that respect our nation of laws and the dignity of individuals. If you would like to learn more about my amendments, or the SIV program, call my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-2015, my Hilliard office at (614) 771-4968, my Lancaster office at (740) 654-2654, or my Wilmington office at (937) 283-7049.
The following may be attributed to Representative Steve Stivers, regarding the passage of H.R. 3401, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act, 2019:
“Overcrowded detention centers, children separated from their parents – these are symptoms of a larger problem caused by a broken immigration system that has allowed a backlog of 730,000 cases to pile up for years. With today’s vote, we’ve taken a huge step to solve that problem by including funds to hire additional immigration judges, something I have advocated for and that has bipartisan support. I’m glad that my colleagues in both the House and Senate addressed the long-term health of our system, while also providing funds needed to care for children in the custody of the U.S.”
Addressing the challenges of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) is not an easy feat. Through over 30 years of service with the Ohio National Guard, I have had the opportunity to personally get to know individuals affected by PTS. I am committed to ensuring these courageous men and women have the access to the treatment they need to heal – both physically and mentally.
Throughout June, our nation comes together to recognize National PTS Awareness Month. As individuals continue to join our nation’s armed forces, and as awareness of PTS grows, it is crucial that we continue researching and finding solutions to fight against and prevent PTS.
Currently, I am one of 96 veterans in Congress, spanning every branch of the military. Our unique experiences allow us to share the common goal of helping our veterans get the resources they need, and we frequently hear from veterans about the issues that matter to them. Many of them highlighted the desire to find solutions for the effects that follow combat, including PTS.
That is exactly why I recently introduced the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers Act, or the PAWS Act. This will close a loophole to allow veterans suffering from mental illness to benefit from a service dog. With a bipartisan coalition, I am also working to create a work-therapy program, where the veterans who suffer from PTS work to train the dogs for service, and by training the dogs, help alleviate their mental health symptoms.
Through my time in the service, I have personally met veterans whose lives have been dramatically improved through working with a dog. But this goes beyond anecdotal evidence; research by Kaiser Permanente has shown that veterans who work with dogs show fewer symptoms of PTS and depression, have better interpersonal relationships, a lowered risk of substance abuse, and better overall mental health.
We cannot turn our backs on those who put their lives on the line. About 30 percent of Vietnam Veterans and about 11-20 percent of Veterans who served in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom are affected by PTS. As a result, bipartisan efforts are needed to find treatments and advancements. These may not completely eradicate PTS, but they will take strides to improve the lives of veterans nationwide.
If you have any questions about what I am working on regarding PTS, or any other issue facing the federal government, I invite you to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-2015, Hilliard office at (614) 771-4968, Lancaster office at (740) 654-2654, or Wilmington office at (937) 283-7049. You can also subscribe to my e-newsletter at www.stivers.house.gov.
WASHINGTON – Representatives Steve Stivers (R-OH), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Kim Schrier, M.D. (D-WA), and Trent Kelly (R-MS) offered an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act aimed at improving the health of female servicemembers.
For women who serve our nation in the Armed Forces, there are unique health needs that arise from their service. It is vital that the impacts of service, such as deployment, exposure, and stress, on their health is understood. These factors may put female servicemembers at greater risk for conditions like gynecological disorders, low birth weight, preterm birth, and reduced fertility.
In 1999, Congress authorized the Millennium Cohort Study to evaluate data on the health conditions of all members of the Armed Forces throughout their enlistments in the military. This amendment directs the Secretary of Defense to submit an annual report on the findings of the Study relating to women’s health, including completed, ongoing, and future projects. The Secretary must also identify areas for improvement and courses of action to address shortcomings.
“In over three decades with the Ohio Army National Guard, I’ve served alongside incredible women who put their lives on the line for our country, but they should not needlessly sacrifice their health to preventable situations,” Congressman Steve Stivers said. “It’s crucial that we understand the unique problems they are facing so that we can find solutions, and this amendment is an important first step.”
“Women in the military are here to stay making up almost 18 percent of our armed forces and nearly 30 percent of the student body at our military academies. It’s time to recognize that gynecological and perinatal services must be augmented. I’m proud to join with Representatives Stivers and Schrier to require that the Secretary of Defense report on women’s gynecological and perinatal health and identify areas that have been overlooked and where more information is needed. This information will help Congress craft a battle plan for strengthening our health care system so that it’s more responsive and equitable,” said Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Chair of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee.“As a doctor, I know that stress and combat operations can have lasting effects on the human body. We are forever indebted to the brave women and men who continue to step up to serve our country. Yet for too long, we have only been studying the health effects of service on men’s bodies,” Congresswoman Kim Schrier, M.D. said. “We owe it to these women and future generations to gain a full understanding of how serving in the military and using military equipment affects their health, including reproductive and perinatal health, so that we can take appropriate steps to safeguard their well-being.”
“I am proud that I now serve with more women, serving our country in support and combat units, than at any other time since joining the Mississippi Army National Guard in December of 1985,” Congressman Trent Kelly said. “This amendment will help inform the Department of Defense, and Members of Congress, on the important reforms currently underway at the Defense Health Agency so our female servicemembers receive the care they deserve.”
Since the Study was first authorized, more servicemembers have deployed overseas, and combat roles have opened up to women. Today, there are over 200,000 women enlisted in the U.S. military, which is expected to continue to rise. By 2020, it is estimated that there will be over 2 million female veterans, underscoring the importance of understanding their unique health care needs.
The following may be attributed to Representative Steve Stivers, regarding the announcement of investment in Fayette County and Deerfield Township (Morgan County):
“This is great news for Fayette and Morgan Counties that allows for crucial updates to facilities and equipment that will improve public safety,” Stivers said. “It’s a worthwhile investment and partnership between local and federal government, and I look forward to seeing the results.”
WASHINGTON – Yesterday, Ohio received federal funds to assist individuals impacted by the severe storms, tornadoes, floods, straight-line winds, and landslides that occurred at the end of last month. Representative Steve Stivers (R-OH) applauded the announcement of this Presidential Disaster Declaration as a critical step in helping our communities recover.
“I am proud of the collaborative efforts that quickly delivered funding and assistance to the people of Ohio,” Congressman Stivers said. “In the span of three days, there were 21 tornadoes that touched down throughout Ohio. It is absolutely crucial that we continue working to provide quality resources so that individuals and families can recover from the damage and resume their lives as soon as possible.”
One week following the formal emergency declaration submission, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved the request to deliver critical funds to communities in Ohio, including three in the 15th Congressional District. Hocking, Perry, and Pickaway Counties are now eligible for Individual Assistance Program and all Ohioans are now eligible for Hazard Mitigation.
In addition, the Presidential Disaster Declaration also now allows the state to apply to for crisis counseling assistance, disaster unemployment assistance, and disaster case management help. Further, this declaration states that business owners may now qualify for low-interest loans through the United States Small Business Administration.
From May 27 to May 29, the Ohio Emergency Management Agency identified 942 homes and buildings that were destroyed or significantly damaged and 837 additional homes and buildings that suffered minor damage or were slightly affected.
If you, or someone you know, has been impacted by this disaster, access your assistance now by registering for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance online at disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362, TTY 1-800-462-7585, or VRS 1-800-621-3362.
1022 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Raised in Ripley, Ohio, Steve Stivers learned from his mother and father the importance of family, hard work and public service, which have been the values he has carried with him through his life, whether as a student at The Ohio State University, a soldier serving overseas, as a State Senator, or as a Member of Congress.
Stivers is currently serving his third term as a Member of Congress and represents Ohio’s 15th Congressional District, which is made up of 12 counties including: all of Athens, Clinton, Fairfield, Hocking, Madison, Morgan, Perry, Pickaway, and Vinton counties, and parts of: Fayette, Franklin, and Ross counties.
Stivers is serving his third term his third term on the Financial Services Committee, which oversees the banking, insurance, real estate, public and assisted housing, and securities industries. Members who serve on the committee also work on housing and consumer protection legislation and oversee Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Reserve Bank.
In addition, Stivers has been tapped to serve on the Committee on Rules, which is charged with determining which bills reach the House Floor for a vote. Historically, the Committee is often known as “The Speaker’s Committee” because it was chaired by the Speaker up until 1910 and is the means through which the Speaker of the House manages the House Floor. The Committee also determines how long and under what rules the full body of the House will debate each bill.
Throughout his career, Steve Stivers has led the way supporting programs and initiatives to encourage job creation, promote economic development, and put our country’s fiscal house in order. As he wrapped up a successful first term in office, two of Stivers veterans bills, the HIRE at Home Act and TRICARE for Kids, were rolled into the National Defense Authorization Act and signed into law by the President. In his second term in office, Stivers had two bills make their way to the President’s desk. These two bills, H.R. 1391 and H.R. 4189,would re-name two postal facilities located in Ohio’s 15th Congressional District after our fallen veterans. These bills are a small measure Congress can take to honor the lives of brave service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.
Prior to running for Congress, Stivers served in the Ohio Senate and before that worked in the private sector for the Ohio Company and Bank One, where he focused on promoting economic development and encouraging job creation.
A career soldier, Stivers has served 29 years in the Ohio Army National Guard and holds the rank of Colonel. He served the United States overseas during Operation Iraqi Freedom in Kuwait, Iraq, Qatar and Djibouti where he led 400 soldiers and contractors and is proud that each and every one returned home safely to the United States. Stivers received the Bronze Star for his leadership throughout the deployment.
Stivers received both his bachelor’s degree and his MBA from The Ohio State University and resides in Columbus with his wife, Karen, and children, Sarah and Sam.
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