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Legislation Would Expand Support For Caregivers Of Military Veterans

Credit WCPN

Democratic Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown is calling for more support for people who provide caregiving services for military veterans. Brown is co-sponsoring legislation, called the Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act, that lawmakers say would offer caregivers assistance with financial aid, child care, legal counseling and other needs. 

Such services are currently only available to veterans who have served since Sept. 11, 2001. The bill would also allow military veterans to transfer their GI Bill benefits to a dependent who is also a caregiver.

In a conference call Wednesday, Brown told reporters the proposal would extend the assistance to caregivers for veterans of all eras.

“The bill makes caregivers for all veterans, regardless of when they served, whether it’s after 9/11 or before, eligible for supports services, including a monthly stipend, caregiver training through the VA and help with travel expenses,” Brown says.

The senator says the bill would also expand support for caregivers of veterans with mental health injuries.

“Particularly caregivers of those who served in uniform shoulder incredible responsibilities. They often put their lives on hold, They often sacrifice their own help and finances to care for loved ones. All those who served should be able to live life with dignity that befits their service when they return," he says. "We owe it to these heroes who care for them.”

Brown says eligible veterans and caregivers would be phased into the program “based on need.” 

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Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.