March 17, 2020

MVRC Veteran Helps Get Local Highway Designated As Memorial Highway

  Military Veterans Resource Center Veteran, Mike Metzger, played a big role in getting a piece of highway US 23 dedicated as a Memorial Highway in honor of SGT Michael Keith Hamner, a Ross County native who fought and was killed selflessly in the Vietnam War. “In September of 2018, I was performing my adjutant duties at American Legion Post 757 and a man came in asking about a memorial sign. Once he talked to the bartender, she came and got me and I was introduced to Dean Bennett. He and his wife do a good bit of traveling and have seen quite a few signs in Kentucky and thought ‘why not have a sign made for Mike?’. They grew up in Massieville and Dean wanted a sign on US 23 commemorating his childhood friend, Sgt. Hamner’s, ultimate sacrifice for his country during Vietnam. I thought about it for about a week, before Brandon [Taylor] and I spoke to local ODOT. They informed me that any highway signage must be passed through legislation at the state level. I then got a hold of my district representative, State Representative Gary Scherer’s, office in November by way of an advocacy letter that was written for a Social Work policy class. After lots of emails checking progress of the bill, which originally started as HB 266, and 3 different aides to Representative Scherer, we finally moved into the final phase last month. Fast forward to March 4th and House Bill 276 was signed […]
June 11, 2018

Healthy Habits – Living Intentionally

Living Intentionally: 3 Easy Steps to Minimalism for the Military Veteran By: Dixie Bishop Minimalism is a lifestyle that helps to eliminate excess clutter and consumerism, while focusing on what’s truly important and what gives our lives meaning. The internet is full of people living in tiny houses or downsizing to 100 items. Those philosophies can be extreme and don’t apply to most minimalist. Living this lifestyle isn’t really that complicated. The concept is simply to gain more, with less. Its replacing material possession with experiences while simplifying your life. As military veterans, we are already trained to do this. When we deployed, we packed the essentials. One bag with uniforms and gear, and another with personal items. We knew not to pack five bags, because we would be hauling around those bags during our 24 hours of travel. We packed what we needed, and what was important to us. Minimalism uses the same concept in our everyday life. It’s intended to help you delete the unnecessary metaphorical baggage that you’re hauling. Today, I’m sharing three easy steps to help you remove clutter and teach you ways to start living intentionally. Step one: Take inventory and make goals. Write down what’s important to you and create objectives. This may be anything from spending more time with family, saving for vacation, fantasy football, or binge-watching Netflix. You don’t have to give up what you love to be a minimalist. Next you should create a list of things you want to remove […]
April 9, 2018

Family Time

By: Ryan Sargent In honor of April being the Month of the Military Child, here are a few things that are most important for children. Quality Time: Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages has helped countless couples navigate how to best love each other. Within those pages, he mentions that every child’s love language includes Quality Time. The best present to give our child is our presence. Mom, dads, and primary caregivers (whatever role that may be) have way more leverage than they realize in a child’s life. Spend time with them, make time for them, learn about them, schedule activities they enjoy, and participate with them. Learn the latest lingo and embarrass them with it. Apparently, a grown man saying, “This will be LIT FAM!” is not appropriate, at least that’s what my 16 year old says… but, it lends towards a good laugh. Make it fun. Here’s a list of a few local activities and resources in the Columbus, Ohio area. Similar things can be found in most cities, it can take some creativity and research. We may see them as activities or maybe one more thing to put on our calendar, but to our children, we are shaping their childhood memories in real time. When they’re grown, what will they look back on and remember? Use that influence wisely.   (Any of the below suggestions that are underlined, are clickable links to their websites. Click through, and plan your next activity!) Parks: These are great, free […]
April 2, 2018

Successful Tax Day in Stark County

Last week, on March 29, three of our tax specialists made the journey to the Veterans Service Commission in Stark County. Our specialists are certified through the Ohio Benefit Bank (OBB) and the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA). For the 17 veterans and spouses we helped with filling, they saved over $3,400 in filing fees. Not only are we saving them money, but combined, we were able to secure $15,000+ back in refunds.       Retired Army Major General, and MVRC Board President, Dan Hahn commented, “…Our specialists are trained is such a way, that they can handle virtually any tax issue or problem in the process of doing their taxes. This is a great service that we have offered the last couple of years. In each of the last two years, we’ve reached out to 500 vets, and we [are on track] to exceed that again this year. [Our hope] is that our veterans know that we truly care about them, and it’s not something we are giving them, but we are giving them an opportunity to once again find their purpose. This is not only value added to them, but to all the communities they end up living in.” We are grateful for Stark County’s VSC Executive Director, De Ann Covey, and Outreach Coordinator, Teresa White, for opening their facility to us, and for all the hard work they put in, in helping organize this event. It’s not too late to get help with your taxes. To […]
February 28, 2018

Healthy Habits – Is Organic Worth the Extra Expense?

Food for thought- Is organic worth the extra expense? By: Kelly Koons Organic has become quit the trend over the last decade. You probably pass by the organic produce section before coming to the regular produce or even see an entire section dedicated to just organic products at your local grocery store. If you’re one of the shoppers wondering if you should pay the extra price to be more health conscious, maybe this article will help you out. Here I’ll talk strictly about produce and some items which may be worth the extra price you pay for organic, and their long term affects on your health. What exactly is “organic”? It means products must be free of synthetic additives like harmful pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and dyes, and must not be processed using industrial solvents. Often times you’ll see a label that states “USDA Organic” which is the stamp of approval from the United States Department of Agriculture, certifying the organic farming process. Many people wonder if it’s beneficial to purchase organic foods since they are more costly. That’s a difficult question since so many factors go into a particular fruit or vegetable such as, the attraction insects and animals may have to it, region of growth, size, exterior layer and so on. To better help you determine if you are getting extra bang for your buck on your favorite produce, take note of the Dirty Dozen list below.  Everything on this has been tested and scientifically proven to contain more pesticides […]
February 13, 2018

Healthy Habits – How’s That Resolution Going?

By: Ryan Sargent Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash Most resolutions don’t make it past January 31st. Is that why gyms charge their “maintenance fees” in February? Maybe Valentine’s Day is strategically positioned so we can cope with chocolate? On many occasions I hear people talking about their resolutions, which is usually promptly followed by a look of disappointment for not following through a promise they made to themselves at the turn of the new year. They lost motivation, can’t seem to get their schedule around the change they started to make, or otherwise share words of defeat for not feeling capable or able to step up to the challenge. There must be a more effective way to make healthy change, right? Some of the drastic changes some of us expect: get a new career, lose 40 pounds in 12 months, go from never going to the gym to going for two hours a day. On New Year’s Eve, these sound admirable and almost doable – we get caught up in the moment and make promises. Once we get out of the starting blocks, however, we quickly feel defeated. If you dig a little deeper and explore the impact this dynamic has on our mental health, it might have you reconsidering how you approach goal setting. Setting these kinds of goals, expecting ourselves to achieve the impossible, and then beating ourselves up when we fail closely remind me of a common thinking error called, “All-or-Nothing Thinking”. This nasty little trait can fuel a […]
February 9, 2018

10 Inexpensive Date Ideas

With Valentine’s Day upon us, I thought it would be fun to make a list of 10 inexpensive date ideas in Columbus. If you’re anything like me, it’s easy to get in a rut of doing the same old things, so it’s fun to explore the city through someone else’s eyes. 1. Go ice skating at the Columbus Blue Jackets Winter Park, presented by Worthington Industries at McFerson Commons. ($5/kids $10/adults, includes skate rental) 2. Show your competitive side at Pins. They have Duckpin Bowling, Pinball, Ping Pong, Shuffleboard, Bocce Ball, Foosball, and Giant Jenga. (games range from 50 cents-$10/hr) 3. Think you would be a good detective from all the crime shows you watch on Netflix? Find a good deal on Groupon for an Escape Room. These are especially fun with a group of friends! 4. Visit your favorite frozen yogurt joint, and take a stroll around Easton. Whether you’re people watching, or window shopping, there’s something for everyone! 5. Something everyone must do at least once, is explore German Village and have a cream puff from Schmidt’s! 6. When the snow finally melts, you can climb 6,000+ square feet of wall for free (if you have your own harness) at the Scioto Audubon Metro Park. 7. Take advantage of free admission every Sunday, at the Columbus Museum of Art. 8. Enjoy a coffee while taking in the picturesque beauty of the Topiary Park. 9. Step back in time at the Slate Run Living Historical Farm. Take a peek […]
February 1, 2018

New Year, New Career job fair a success

  Many of the 150 veterans who attended the New Year, New Career job fair on Jan. 18 left with new contacts, job leads and in some cases, interviews. In its fifth year, more than 40 employers representing a wide variety of industries participated in the fair. “Military career fairs re a great opportunity for veteran job seekers,” said Kelley Koons, veterans services specialist for Military Veterans Resource Center (MVRC) and fair organizer. “They give veterans a chance to meet employers who value their and give them an edge over others during the hiring process,” Koons added. Employers were just as pleased as the job seekers who attended the fair. Dee Terrie from Caterpillar said that they scheduled 17 interviews at the fair. Ten of those interviewed moved on to second interviews and four have already started working. Terrie added that she was pleased with the applicants from the job fair and looks forward to participating again next year.
January 26, 2018

Free income tax filing assistance for veterans

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Jan. 26, 2018) – Military Veterans Resource Center (MVRC) is partnering with the Ohio Benefit Bank (OBB) and the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) to offer free income tax filing assistance to military veterans and their spouses. Veterans and their spouses will need to bring a valid photo ID, their DD-214 (or other evidence of military service), and their income tax records. Social Security cards are required for all dependents, including children. The new IRS identification requirements is to help keep identity theft at a minimum. A pre-appointment information form is required to be filled out and brought to the filing appointment. Those who do not bring the necessary documentation will not be able to file. A full list of all required documents is available here. Those filers who are claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit and/or are claiming child dependents may experience a delay in their refunds this year. Those forms are expected to be processed near the middle of February 2018. Appointments are available at the Columbus office on Tuesdays and Thursdays until April 18. Contact Doug Schultz at 614-636-4362 or to make an appointment. The Columbus office is located at 1395 E. Dublin-Granville Rd., Suite 350. The Ohio Benefit Bank is a program of the Ohio Association of Food Banks. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) grant program is an IRS initiative designed to support free tax preparation service for the underserved through various partner organizations. This service helps low- to moderate-income […]
January 26, 2018

Teens stand at high risk of gambling addiction

By Bruce Jones LSW, LCDC III, NCGC I, OCPSA One More Chance Administrative Coordinator Most people see the stereotypical “gambling addict” as a middle-aged (or older) woman or man relentlessly feeding coins into a casino slot machine for hours on end, day after day, ignoring their spouse, losing their job and blowing their retirement savings. But today about one in eight of the eight million compulsive gamblers in the U.S. are teenagers. And several gambling experts believe this group represents the fastest-growing segment of people hooked on betting. Many of the triggers that incite out-of-control gambling in adults have the same effect on teens, such as the “rush” of the game, the false belief that “the big one” will happen any second and the insanity of continuing to wager even when losing big. But teens face some unique risk factors too. They: …spend a lot of time alone or online. Many live in virtual worlds playing games or talking with friends so solitary activities seem normal. …have more free time and are more easily bored. School or work isn’t as time-intensive or as demanding as adult careers and family obligations. …lack the experience and maturity to fully understand how to handle money responsibly. Just as is true with other high-risk behaviors, their brains have not matured completely. They don’t completely comprehend what consequences may flow from their behavior and choices – making them even more vulnerable to addiction disorders. In most states, teenagers cannot bet in casinos or buy lottery […]
January 24, 2018

Goodwill looking for security officers for Ohio BWC

Goodwill Columbus has several security openings at the Bureau of Workers Compensation building downtown (corner of Spring and High). Starting pay is $13 per hour, with increases after training. Mandatory overtime, benefits, uniforms provided. Promotion opportunities are available as well. Goodwill is interested specifically in hiring veterans. There are five positions on three shifts available: Please note, when clicking on each link to the specific position, you will be asked to create a jobseeker account before being able to view the details. Security Officer (Wednesday-Sunday 10p-6a, Monday & Tuesday off, mandatory overtime.) Security Officer (Thursday-Monday 2p-10p ** mandatory overtime**) Security Officer (Monday-Friday 2pm-10pm) About Goodwill Columbus:
January 22, 2018

What a government shutdown means to you and your VA benefits

The VA has pursued a comprehensive approach to diminish the impact of a partial or full government shutdown on veterans and their family members. In general federal activities that are authorized to continue during a funding lapse, are excepted activities. The two main categories of excepted activities are those authorized by law, and those involving the safety of human life or the protection of property.  Below are the functions and programs the VA has identified to be legally excepted during a shut down. These essential services include providing: consistent, high quality medical care; compensation and pension benefits; housing; and other services. Basically this means the following: The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) will be fully funded, meaning all VA clinics, CBOCs and hospitals will continue to function as normal to include: Medical services, medical community care, medical support and medical and prosthetic research. The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) will be suspending all outreach, the GI Bill call center, all public contact activities, all appeals, pre-discharge activities, transition assistance, Chapter 36 counseling, Vet Success on college campuses and quality assurance programs. The VBA WILL continue the following services: Administer the insurance and Loan Guaranty programs, ongoing processing and payment of compensation, pension, education, and vocational rehabilitation benefits; and processing monthly benefit payments. The Bureau of Veterans Appeals (BVA) will stop processing ALL claims appeals. The National Cemetery Administration (NCA) will cease all activities during the shut down. The VA’s Office of the Inspector General will cease all activities during the shut down. […]