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History of Veterans Services
In May 1886, the Ohio Legislatures enacted laws providing for a Soldier’s Relief Commission of three members to be appointed for each of the 88 counties in the state. The state legislature saw a need to repay the dept owed Ohio’s Civil War veterans and formulated this set of laws to provide financial assistance for soldiers, sailors, marines, and their dependents or survivors.

The Soldier’s Relief Commissions functioned for nearly 60 years, providing for the needs of Ohio veterans. Each Soldiers Relief Commission, acting as a separate entity, was funded first by a maximum of 0.1 mill, then 0.3 mill, and finally 0.5 mill of the property value in each county where it has remained since 1910.

Increase in Assistance & Workload
As the fighting during World War II continued, it became apparent that the part-time Soldiers Relief Commission required assistance in handling the influx of veterans and the new federal benefits that they were entitled to. In 1945, the Ohio Legislature again took action to provide readily available assistance for veterans in making application for this multitude of benefits provided by the “GI Bill.”

In addition to increasing the size of the Soldier’s Relief Commission to five members, new provisions were added to the law allowing each Soldier’s Relief Commission to employ an honorably discharged veteran as a County Veterans Service officer (CVSO). Duties of the CVSO would be to “assist veterans and dependents in making application for any benefit provided under state or federal law.”

Legislation Changes
On September 14, 1988, legislation was introduced that changed the name of the Soldier’s Relief Commission to the Veterans Service Commission (VSC). Legislation changes made in 1994 helped define the mission and responsibilities of the VSC and created standards for both commissioners and County Veterans Service officers. Also in 1994, Ohio legislators mandated legislation that each county veteran service office provide regularly scheduled trips to and from VA medical centers for veterans having scheduled medical appointments.