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Military

Staff Sgt. David J. Thatcher (left), Lt. Col. Edward Saylor (center) and Lt. Col. Richard Cole (right) stand at the Doolittle Raider Monument at Memorial Park in Dayton, Ohio.
Jerry Kenney

The last remaining Doolittle Raider passed away early Monday morning in San Antonio. Dayton native retired Air Force Lt. Col. Richard Cole was 103 years old.

Cole took part in a top secret mission to bomb Japan in 1941, just four months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, when 80 men took off from an aircraft carrier. They were led by Lt. James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle and soon after their mission they became known as the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine
Credit Lewis Wallace / WYSO / WYSO

Gov. Mike DeWine Wednesday announced a new cabinet-level position with a special focus on Ohio military and aerospace installations.

DeWine made the announcement at the annual Dayton Development Coalition meeting at the Schuster Performing Arts Center.

DeWine told the gathering of mostly business and military officials Retired Col. Joseph E. Zeis Jr. will serve as senior advisor for aerospace and defense.

He’s work to grow economic development opportunities for Ohio’s multibillion dollar defense industries.

 The new Dayton VA Fisher House is located just a short distance from the medical center.
Fisher House

Last week, the Dayton VA Medical Center celebrated the opening of Fisher House, a new facility offering free lodging for family members, veteran caregivers and active-duty servicemembers while they’re visiting the VA.

Fisher House Manager Betsy Striebel says the facility aims to serve as a comfortable “home away from home” for patients under the VA’s care.

wright-patterson air force base gates
Flickr Creative Commons user soundfromwayout

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base could receive a big chunk of federal funds to expand its National Air and Space Intelligence Center. The money is part of the National Defense Authorization Act. If approved, the $182 million funding package would be the largest in the base’s history.

The 'Movie Memphis Belle' appearing this week at Grimes Field airbase in Urbana, Ohio.
Jerry Kenney / WYSO

An assortment of WWII-era planes took to the skies above Dayton Wednesday, as the National Museum of the United States Air Force unveiled its latest exhibit. The show includes the restored B-17 bomber called The Memphis Belle. The infamous plane was the first to complete 25 missions over Europe during the Second World War. The plane and its missions were the subject of a documentary, and a feature film.

The renovated B-17 used in the 1990 film the movie, also called Memphis Belle, was part of the early morning flyover above the museum.

Dayton VA Medical Center

The Dayton VA Medical Center is launching a new effort to reach out to veterans who may qualify for health benefits.

The organization is hosting its first ever Benefits Enrollment Fair Thursday, March 29. The event is aimed at helping veterans and their families navigate the often complex sign-up system.

Ted Froats, a spokesperson for the Dayton VA Medical Center and a veteran of the Iraq War, says like many veterans, he wasn’t sure if he qualified for medical benefits when returned to civilian life.

www.mentalhealth.va.gov

President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order that would extend mental health care to military service members transitioning out of the Armed Forces and back to civilian life. Miami Valley veterans advocates say connecting more struggling veterans with the mental health services they need could help reduce the growing risk of suicide among such veterans in the region.

wright-patterson air force base gates
Flickr Creative Commons user soundfromwayout

A new designation will honor Ohio schools that demonstrate commitment to helping students and families connected to the military.

 State officials announced the Purple Star Award for military-friendly schools during an event Tuesday at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, near Dayton.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert McDonald has announced that Dayton will be home to the VA national Archives at the VA Medical Center.

Ohio’s U.S. Senator, Sherrod Brown was behind that effort, which he says began long ago.

wright-patterson air force base gates
Flickr Creative Commons user soundfromwayout

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in southwest Ohio is getting a new commander this summer.

The Dayton Daily News reports that 43-year-old Col. Bradley McDonald will replace Col. John Devillier as the commander of the 88th Air Base Wing in June.

McDonald is currently the vice commander of an air wing that supports the U.S. Air Force Academy. He oversaw 3,000 military and civilian employees and a $150 million budget at the 10th Air Base Wing at the Air Force Academy in Colorado.

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