WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10), along with Congressman Greg Landsman (D-OH-01), introduced the Veterans Affairs Centennial and Heritage Act, bipartisan legislation that would codify the establishment of a National VA History Center (NVAHC) for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) introduced the companion legislation in the Senate. Currently, the establishment of the NVAHC exists only pursuant to Department Memoranda, this legislation codifies the center through an Act of Congress.

“The Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center is among the finest facilities for veterans' services in the United States, and I am pleased that it is the home for the future museum and archives for VA history,” said Congressman Mike Turner. “For decades, the Dayton VA has served the healthcare needs of over 40,000 veterans in our community, going above and beyond to provide our service members with the benefits that they earned protecting our freedoms. This critical piece of legislation will preserve the Department of Veterans Affairs’ history of outstanding work and document the special relationship between the United States and our veterans.”

“It’s extremely important to honor and support our veterans. The National VA History Center would bridge the past with the present, attracting visitors to Ohio so they can better understand our veterans’ sacrifices and know they will never be forgotten,” said Congressman Greg Landsman.

“The National VA History Center is a great honor for the Dayton community and Ohio veterans and recognizes our state’s unique history of service,” said Senator Sherrod Brown. “This legislation will ensure that this Center will be permanently, in Dayton doing the important work of collecting and preserving the history of countless servicemembers and honoring the Dayton’s VA Medical Center’s 150-year history of serving Ohio veterans.”

“Founded in the wake of the Civil War, the Dayton VA Medical Center was one of our nation’s first hospitals for American soldiers. This institution is steeped in an incredible history, and I am proud to sponsor legislation to honor the crucial role the Department of Veterans Affairs and its predecessors have played for over a century in providing the care our veterans need. I’m incredibly grateful that this history center will be located here in Dayton and that it will advance the history of this Department for generations to come,” said Senator J.D. Vance.

“The bill honors veterans by helping to preserve and promote the history of America’s support for veterans. It also ensures that Ohio will be central to the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2030,” said Jeff Hoagland, President and CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition.

“We would like to thank Congressman Turner for his leadership and for introducing legislation that will codify the creation of the VA History Center and honor the contributions of the Department of Veterans Affairs, which was first established by President Abraham Lincoln, creating the world's first-ever National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers,” said Bill DeFries, President of the American Veterans Heritage Center. “The AVHC and National VA History Center Foundation have been fighting with Congressman Turner for more than 10 years to have the History Center on our Historical Dayton Soldiers Home Campus. The National VA History Center Archive and Museum will create dozens of jobs and attract tens of thousands of in-person and virtual visitors annually, providing important historical and educational opportunities.”


The National VA History Center is the forthcoming museum and archival center for the historical collection and records pertaining to the Department of Veterans Affairs and its legacy agencies. It is located at the Dayton VA Medical Center campus, itself a designated National Historic Landmark.

While the idea of the history center is not new, recent actions to make it a reality are. In August 2018, Congressman Turner penned a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs noting that this partnership would not only help honor our nation’s service members, but also bring greater economic development and tourism to the area. Ceremonies marking its official establishment – and the start of renovation work on two historic buildings to house the collection – were held in August 2020.

In addition to codifying the National VA History center, this legislation also authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs to enter into leasing and gift agreements for the creation of the VA History Center and its collection. These measures are preemptive and will allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to better partner with history foundations and non-profits, like the Dayton-based VA History Center Foundation, to procure artifacts, design exhibits, and more.

Read the full text of the bill here.