Boomer Times January-February 2019 - Page 11

First female ODVS Director sworn in Know your abilities and options to stay on the road safely “I am absolutely thrilled to serve our great veterans all across Ohio and do all I can to be a voice and a listener for our veteran community.” - Deborah Ashenhurst Director of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services She also is deeply familiar with operat- ing at a state cabinet level, as she served for four years as the Adjutant General and commander of the State of Ohio. In that role, Ashenhurst commanded the 17,000 personnel of the Ohio Army and Air Na- tional Guard, Ohio Military reserve and Ohio Naval Militia. “I am absolutely thrilled to serve our great veterans all across Ohio and do all I can to be a voice and a listener for our veteran community,” she said. Director Ashenhurst succeeds Col. Chip Tansill, who served as ODVS Direc- tor from Sept. 21, 2015 until Jan. 13, 2019 – his fi nal day under former Gov. John Kasich. Ashenhurst was sworn in Monday, Jan. 14, thereby becoming the fi rst female director, the fi fth overall and the high- est-ranking leader of the department since its inception in 2008. Her prede- cessors are the late William J. Hartnett (2008-11), Th omas N. Moe (2011-13), Timothy C. Gorrell (2013-15) and Tansill (2015-19). Ashenhurst began her career in 1978 when she enlisted in the Ohio Nation- al Guard. She was commissioned an engineer offi cer in 1980 through the Ohio Army National Guard’s Offi cer Candidate School. JANUARY 23, 2019 During her military career, Ashenhurst received numerous awards and decora- tions, including the Army Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Merito- rious Service Medal (with one Silver and one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster) and the Joint Service Commendation Medal. She retired from the U.S. Army and the National Guard in October 2015. Her career culminated in service as a special assistant to the vice chief, National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C. Prior to her appointment as the adju- tant general, she was a 25-year federal employee in various positions of increas- ing responsibility with the United States Property and Fiscal Offi ce with the Ohio National Guard. Following her retirement from the military, Ashenhurst served as the senior vice president, military strategy with R2 Associates. She also served as a com- missioner on the Ohio Military Facilities Commission. “I’m proud to announce that Maj. Gen. Deborah Ashenhurst has agreed to lead the Ohio Department of Veterans Ser- vices,” Gov. DeWine said. “Th e general will work tirelessly to ensure Ohio’s vet- erans will receive their benefi ts and ser- vices that they have earned. It is our goal for people to look to Ohio and say that this is a very veterans-friendly place.” Ashenhurst resides with her husband, Col. Jim Ashenhurst (U.S. Army, retired), in Hilliard, Ohio. Drivers age 65 and older represent the fastest growing segment of licensed drivers in Ohio and across the nation. While older drivers are among the safest drivers on our roads, they may be more likely to be seriously injured in a crash. Ohio has seen four consecutive years of rising traffi c deaths involving drivers age 65 and older. Tips for older driver safety: • Stay aware of your changing phys- ical, vision, and hearing abilities and adjust your driving habits according- ly. Exercise regularly to increase and maintain your strength and fl exibility. • Ask your doctor or pharmacist if any medical conditions you have or medi- cations you take could make it unsafe to drive. • Try to do most of your driving during daylight and in good weather. Avoid busy roadways and rush hours whenev- er possible. • Plan your route before you drive and choose routes with well-lit streets, intersections with left turn signals and easy parking. • Avoid distractions while driving, GET FIT. STAY FIT. “It is our goal for people to look to Ohio and say that this is a very veterans-friendly place.” 5 BOOT CAMP Mon. - Wed. • 6:30pm - Mike DeWine Ohio Governor Th e Ohio Department of Veterans Ser- vices works to actively identify, connect with, and advocate for veterans and their families. Ohio law gives the department the responsibility to partner with all 88 county veteran service commissions and the U.S. Department of Veterans Aff airs, in order to “serve those who have served” by connecting Ohio veterans and their families to well-earned benefi ts and resources. Recent statistics out of the VA indicate Ohio currently is home to nearly 800,000 former service members, ranking the state sixth nationally in terms of veteran population. For more information on the Ohio Department of Veterans Services, go to including talking or texting on a cell phone, eating, or listening to a loud radio. In-car conversations can also be distracting. • Leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you so that you can react if the other driver stops or slows suddenly. • Do not drive too slowly, as this can be as unsafe as speeding. Factors that can aff ect an older driv- er’s safety • Vision changes, especially the ability to read road signs and see in low-light and high-glare conditions • Impaired or decreased hearing ability • Muscle stiff ness or weakness, partic- ularly in the neck, arms and legs • Medications or medical conditions that cause dizziness, drowsiness or loss of concentration • Slower reaction time • Changing weather conditions, such as rain, ice and snow • Fear of driving and traffi c Editor’s note: Information was contrib- uted from the Coshocton Senior Center’s January newsletter. Mon, Wed, Fri. • 5:30pm Circuit Training, Spinning, Aerobics, Basketball, Racquetball, Free Weights, Tanning Bed, Hot Showers, Wallyball, Massage Chair and Saunas Make Your Health A Priority! Contributed | Beacon STOP BY OR CALL... Colonial Sports -n- Courts 1101 Fairy Falls Drive • 740-623-8382 COLUMBUS – A few days prior to being sworn in as Ohio Governor, Mike DeW- ine announced a bevy of candidates for appointment to his cabinet. Among those introduced on Jan. 10 was Deborah Ashenhurst, who served in the Ohio Na- tional Guard for 37 years and this week began her new assignment as Director of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services. Maj. Gen. Ashenhurst, U.S. Army, retired, brings a wealth of military and private sector experience to the position as well as a developed connection to the veteran community. She has held assignments at all levels from company, battalion, brigade and Joint Force Head- quarters. THE BEACON 11B