Ohio House passes legislation designating day for Atomic Veterans

State Representative Riordan McClain (R-Upper Sandusky)

State Representative Riordan McClain (R-Upper Sandusky)

State Representative Riordan McClain (R-Upper Sandusky) announced House passage of House Bill 414, sponsored by State Representative Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster), that designates July 16 as “National Atomic Veterans Day” in Ohio.

Members of the Ohio House today favorably passed a slate of 28 bills that impact constituents of the 87th House District, demonstrating that the House is committed to getting back to work and focused on meaningful legislation.

An Atomic Veteran is a service member who participated in atmospheric and underwater nuclear weapons tests from July 16, 1945 to October 30, 1962, POWs and occupation forces in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Enewetak Atoll Radiological Cleanup Project Veterans, veterans exposed to Deleted Uranium (DU), and those veterans stationed in Japan or part of the humanitarian effort surrounding the Fukushima disaster. The date was selected due to the Manhattan Project’s first atomic bomb being successfully tested on July 16, 1945, in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

“The recognition of veterans who were impacted by our nation’s nuclear activity hits home for me. I never had the opportunity to meet my grandfather, Sgt. Robert Clinger, due to the fact that he passed away in 1980, three years prior to my birth,” said McClain. “The cancer that took his life was caused by radiation he was exposed to during service in the Pacific theater following the atomic bombs in Japan. He bravely and valiantly served our nation seemingly unscathed at the time because the impacts of radioactive exposure were not fully understood. Not until many years later were the full effects realized for my grandfather and so many others. Designating a day to remember and honor what those veterans endured is important to me and many others.”

House Bill 414 passed with bipartisan support and now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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