According to the ODVS website dvs.ohio.gov, Col. Moe is a retired U.S. Air Force pilot whose F-4 Phantom aircraft was shot down in 1968 over Vietnam. He evaded capture for three days but was later found and held prisoner for five years until he was released during Operation Homecoming in 1973.
Moe was inducted into the Veteran Hall of Fame in 2009 by then-Gov. Ted Strickland. Two years later he was appointed by Gov. John Kasich as the director of the Ohio Department of Veteran Services.
This week he was touring veteran offices around the state and stopped in Scioto County on Friday to discuss ways to improve relations and communications between the state and county offices.
“The governor supports everything we’re doing. He’s basically told me, ‘You’ve got the green light, Moe, so go out there and do whatever you need to do to work with the counties and the VA to make life better for our veterans’,” Moe said.
Moe said county veteran services offices around the state last year contributed $50 million in spending for local veterans, which was matched by the state with $5.5 billion. In Scioto County, he said, the state returns $88 for every $1 spent on veteran services.
The problem, Moe said, is declining membership. He discussed ways the Scioto County office might start using the Internet to reach new members on social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and You Tube.
Scioto County Veteran Service Office Vice President Wayne Bussler said this is the first time in his 14 years as vice president that any ODVS director has visited their office.
“We are very pleased that Mr. Moe has come to Portsmouth,” Candace Tuller said. “It says a lot about him and the Ohio Department of Veteran Services that are reaching out and wanting to help people expand and get to know the offices and members.”
There are about 900,000 veterans in Ohio, Moe said, and about 7,000 in Scioto County. Bussler said those vets count on the help they receive from the county office, and he said it’s nice the county can county on the state to help them, too.
For more information about veteran services in Scioto County, contact the Scioto County Veterans Services office on Sixth Street in Portsmouth by calling (740) 353-1477. They are also available online at Facebook, and at www.sciotoveteranscommission.com.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 235, or firstname.lastname@example.org.