Kevan J. Wain
Senior CVSO/Director
U.S. Army

Charles T. Smith

David A. Oesch
Disabled American Veterans

Donald E. Butream
The American Legion

G. Roger Bacon
Veterans of Foreign Wars

Thomas J. Scahill
Vietnam Veterans of America

Our Staff 

Commission members

Deborah S. Kanos

Intake Clerk

Former Military Spouse

About the Commission 

Rebecca H. Duncan
Claims Clerk
U.S. Air Force

Debra E. Smith
County Veterans Service Officer
U.S. Air Force

In 1886 the Ohio State Legislature, in an effort to provide for needy veterans, widows and dependents, enacted the Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act, thereby formalizing a system of aid to veterans. An essential element of the law was the establishment of a Soldiers and Sailors Relief Commission in each of the 88 Ohio counties. While originally composed of three members, the size of the commissions was later increased to five, and today the largest counties based on population (more than 500,000 according to the most recent decennial census) may have even larger commissions. In 1988 the name was changed to the Veterans Service Commission as it is known today.

The Columbiana County Veterans Service Commission governs the overall program for veterans’ services within the county, and a Senior County Veterans Service Officer administers the day to day operations of the Veterans Service Office. He is supported by two County Veterans Service Officers as well as several support staff. All operating expenses and employee benefits are provided through county property tax millage. Board members and service officers are trained by the Department of Veterans Affairs and accredited through the Ohio Department of Veterans Services. There is also an annual continuing education requirement to maintain their professional accreditation. Not only is ongoing training necessary to revisit such vital knowledge areas as VA rules and procedures, as well as trends within the veteran population, but also to stay informed of new law and regulatory changes at both the federal and state levels.

The wide array of services overseen by the Veterans Service Commission, and provided to the county’s veterans by the Veterans Service Office, may be largely categorized into two major areas of specialization. The first area pertains to obtaining benefits from federal and state agencies, while the second deals with providing assistance to veterans with financial emergencies. In either case, the goal is to obtain any and all benefits for which a veteran may be eligible.

Joseph H. Cattell
County Veterans Service Officer
U.S. Air Force

Thomas J. Barrett

Benefit Support Specialist

U.S. Army

Lisa K. Fix
Clerical Coordinator / Accounts Payable Clerk
U.S. Navy