For The Madison Press
COLUMBUS — State Senator Chris Widener (R-Springfield) was given the 2012 Major General Charles Dick Award for Legislative Excellence by the Ohio National Guard Association recently.
“I am truly honored and humbled to be given this award by the men and women of the Ohio National Guard,” Widener said. “We owe a great debt to the members of our nation’s military, and we must never forget the sacrifices they have made and continue to make.”
As this year’s recipient, Senator Widener was recognized for his role in preserving the Ohio National Guard Scholarship Program in H.B. 153, the State Operating Budget. As Chairman of the Finance Committee, Senator Widener worked with his colleagues to make sure this program, which provides scholarships to the men and women of the Ohio National Guard, was kept on firm financial footing.
The Major General Charles Dick Award is presented annually at the Ohio National Guard Association’s Winter Dinner Dance. The award is presented to legislators in the Ohio General Assembly and the United States Congress who demonstrate a strong dedication to and support of the Ohio National Guard.The award is named after Major General Charles Dick, who is a former guardsman who also served in Congress. As a United States Senator, Maj. Gen. Dick was the primary sponsor of the Militia Act of 1903, which led to the creation of the modern day National Guard. This legislation, which is commonly known as the Dick Act, provided additional funding to state militias and brought coordination between the states and the U.S. Army. As a result, the National Guard is now a vital component of the national defense strategy for the United States.
Major General Deborah Ashenhurst, Ohio Adjutant General, had this to say: “Senator Widener has long been a supporter of our men and women in uniform, and in this past year ensured that Ohio would never fail to meet its obligations to our Guard members. His efforts in the legislature guarantee that the state will pay the college tuition for our members who choose to go to schools, a promise made by the state in return for our members’ promises that they will fight our wars and respond to domestic emergencies to keep our citizens safe.”
Senator Chris Widener serves the people of the 10th Senate District, which includes Clark, Greene and Madison counties. He is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and a member of the Senate Ways & Means & Economic Development, Government Oversight & Reform, and Rules & Reference committees.