A LIFELONG COMMITMENT TO SERVICE

*Brian Ohler received an Honorable Discharge in 2013

MEET BRIAN

  "A Future We Can Afford!"

My family and I have called the Northwest Corner of Connecticut home for almost a century. Over the past 14 years, I've committed my life to public service and community outreach. My willingness and compassion to serve others runs deep through my bloodlines. I am the proud grandson of former North Canaan First Selectman, Henry Pozzetta, and the great-grandson of William Menser, a former Connecticut State Police Lieutenant and High Sheriff of Litchfield County. During my 4 years of vocational high school education at the Oliver Wolcott Technical High School in Torrington, CT, I quickly became a voice and an advocate for my graduating class. My pathway through public service began in 2000 when I became an active volunteer member of my hometown’s local fire and EMS departments. During the summer of 2001, between my junior and senior year, I raised my right hand and was sworn into the Connecticut Army National Guard as a private in the Military Police Corps. The National Guard was a perfect fit for me, as I wanted to serve my country yet still remain committed to the safety and well-being of my beloved state and local community. 

For 12 years, my military service would take me all over the world. I volunteered for each of my three combat tours of duty overseas. First serving in Baghdad, Iraq from 2003 to 2004 and later in Mosul, Iraq from 2006 to 2007 when I returned to be part of the surge efforts. During these two tours, I served in every position within my unit and quickly became a squad leader, often times organizing and leading combat support and national police mentoring missions that would consist of up to 20 soldiers and 6 armored vehicles. In 2011, I again felt the need to serve overseas. My third combat tour would position me as a member of a multi-service security force tasked with the protection of a Provincial Reconstruction Team operating in the western part of Afghanistan, near the border of Iran. After twelve years of continuous military service to my state and country, I received an honorable discharge when my enlistment ended in July of 2013.

In 2008, I opened up my first business, called 'The Dollar Depot'. Located on Ashley Falls Road in North Canaan, this general store was aimed at providing low cost household and automotive products to area residents who had been undoubtedly struggling during the height of the recession. Unfortunately after two years of being in business, I had to close the doors so I could begin to prepare for my military deployment to Afghanistan. Upon my return back to North Canaan, I was eager to apply the knowledge and training that I had received from the U.S. Army to ensure the overall security and protection of others here at home. Patriot Safety Group LLC. was created to offer safety and security consultation to residents and business owners in the tri state area. In the days that followed the tragic incident at Sandy Hook Elementary, I began reaching out to every Principal within the Region 1 School District. For the next 6 months, I volunteered hundreds of hours preparing a Physical Security Assessment for each individual school. Given the danger and sensitivity that was a result of that day, I remained committed to the overall safety of every student and faculty member. I am honored to have served as a safety and security adviser for the Region 1 School District, Region 7 School District, the New Milford Public School District, and the Marvelwood School.

My first attempt at attaining a college degree began in 2003 when I returned home from basic training. I enrolled at Northwestern Community College in Winsted, CT. I only attended two classes before I was urgently shipped off to Iraq. In the fall of 2004, I enrolled at Eastern Connecticut State University. I had a strong passion for the study of social interpretation and interactions, and criminal policy, so it was fitting that I aimed my major towards sociology and criminal justice. In 2005, my college career was again put on hold. I was activated to respond with the US Army to New Orleans, LA and begin securing the city from the rampant looting in days that followed the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. With my second and third overseas deployment coming in the next few years, the process has been slow, but I was determined to graduate. I now counsel young mothers and fathers and veterans on the struggles of achieving a college degree for those who start later in life.  On May 26, 2016 I finally received my Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice from Northwestern Connecticut Community College.  And now, in May of 2020, I will be crossing the stage at University of New Haven as the very first recipient of a Bachelor’s Degree in the combined majors Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Life has certainly come full circle.

With the continuous rise of tuition costs, I have acknowledged that without the financial assistance of the GI Bill, affording college would have been a grave challenge. I am today and I always will be a voice for my fellow veterans. As a Combat Wounded Veteran, I know all too well of the constant administrative backlog and red tape from both the state and federal Veterans Affairs Administrations. I am now a Veteran Service Officer for the Town of North Canaan and I have been guiding and assisting veterans through their mountains of paperwork and often unbearable frustration.

Most recently, I had the immense of serving as State Representative of Connecticut’s 64th House District. As the youngest State Representative to ever serve the 64th I worked tirelessly for every man, woman, child, non-profit organization, and businesses large and small. During my two years, I was one of only a handful of Freshman Representatives chosen to serve on General Assembly’s Appropriations Committee, and the only freshman to Chair a subcommittee within the broader Appropriations Committee. I also served on the Human Services Committee and the Public Safety Committee. I was a fighter, never giving up on my constituents and always being present. I am proud to have achieved a rare 100% percent perfect voting attendance record in both 2017 and 2018. One of my greatest achievements was championing a bill that ensured all veterans receive proper mental health treatment and systematic care no matter what their discharge status may have been. This bill passed unanimously in the House and Senate and, after being signed by Gov. Malloy, Connecticut became the very first state in the nation to act on such a topic. These successful efforts were due to the unwavering partnership that I’ve established and cherished with the CT Department of Veterans Affairs, the VFW, the American Legion, AMVETS, the DAV, and the IAVA. I am also grateful to have been recognized as Legislator of the Year and a Legislative Champion by the Connecticut Farm Bureau in 2018, the Connecticut State Firefighters’ Association in 2017 and 2018, and the League of Conservation Voters in 2017. It was one of my life’s greatest honors to serve the over 25,000 people of the Northwest Corner of Connecticut.

 

Letters To The Editor

Vote for Ohler in the 64th District

Brian Ohler, as a member of one of Northwest Connecticut’s most industrious families, and an exceptionally dedicated state representative, should be re-elected. He has accomplished much! A 12-year veteran of the U.S. Army, having served three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, he has been a volunteer firefighter and EMT for nearly 20 years.

Among his many accomplishments, he has supported common sense bi-partisan budgets, protected essential  health care for women, helped pass laws permitting all veterans to receive mental health and education benefits, protected Meals on Wheels for seniors, championed solid environmental issues, improved state law for victims of domestic violence, reversed Gov. Dannel Malloy’s cuts to state funding for local schools and, most of all, fought to eliminate additional fees and surcharges on small businesses.

 In conclusion, a vote to re-elect Brian Ohler is a balance and reinforcement of continued, representational stability for all residents of the 64th House District.  

John and Susanne Funchion

Norfolk

Re-elect Brian Ohler

We are very fortunate to have a representative like Brian Ohler in the 64th District. He represents us all, Republicans and Democrats, in an unpartisan manner.

Let no one say a bad word against this man or his credibility or his character. His service to his country and his community speaks for itself.

Bob Loucks

Former First Selectman

Sharon

Why we support the re-election of Brian Ohler

Brian Ohler, our state representative for the 64th District, has been a member of the Human Services Committee, which is dedicated to social responsibility. This is being aware of and caring for our friends, family, neighbors, and our community for their health, welfare and education.  

To that end, Mr. Ohler has been involved with making sure our children can attend our state universities and community colleges, i.e., keeping them affordable. He continues to challenge university administration and professors on increased salaries and bonuses, which means increased fees/tuition and room and board for our college–bound  young people.  

In addition, he is involved with counselors and advocates at the Susan B. Anthony Project and Women’s Support Services, where they are working together to reform Connecticut’s dual arrest laws and thereby ensure that victims are empowered and confident enough to come forward and ask for help.   

Yes, he supports all of us as he works diligently on school safety legislation, women’s issues, legislation capping the state’s expenses and working on cell service for those of us who live in a “dead zone,” as well as working across the aisle along with State Senator Craig Miner on state fiscal accountability.  

We support the re-election  of both Brian Ohler to the 64th District and Craig Miner to the 30th District.

Donald and Marie Barnum

Salisbury

Re-elect Brian Ohler

Brian Ohler deserves re-election as our state representative in the House 64th District! I first met Brian in 2000 when I was a Connecticut State Police Sergeant assigned at Troop B in North Canaan. He was an Explorer at Troop B and all the feedback I received and my personal observations were that he was dedicated to his duties. The Explorers is for young people from ages 14 to 21 to gain experience working in the Police field. As an Explorer he was very mature, and responsible for his age. 

I was not surprised at all when I heard he enlisted in the Connecticut National Guard in 2001 and served for 12 years. He volunteered for three one-year tours in the Middle East, because: “That’s Brian.” He has served his hometown as an EMT, firefighter, Board of Finance member and even a local business owner. Brian has come full circle, serving his town, country, and now his state of Connecticut as our state representative. Brian is a fiscal conservative, and he cares very deeply about helping all of us, especially the needy children, middle-class families, veterans and last but not least our senior citizens. 

Since Brian is a life-long resident of the Northwest Hills he cares about our environment and living conditions. He has demonstrated these beliefs by the committees he’s on at the Capitol and way he votes on legislation. Brian’s assistance during the ice-jam disaster in Kent last winter was above and beyond the call of duty. His experience in EMS, military, and knowledge of Connecticut’s resources was truly a blessing. 

When Brian ran in 2016, his campaign concentrated on what he wanted to do for Connecticut and the 64th District, and not what was going on in the 2016 presidential politics. When you hear candidates talking more about what’s going on in national politics and not what they would do here in Connecticut, BEWARE! They don’t have much to offer, and they are trying to distract you. We need Brian Ohler who has his eye on the ball regarding fixing Connecticut’s problems and making it a better place to live, work and enjoy.

Scott R. Harvey

Kent

Ohler Strong Advocate For Open Space

Meike Armstrong

Salisbury, CT

 

For the past two years, Rep. Brian M. Ohler, R-Canaan, our “homegrown boy,” has achieved stellar results as state representative for Connecticut’s 64th House District.

He serves on five legislative committees or subcommittees. At each meeting of the Conservation and Development Subcommittee, Brian voted to preserve open space. He has saved, as he says, “hundreds, if not thousands” of acres in Cornwall, Goshen, Kent, Salisbury and Sharon.

Brian also was instrumental in getting House Joint Resolution 35 passed in the final hours of the 2018 session. This is Constitutional Amendment Question 2, which voters will consider Nov. 6.

I asked Brian how he advocates the 2017 sustainable-development goals of the United Nations. His answer is that we must continue to seek out initiatives for wind, fuel cells, solar, thermal or nuclear energy, if we want to be free of fossil fuel. For New England, this is an opportunity foreseeable in several decades.

From the very beginning, Brian has participated in discussions surrounding the Cricket Valley Energy Plant in Dover, N.Y. These meetings are long, effective, intense and they produce results. Brian is at the forefront of fighting for the environmental survival and the flourishing of Northwest Connecticut.

Brian knows his district. He knows its people. He loves what he is doing. He is personable. He works every day on our behalf. Keep Brian in his seat and vote for him on Election Day. You will be glad you did.

Thank you, Brian Ohler

I love all the notices our state House Rep. Brian Ohler (R-64) puts online about events taking place in our area. One that was of special interest to me was in April regarding the two-day dental clinic in Torrington held by the Mission of Mercy Dental Outreach Group, better known as MOMCT. This group serves the underserved and uninsured in Connecticut.  

I went to this clinic and was given excellent care and advice.  It was one of the most well-run events I have ever attended. I believe they helped over 800 people in those two days. If you’d like to know more about this group, you can google them at www.cdfo.org.

Again, thanks to Brian Ohler who does the utmost to keep us all informed of these valuable resources in our area.  

Janet Lynn

Lakeville

Our state rep is one of us

What does it mean to agree? What does it mean to disagree? What does it mean to agree to disagree? None of that matters if we can’t be civil with those who may have an opposing opinion or a different perspective of a certain subject. 

What I do know is that our state Rep. Brian Ohler is a natural born leader; he’s our leader. Growing up with Brian, enlisting in the military just a few years apart, I always looked up to him and still do today. Brian is one who listens intently, is always analyzing risks versus costs, and bases every one of his decisions on what is ultimately best for our communities. 

Brian is a native of this area. He’s our hometown boy. You have no idea how much it means to the families of the Northwest Corner to know that our representative in Hartford was actually born and raised here, is a product of our local schools, and whose family and extended family literally helped build our small towns from their foundations on upward. 

 

He went off to war, three separate times mind you, and thankfully he came back home to us. He never takes a single day for granted and neither should we. We should be so fortunate to have a leader with the level of compassion and dedication such as his. Seven days a week, Brian is out there, supporting our causes, visiting us and learning as much as he can about every issue that impacts us directly. 

The levels of vile and political vitriol that have taken down even the most poised and unflappable of leaders have no bearing here in our small corner of the world. Brian Ohler is our state representative, and I am so pleased to know that he is representing my family in Hartford.

Derrick Caranci

U.S. Air Force (Ret.)

North Canaan

Ohler supports women’s rights, health care

As Rep. Brian Ohler’s first term and second session comes to an end, it is crystal clear that he has kept his word to be a champion for such social issues as equity and fairness for women and children and for consistent health provisions aimed at women’s health overall. He voted in favor of the highly publicized bill that set out to ensure women receive equal pay for equal work. 

Most recently, he voted in favor of a bill that created safeguards, in the event that the ACA is repealed, that would preserve coverages for ambulatory services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use disorder services including behavioral health treatment, prescription drugs, rehabilitative services, laboratory services, chronic disease management and pediatric services. 

Rep. Ohler’s actions speak for themselves. As a woman, a mother and a grandmother, I can’t thank him enough for keeping women’s health and preventative medicine a top priority.

Pamela H. Todd

Falls Village