Veterans Affairs

Third Annual Women Veterans Summit Includes Networking, Inspirational Speakers and Discussions on Military Sexual Trauma

Saturday, April 05, 2014 | 01:35 pm

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder hosted the Third Annual Women Veterans Summit today in Nashville. The annual event was co-sponsored by the Women Veterans of America Chapter 20. 

More than 150 attendees participated in the networking, educational and information event. Speakers included State Representative and U.S. Air Force Veteran Courtney Rogers (R-Goodlettsville), Director of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Women Veterans in Washington, D.C. and U.S. Army Veteran Elisa Basnight, as well as motivational speaker and Marine Veteran Dr. Betty Moseley-Brown addressed attendees on Saturday.  Lynne Hutton-Smith also shared her compelling story of rescue by American forces in Kuwait moments before she and her two-year old daughter were to be executed by Iraqi troops.   On Sunday, attendees will hear from Director for the Center for Minority Veterans in Washington, D.C. and U.S. Air Force Veteran Barbara Ward.   

Marine Veteran, Country Music Artist and Wounded Warrior Project Spokesperson Sal Gonzalez shared his inspirational story of recovery after a life-changing combat injury he endured while serving in Iraq. 

Third Annual Women Veterans Summit to Offer Networking, Educational Opportunities and Entertainment

Thursday, April 03, 2014 | 08:00 am

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs is partnering with the Women Veterans of America Chapter 20 to host the Third Annual Women Veterans Summit at Embassy Suites-Cool Springs in Franklin on April 5 and 6. 

Speakers include State Representative and United States Air Force Veteran Courtney Rogers (R-Goodlettsville), as well as Director of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Women Veterans Elisa Basnight, dynamic motivational speaker Marine Veteran Dr. Betty Moseley Brown and Director of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Minority Veterans and U.S. Air Force Veteran Barbara Ward.  Attendees will also hear Lynne Hutton-Smith’s compelling story of how Iraqi troops held her and her 2-year old daughter hostage in Kuwait and how American service members saved them from execution.    

Marine Veteran, Country Music Artist and Wounded Warrior Project Spokesperson Sal Gonzalez will perform and share his inspirational story of recovery after a life-changing combat injury. 

Governor Haslam Proclaims Vietnam Veterans Day

Friday, March 28, 2014 | 09:00 am

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder today announced March 29, 2014 as Vietnam Veterans Day to recognize the courage, service and sacrifice of the men and women who served during the Vietnam War.

On March 30, 1973, President Richard Nixon began withdrawing combat troops from Vietnam.  Between 1961 and 1975, more than 49,000 Tennesseans served in Southeast Asia.  Approximately 6,000 Tennessee troops were wounded in the Vietnam War and 1,295 Tennessee service members were killed.  There are currently 27 Tennesseans missing in action (MIA) in connection with the Vietnam War.  Clarksville soldier Staff Sergeant Lawrence Woods was interred at Arlington National Cemetery on March 21, 2014 after being missing in action for 50 years.

Tennessee Becomes One of Three All Star Vet States

Friday, March 21, 2014 | 07:30 am

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder and Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips take the state’s focus on veteran employment to a national stage as one of three “All Star Vet States” along with Iowa and Michigan.  The pilot partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Hiring Our Heroes initiative includes a web-portal which helps veterans and service members all over the country quickly access Volunteer State resources http://www.allvetstates.com/state/tennessee

“Troops are coming home to their families, their communities and in some cases, unemployment,” Grinder said.  “We are collaborating with state partners, higher education institutions and proactive partners such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to connect resources needed to create economic and educational success for our Tennessee Veterans and their families.”

Clarksville Soldier to be Buried At Arlington National Cemetery After Being MIA for 50 Years

Thursday, March 13, 2014 | 09:16 am
SSG Lawrence Woods went MIA on October 24, 1964
SSG Lawrence Woods went MIA on October 24, 1964

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder recognize the service and sacrifice of Staff Sergeant Lawrence Woods of Clarksville.  Woods was among eight service members killed in a plane crash on October 24, 1964 and the first Tennessean to be declared missing in action (MIA) leading up to the Vietnam War.

Woods was a member of the 5th Special Forces Group based out of Fort Campbell.  The United States Army Staff Sergeant was aboard a C-123 Provider aircraft that crashed when it was struck by enemy fire while resupplying the U.S. Special Forces camp at Bu Prang, Vietnam.  Shortly after the crash, U.S. Forces were able to recover the remains of Air Force service members Captain Valmore W. Bourque, First Lieutenant Edward J. Krukowiski, First Lieutenant Robert G. Armstrong, Staff Sergeant Ernest J. Halvorson, Staff Sergeant Theodore B. Phillips, Airman First Class Eugene Richardson and Army Private First Class Charles P. Sparks.  However, search and recovery crews were not able to find Woods’ body. 

Jobs, Education and Other Valuable Resources at Veterans Outreach Event and Job Fair in McNairy County

Thursday, March 06, 2014 | 11:05 am

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs (TDVA) is partnering with State Senator Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) as well as several federal and state partners to ensure Veterans, dependents and surviving family members get access to employment opportunities, educational resources, mental health and substance abuse services, business resources and claims assistance. 

United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services as well as the University of Memphis, Jackson State Community College and Freed-Hardeman University will participate in the TDVA Veterans Outreach Event and Job Fair on Friday, March 7 from 10am to 2pm at Selmer Community Center in McNairy County.  Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security will participate to offer Commercial Driving Certification for qualified Veterans as well as to recruit Veterans for open positions.   Tennessee Department of Correction, Tennessee Bureau of Investigations and Tennessee Department of Military will also recruit Veterans.

Tennessee State Veterans Homes Among Best in U.S. News Rankings

Thursday, February 27, 2014 | 11:53 am

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder joins the Tennessee State Veterans Homes (TSVH) Board in celebrating the announcement from U.S. News & World Report 2014  which names the Tennessee State Veterans Homes in Knoxville and Murfreesboro among the best in the country.

U.S. News and World Report rated more than 16,000 nursing homes using data research on nursing home safety, health inspection and staffing.  The source of the data originates from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  In 2013, CMS issued five star ratings to the Senator Ben Atchley State Veterans Home in Knoxville and the Tennessee State Veterans Home in Murfreesboro.  This is the third year for the distinction for the home in Murfreesboro and the second for the home in Knoxville. 

Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs to Increase Focus to Include Employment, Education and Business Resources for Veteran Outreach Events

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 | 09:25 am

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs (TDVA) is partnering with several federal and state partners to ensure Veterans, dependents and surviving family members get access to employment opportunities, educational resources, mental health and substance abuse services, business resources and claims assistance. 

United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services as well as public higher education institutions, private higher education institutions and technical schools will participate in upcoming TDVA Outreach Events.  Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security will participate to offer Commercial Driving Certification for qualified Veterans as well as to recruit Veterans for open positions.   Tennessee Department of Correction, Tennessee Bureau of Investigations and Tennessee Department of Military will also recruit Veterans.

Staff Sergeant Daniel Tyler Lee Killed In Action Supporting Operation Enduring Freedom

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 | 05:03 pm
Staff Sergeant Daniel Lee was killed in action on January 15, 2014
Staff Sergeant Daniel Lee was killed in action on January 15, 2014

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder regretfully announce the loss of Tennessee soldier Staff Sergeant Daniel Tyler Lee of Crossville.  Lee was posthumously promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant.

Lee was assigned to Company C, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  He was fatally shot while on patrol in the vicinity of Wazghar Parwan Province, Afghanistan on January 15.

Steering Committee to Vote on Land Acquisition Recommendations

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 | 10:47 am

NASHVILLE – The Upper Cumberland State Veterans Cemetery Steering Committee will meet on Friday, January 24 at 10:00 a.m. (CST) at the Veterans Memorial Building at 90 East Spring Street in Cookeville to review land acquisition options and vote on the top three recommendations to the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs (TDVA).  The recommendations are subject to state and federal review to determine viability, environmental impact and optimal service to the Tennessee Veteran population.