• Governor Haslam Reconizes Six Military Veteran Employees for Exemplary Service

    Thursday, November 09, 2017 | 12:36pm

    NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today joined Tennessee Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder and Major General Terry “Max” Haston from the Tennessee Military Department to recognize six veteran state employees and more than 474,000 Tennessee veterans of all ages and eras.  The Governor’s Veterans Day event was held at the Tennessee Tower Plaza in downtown Nashville.

    “When we are talking to employers about Tennessee’s skilled workforce, veterans play a huge role in making the Volunteer State competitive,” Haslam said.  “Veterans represent more than 6 percent of the State of Tennessee’s executive branch and I am proud to work along so many people who have bravely served our country.”

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  • Remains of Davidson County Soldier Killed in Black Hawk Crash Return to Tennessee

    Friday, October 13, 2017 | 1:16pm

    NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder recognize the service and sacrifice of Staff Sergeant Michael Nelson of Antioch.  Nelson was assigned to Company A, 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment at Wheeler Army Airfield in Hawaii.  Two 25th Aviation Regiment UH-60 Black Hawks were involved in a night time training exercise on August 15 when the flight crews lost contact with each other.  Recovery efforts off the coast of Oahu revealed evidence of a crash with no survivors.  Nelson was 30 years old.

    ”Staff Sergeant Nelson was prepared to serve and support others and lost his life while training to do so,” Haslam said.  “We extend our condolences and prayers to Michael’s wife, child and siblings.”

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  • Governor Haslam Proclaims Student Veterans Week

    Friday, September 22, 2017 | 5:40pm

    NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder today announced September 24-30 as Student Veterans Week for their contributions to enrich campuses statewide.

    In 1944, just weeks after the D-Day invasion, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, commonly known as the GI Bill which provides veterans with access to education, employment and housing opportunities. 

    In 1988, a study conducted by the Congressional Sub-Committee on Education found the GI Bill had a return on investment in the United States economy of seven dollars for every dollar invested and 40 percent of those veterans took advantage of this benefit that would not otherwise be able to attend college. 

    In 2015, Tennessee veterans used $265,299,000 in educational benefits at campuses across the state.

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  • World War II Marine Corporal Henry Andregg, Jr. to be Laid to Rest after Nearly 75 Years

    Wednesday, August 23, 2017 | 3:36pm

    NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder recognize the service and sacrifice of U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Henry Andregg, Jr. of Whitwell, who was presumably killed during the Battle of Tarawa on November 20, 1943.  Andregg was assigned to Company C, 2nd Amphibious Tractor Battalion, 2nd Marine Division at the time of the infamous battle that killed approximately 1,000 marines and sailors and wounded more than 2,000 service members.  He was 22-years old.

    Previously, Andregg’s remains were interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu in an unidentified grave.  The U.S. Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency exhumed his remains in October, 2016 and the remains were identified in May, 2017 using DNA analysis.

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  • Remains of World War II Soldier to Return to Middle Tennessee

    Monday, August 14, 2017 | 3:36pm

    NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder recognize the service and sacrifice of U.S. Army Staff Sergeant William Turner of Nashville, who was presumably killed on December 13, 1943 along with five other American crew members while serving in World War II.  Turner along with the rest of the “Hell’s Fury” crew were part of an armada of 219 B-26 aircrafts flying form Essex, England to Amsterdam, Holland for a bombing raid.   “Hell’s Fury” was struck by anti-aircraft artillery and crashed near Schiphol near Amsterdam.  The 20-year old aerial engineer was assigned to the 555th Bomb Squadron, 386th Bomb Group and was a crew member of “Hell’s Fury” B-26 bomber.  The crash was recorded by the military as Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 1413.

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  • Fort Campbell Soldiers Remembered by State of Tennessee

    Friday, June 16, 2017 | 3:06pm

    NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder recognize the service and sacrifice of U.S. Army Sergeant Eric Houck, 25, of Baltimore, Maryland, Sergeant William Bays, 29, of Barstow, California and Sergeant Dillon Baldridge, 22, of Youngsville, North Carolina.  The Fort Campbell soldiers were serving with the 101st Airborne Division in Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel when they were killed on June 10.   

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  • Remains of Technical Sergeant William O'Kieff to be Laid to Rest After Nearly 50 Years

    Tuesday, June 13, 2017 | 1:23pm

    NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder recognize the service and sacrifice of U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant William O’Kieff of Murfreesboro, who was presumably killed on November 27, 1970 along with five other American crew members, 73 Republic of South Vietnam service members and their wives and children.  O’Kieff was assigned to 19th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 315th Tactical Airlift Wing and was serving in support of the Vietnam War when the C-123K carrying the Americans and South Vietnamese passengers crashed.  The Flight Engineer from Middle Tennessee was 38-years old at the time of the crash.  The cause of the crash has not been determined.

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  • Remains of Private First Class Reece Gass Return to Tennessee After More than 70 Years

    Wednesday, June 07, 2017 | 5:56pm

    NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder recognize the service and sacrifice of United States Army Private First Class Reece Gass of Greeneville who was presumably killed on January 14, 1945, but was not identified until 2016.  Gass was serving with Company E, 33rd Armored Regiment, 3rd Armored Division in Belgium during World War II when he was killed in action when enemy fire destroyed his tank. 

    An American investigator recovered the remains of a soldier from a tank in Belgium in 1947, but repeated attempts to identify the remains were unsuccessful.  The Greene County native was buried in a grave marked Unknown X-5867 Neuville in the U.S. Military Cemetery Hamm, Luxembourg with a headstone that read “Here Rests in Honored Glory a Comrade in Arms Known but to God.” 

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  • Governor Haslam Memorializes Five Service Members

    Thursday, May 25, 2017 | 1:41pm

    NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, Tennessee Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder and Tennessee Military Department Adjutant General, Major General Terry “Max” Haston paid tribute to five service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice during the state’s Memorial Day service today.

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  • Remains of Marshall County Soldier Killed in Black Hawk Crash Return to Tennessee

    Monday, April 24, 2017 | 5:17pm

    NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder recognize the service and sacrifice of Specialist Jeremy Tomlin of Chapel Hill, Tenn.  The Marshall County U.S. Army soldier was working as a crew chief and training in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter when it crashed on Monday, April 17, 2017 in Leornardtown, Md.   Tomlin was pronounced dead at the scene and two other crew members were critically injured. Tomlin,22, was assigned to “C” Company, 12th Aviation Battalion out of Fort Belvoir, Va.

    ”Jeremy was a son, brother and husband who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country,” Haslam said.  “We pause to remember this young Tennessee soldier killed in the line of duty and as a state we offer our thoughts and prayers to his loved ones.”

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  • More than 40 Campuses Participate in the Statewide Veteran Education Academy

    Wednesday, March 08, 2017 | 10:33am

    NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder addressed more than 100 representatives from more than 40 higher education campuses for the second Statewide Veteran Education Academy hosted at Middle Tennessee State University today.

    ”Student veterans enrich the campuses across the state with their life experiences, leadership, wisdom, commitment and determination to persevere,” Haslam said.  “This population is a critical piece of our Drive to 55 initiative to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary degree or credential to 55 percent by 2025.”

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  • More than 40 Campuses to Participate in the Statewide Veteran Education Academy

    Monday, March 06, 2017 | 2:15pm

    NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder will host more than 100 attendees from more than 40 Tennessee higher education campuses at the second Statewide Veteran Education Academy on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m at Middle Tennessee State University.  The Veteran Education Academy is an event designed to strengthen the network and information sharing among campuses committed to recruit, retain and support student Veterans through to graduation. 

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  • Sumner County Soldier Killed During Korean War Finally Identified

    Monday, November 14, 2016 | 2:42pm

    NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder recognize the service and sacrifice of United States Army Private First Class William W. Cowan of White House, Tenn. who was presumably killed during the Korean War in 1951, but whose remains had not been identified until 2016.  Cowan was assigned to “M” Company, 3rd Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment of the 2nd Infantry Division when he went missing after an attack near Hoengsong, South Korean on February 12, 1951.  He was 19 years old when he was listed as missing in action. 

    Service members captured by enemy forces and later released reported that Cowan died as a prisoner of war (POW at Camp 1 in Changsong, North Korea in May 1951.  Remains were recovered from the camp on September 7, 1954 but were declared unidentifiable and transferred to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, where Cowan was buried as X-14230.   

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  • Governor Haslam Recognizes Tennessee Veterans 2016

    Monday, November 07, 2016 | 10:00am

    NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today joined Tennessee Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder and Major General Terry “Max” Haston from the Tennessee Military Department to recognize five veteran state employees and more than 503,000 Tennessee veterans of all ages and eras.  The Governor’s Veterans Day event was held at the Tennessee Tower Plaza in downtown Nashville.

    “There are 2,425 veterans working in state government and more than 503,000 living in Tennessee,” Haslam said.  “We are grateful that many of these men and women have brought their most positive attributes of military service to help lead and transform state government.”

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  • Construction Begins on the Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery at Parkers Crossroads

    Wednesday, October 12, 2016 | 10:00am

    NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder were joined by several federal, state and local officials today as they broke ground on the Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery at Parkers Crossroads.  U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN), State Rep. Steve McDaniel (R-Parkers Crossroads), State Sen. Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville), Parkers Crossroads Mayor Kenneth Kizer, Henderson County Mayor Dan Hughes and the Friends of the Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery at Parkers Crossroads also participated in the special ceremony.

    The 132-acre cemetery will be located at 693 Wildersville Road and will serve more than 45,000 veterans and their families within 17 counties in west Tennessee. 

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