• 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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  • Construction to begin at the future Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery at Parkers Crossroads

    Monday, October 10, 2016 | 12:28pm

    NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder in partnership with U.S. Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), U.S. Congressman Stephen Fincher (R-TN), Rep. Steve McDaniel (R-Parkers Crossroads), 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 will break ground on the future Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery at Parkers Crossroads on Wednesday, October 12 at 10:00 a.m. (CDT) at the site located at 693 Wildersville Road in Parkers Crossroads, TN.

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  • Federal Funding Received for Future Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery at Parkers Crossroads

    Friday, September 09, 2016 | 6:13pm

    NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder today announced the state received nearly $6 million dollars in federal funding from the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) for the construction of the future Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery at Parkers Crossroads.

    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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  • Remains of Private Evans Overbey to Return to Tennessee After Nearly 75 Years

    Monday, July 11, 2016 | 1:55pm

    NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder recognize the service and sacrifice of United States Army Air Forces Private Evans Overbey of Elizabethton was serving with the 93rd Bombardment Squadron, 19th Bombardment Group during World War II.  Overbey was reported to be captured in the fall of Corregidor.  Nearly 2,800 prisoners of war died in the Japanese-operated camp at Cabanatuan on the island of Luzon, Philippines.  Overbey along with 12 other servicemen and one American civilian died on November 19, 1942 from malnutrition and medical neglect while in the camp hospital.  He was buried in a common grave in the camp cemetery.  He was 25 years old. 

    Advancements in DNA testing and forensic analysis allowed teams at the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory to positively identify Overbey in December, 2015. 

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