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.”

“We have a rich military history that remains an unshakeable foundation for the Volunteer State,” Grinder said.  “The legacy and continued contributions of veterans in our families, campuses, workplaces and communities remain valuable to moving our state forward and will ensure patriotism remains woven into our future for generations to come.”

“Today’s military is more involved in global operations than in any other time in history,” Haston said.  “As we add more veterans to our ranks, we can never let their sacrifice go unappreciated and that appreciation extends to their families; the spouses and children, the mothers and fathers.  Their sacrifice is just as real as that of the veterans.”

Haslam recognized the achievements of five veteran state employees currently making a difference within the department or agency that nominated them for the honor.

Mitch Currey is currently serving as an Educational Specialist 3 at the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC).  Previously, Sergeant Currey served as an Infantryman with the 82nd Airborne Division in the U.S. Army.  His service includes two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.  As a member of the THEC Veterans Education Division which also serves at the State Approving Authority, Currey directly supports approximately 13,000 student veterans in Tennessee who are pursuing their education goals.   Currey conducted 28 compliance audits of schools and job training programs in FY 2016.  He is responsible for recouping approximately $50,000 in federal benefit overpayments. 


Zack Griffith is currently serving as Assistant Commissioner and General Counsel at the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.   In the past year, his division engaged in 15,800 court actions, 54 disciplinary appeals, conducted 150 investigations and processed 850 contract transactions.  Captain Griffith is an U.S. Army veteran and currently serves with the Tennessee Army National Guard.  He returned from deployment to Afghanistan earlier this year, where he served as Deputy Command Judge Advocate for Task Force ODIN (Observe, Detect, Identify and Neutralize) operating in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and NATO’s Resolute Support Mission.


Joseph Lindsey currently serves as Cemetery Director of the Middle Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery which is part of the Department of Veterans Services (TDVS).  Senior Chief Petty Officer Lindsey is a U.S. Navy veteran and is currently serving in the Navy Reserves with nearly 20 years of active and reserve service which includes two deployments to Iraq.   Since joining TDVS, Lindsey has increased online pre-registrations for burial in Middle Tennessee by 175 percent.  In 2016, the National Cemetery Administrations (NCA) conducted a cemetery compliance review in Middle Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery.  Due to Joseph’s leadership and his ability to inspire excellence from his team, the Middle Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery received 81percent on the NCA compliance review, which is well above the national average. 


Scott Nason currently serves as a Tactical Officer with the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) Strike Force One which is a division of the Office of Investigation and Compliance.  Petty Officer First Class Nason served 16 years in the U.S. Navy and is currently serving in the Navy Reserves.  His military service includes deployments to Kuwait and Afghanistan.  He has assisted in establishing and implementing new Facility Search Procedures for Contraband Detection and Interdiction that have been implemented statewide due to the effectiveness of the new procedures.  This new process has reduced the search time of a facility from three days to one day.

Korry Rahn currently serves as Assistant Director and Human Resources Program Manager of Organizational Performance and the Data Management Division.  Previously, Staff Sergeant Rahn served in the United States Air Force, the Washington Air National Guard and the Oregon Air National Guard as a Tactical Aircraft Maintenance Specialist, both in the phase docks and as Crew Chief on T-33 trainers, F-4 and F-15 fighters. Korry, in her current role, has received many KUDO awards over the past 10 months due to her unwavering commitment to exemplary customer service.  She is a significant contributor to the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TNCPE) and serves as a Master Examiner and team leader for DOHR’s TNCPE application process.