Nearly 25 members of the Fort Campbell Retirees Council held a business meeting, enjoyed lunch and toured the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center on the MTSU campus.
The group met Thursday, Feb. 23, in Cantrell Hall of the Tom H. Jackson Building.
It was a scheduled gathering led by Keith M. Huber, senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives at MTSU, who serves as committee chair. He is a retired lieutenant general with nearly 40 years in the U.S. Army and has worked since his arrival to campus two years ago to strengthen partnerships between the university and the military community.
It was a way for committee members to visit MTSU, conduct business and visit the 2,600-square-foot Daniels Center, which recently expanded almost 600 square feet with the addition of the Daniels Veterans Transitioning Home office on the third floor of Keathley University Center.
Many-Bears Grinder, Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs commissioner, was among the participants. She smiles at the thought of what the center brings to MTSU students who have served in various branches of the military.
“It is a model of what any institution should strive for; providing student veterans with a dedicated location, computers and the ability to network is a key contributor to their success through graduation,” Grinder said.
Among those attending were U.S. Army Col. James R. Salome, garrison commander, and Noel Foster, garrison commander sergeant major, at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
“This is a great facility for our veterans to expand our horizons and see what sacrifices they and their families have given,” Salome said.
Salome observed firsthand the center’s availability to not only provide assistance to MTSU student veterans but to all veterans.
Jeff Sobocinski, who retired from the U.S. Army at Fort Campbell in 2009, entered the center just as Salome and the others were about to tour the Transitioning Home office. Sobocinski, who served with Salome and teaches ROTC at Stewarts Creek High School, came to receive assistance from Heather Conrad and the VetSuccess on Campus program.
MTSU’s Office of the Provost, led by interim provost Mark Byrnes, provided the luncheon, which was served by MT Dining Services.
— Randy Weiler (firstname.lastname@example.org)