Vets Home Council to tour Clarksville facility

By LARRY C. BOWERS
Posted 1/15/20

The Southeast Tennessee Veterans Home Council is gearing up for a busy year, although the community volunteers will not have a direct impact on the immediate construction of the new state facility in …

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Vets Home Council to tour Clarksville facility

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The Southeast Tennessee Veterans Home Council is gearing up for a busy year, although the community volunteers will not have a direct impact on the immediate construction of the new state facility in South Cleveland.

The council met in November to select new officers, made some committee appointments, and will meet again at 6 p.m. on Thursday at the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce offices in The Village Green.

Kim Dees was elected council chairman at the November meeting, succeeding longtime Chairman Cid Heidel who passed away earlier in 2019. Council Secretary Joe Davis, a former Bradley County Veterans Services officer, also passed away unexpectedly in recent weeks.

The new officers to work alongside Dees include Richard Heinl, vice chairman; Alvin Howard, secretary; and Betsy Trimble, treasurer. A trio of at-large officers includes Janet Allen, Mary Baier and Sgt. Jackie Hogan.

It was hoped Ed Harries, executive director of the Tennessee Veterans Home Board, would be able to attend the local gathering; however, he will be presiding over a session of the state board on that same day. He has assured members he will attend in the future.

Council members are planning a cross-state trip to Clarksville on Monday, Jan. 20, to visit the state veterans home in Montgomery County. It is Tennessee's newest  nursing home for veterans.

Harries, his assistant Sharon McCann and the state board's Public Relations Director Melanie Cook are scheduled to attend the gathering in Clarksville.

Council members are hoping to find some ways the Southeast Tennessee organization can step up to assist the state veteran agencies, even before the completion of the Bradley County Tennessee State Veterans  Home in the summer of 2021.

Site preparation and the installation of utilities are currently underway, with the actual construction on four buildings to begin in the near future. The Christman Company is the contractor.

The $47 million Bradley County facility will be Tennessee's fifth veterans home. The Clarksville facility was the fourth, along with homes in Knoxville, Humboldt and Murfreesboro. A sixth veterans home is planned for Arlington, but funding has not yet been secured.

Dees has been serving as the council's vice chair in recent months. He had succeeded former co-chair Mark Hall, after Hall was elected to a seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives. Hall had shared the council chairmanship with Heidel for the past several years.

One of the agenda items for the Council's Jan. 16 meeting is to finalize plans for the trip to Clarksville.

Dees will also announce that SETVHC Vice Chair Heinl has been selected to chair the Council's Golf Tournament Committee, replacing Janet Allen. The golf tournament has been a major fundraiser in recent years.

In other agenda items scheduled for the coming SETVHC session:

• Bradley County Veteran Services Director Brian Huesterberg, and assistant Cherie Nations, will provide a report from the county office.

• Jim Seitz provided a donation to the council from the Antique Tractor Club.

• Bradley County Veterans Services Officer Tim Wood will join Polk County veteran Steve Norwood with a report from Polk County's AmVet Post 911. Wood and Norwood are state AmVet officers.

• There will also be a vote on new members, and a scheduling of a meeting date, time and place for the Council in March.

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