Haslam Dedicates 1st Rural State Veterans Cemetery

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Governor Bill Haslam, Tennessee Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Randy Reeves in partnership with U.S. Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Rep. Steve McDaniel (R-Parkers Crossroads), Senator 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 dedicated the Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery at Parkers Crossroads on Tuesday.

“It took several federal, state and local partners to make this vision a reality for Tennessee’s veterans, but it is rewarding to see this breathtaking facility opened,” Governor Haslam said. “There is no way to repay the debt of gratitude we have for those who served, however, this cemetery does offer a tangible place of reverence.”

The 132-acre cemetery is located at 693 Wildersville Road and will serve more than 45,000 veterans and their families within 17 counties in west Tennessee. The cemetery opened on July 6, and burials began on July 9.

“This celebration is a perfect way to start a new chapter for the Department as we continue to increase our focus on why we do what we do,” Commissioner Grinder said. “Our why is wrapped in unrelenting desire to be a pristine final resting place for heroes, gripped by compassion for grieving families and committed to selflessness as we remember what we do is about excellence that can be built on for years to come.” 

There are currently two state veterans cemeteries in Knoxville, one in Nashville and one in Memphis. Additionally, there are national cemeteries in Knoxville, Mountain Home, Chattanooga, Nashville and Memphis. In 2011, the Department determined a portion of veterans living between Nashville and Memphis and Knoxville and Nashville did not have access to a veterans cemetery within a 75 mile radius of their communities and families.

The National Cemetery Administration awarded $5,754,802.00 in federal funding for the construction of the cemetery, which started in 2016.

“Our state and tribal partners are critical in helping the National Cemetery Administration achieve its strategic goal of providing 95 percent of the Veteran population with convenient access to a burial option within 75 miles of their home,” Mr. Reeves said. “We will continue to work with and support states like Tennessee to provide grants which reflect the needs, resources and preferences of the local veteran community.”

“It's an honor to partake in the dedication of Tennessee's fifth State Veterans Cemetery at Parkers Crossroads,” Ms. Blackburn said. “There is nothing more important than fulfilling our commitment to ensure our nation’s heroes receive the honor and respect they deserve for their sacrifice to our country. Tennessee veterans and their families deserve the best, and this field of honor provides a final resting place that reflects our respect and admiration of their service to our country, state, and communities. I want to thank Tennessee Veterans Services Commissioner Grinder and all those involved in the selection and construction process. Parkers Crossroads is treasured for its deep military history going back to the Civil War, and I can think of no better place to pay our respects to the men and women who have borne the battle.”

“I knew this area would serve as a perfect home for the state’s newest cemetery, not only because of the rich military history, but because of the close knit community,” Rep. McDaniel said.  “Driving down the interstate and seeing this field of honor brings a sense of patriotism to my heart and mind that makes me think of the brave men and women who have served our country for centuries.”

“The Tennessee Department of Veterans Services has grown in function, vision and direction under the leadership of Commissioner Grinder,” Ms. Gresham said. “As a retired veteran it is exciting to think about the trail she has blazed with the customer service improvements in cemeteries, claims, education and state veterans homes.”

To pre-register for burial at the Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery at Parkers Crossroads or find out more about State Veterans Cemeteries visit tn.gov/veteran.



Mowbray Mountain Man Shot And Killed On Hotwater Road Sunday Afternoon; Case Still Unsolved

A 69-year-old Mowbray Mountain man was shot and killed Sunday afternoon on Hotwater Road. He was identified as Roger Kelley. At approximately 5 p.m., Hamilton County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the 1600 block of Hotwater Road for the report of a person shot. Upon arrival, deputies found one deceased person who had an apparent gunshot wound.  According ... (click for more)

Brooker To Serve 2 Years In Federal Prison After Gun Was Spotted In His Car After He Ran Out Of Gas

Kelvin Brooker has been sentenced to serve two years in federal prison in a case that originated when his car ran out of gas. Brooker appeared before Judge Sandy Mattice. On May 11, 2017, officers with the Chattanooga Police Department made contact with Brooker on the side of the road after his vehicle had run out of gas. Officers agreed to watch his car as he took a taxi ... (click for more)

The Sad Condition Of Historic Brown's Ferry Tavern

It is embarrassing and saddening how the historic Brown's Ferry Tavern looks right now. It is disgusting.    Whoever the new owner is has left this amazing piece of our local history to rot. Pieces are falling off the roof and chimney. The grounds: grass, bushes, trees are so overgrown and out-of-control that it is disgraceful.   Private property ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: No Cell Phones Allowed

There was a time, not so long ago, when school-aged children would learn lessons from a prescribed text, such as a textbook. Today texting is far, far different and, as any of our teachers will tell us, cell phones have become the scourge of education. In almost every classroom, kids will silently text in the shadow of the desk in front of them rather than focus on the lesson. Yet ... (click for more)

Baylor Rallies To Beat Stubborn East Hamilton

There’s nothing quite like playing one of the best volleyball teams in the state to open the 2018 season, but that’s exactly what the East Hamilton Lady Hurricanes did at home Tuesday evening. Facing the defending Division II state champion Baylor Lady Red Raiders, the Lady Canes didn’t seem to be the least bit intimidated by Baylor and even grabbed early momentum by winning ... (click for more)

CCS, Red Bank, Ooltewah Volleyball Winners Tuesday

Chattanooga Christian, Red Bank and Ooltewah all won volleyball matches Tuesday with CCS improving to 2-0 with the 3-1 district win over Grace. Soddy Daisy defeated Hixson by a 3-1 final while Lookout Valley split a pair of matches, the Lady Yellow Jackets losing to Gordon Lee before defeating Ringgold. Soddy Daisy prevailed by scores of 25-10, 19-25, 25-8 and 25-21.  ... (click for more)