Council’s Accomplishments since partnering with VISN 9 Leadership

  1. First meeting with VISN 9 Network Director John Patrick, Dr. Farina-Morin and Joseph Shoeck and the Knoxville Regional Veterans Mental Health Council (Council). July 7, 2014
  1. First joint Council meeting with VISN 9 & Mountain Home VA Healthcare System Executives July 15, 2014
    • First meeting with Director Charlene Ehret et al
    • New VISN 9 & Mountain Home VA liaisons introduced
  1. Council partners with the University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK) Sociology Department to create a Veterans Treatment Court Intern curriculum which is not only a great outreach opportunity but also provide free interns to the Knox County VTC. July 2014
  1. VA improved prescription drug verification with the Knox County Sheriff Office (KCSO) Detention Center time from days to no longer than 24 hours in September 1, 2014,
  1. First Knox County VTC Justice Involved Veteran (JIV) graduates, September 10, 2014.
  1. Supreme Court of Tennessee Administrative Office the Courts endorses Council’s VTC program on September 25, 2014.
  1. Vet to Vet TN opens new chapter in Middle Tennessee September 28, 2014
    • James “Moe” Armstrong and Ed Drew attended expansion ceremony
    • Create Veterans Mental Health Council
    • Created a VTC Committee
    • Created a Veteran Friendly Congregation Committee
    • Home office 097 Hatcher Road, Columbia, TN
  1. VTC Hub Concept public announcement September 29, 2014
    • Great support from 5 Judicial District, the VA and the TN VA
    • Announced Council’s plan to have Veterans Treatment Court Orientation April 2015
  1. Council partners with KCSO Regional Training Academy to create a POST certified in service PTSD training October 2014
  1. Created first Recovery and Resiliency Support Group to support LPG Peer Facilitators and VTC Mentors. October 6, 2014
  1. First Mental Health First Aid training taught by Council officer who is a MH 1st Aid instructor. October 21, 2014
  1. Completed Veteran PTSD Law Enforcement pilot training program November 2014
    • Trained 255 Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) in Union and Blount Counties
  1. UTK approves Council’s request VTC to begin VTC Outreach/Internship course or fall semester with 15 interns; course title: East Tennessee Center for Transformative Justice”. November 21, 2014
  1. Council presented “All we can do is help” VTC introduction to the 10th Annual Tennessee Association of Drug Court Professionals, Murfreesboro, TN December 2014
  1. Council presented “All we can do is help” VTC introduction to the 10th Judicial District, December 2014
  1. First JIV from Grainger County, 4th Judicial District to KCVTC. December 2014
  1. Council website redesigned.
    • VA page modified to reflect an emerging partnership
    • Personal comments from VA liaisons included
  1. First JIV from Fentress County, 8th Judicial District January 5, 2015
  1. Council created first Justice Involved Veterans (JIV) Legacy Peer Support Group (LPG) January 21, 2015
  1. Council met with the 13th Judicial District VTC team; Judge, District Attorney General and Court Director to help a JIV in Smith County. January 26, 2015
  1. First JIV from Blount County, 5th Judicial District to KCVTC January 12, 2015
  1. Completed new PTSD Awareness, Intervention & Resolution (PAIR) LEO Training program. January 22, 2015
    • Approved by Knox County Sheriff Office Regional Academy instructors
    • Sent to Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission for certification
  1. KOPC Therapist conduct first Sands/JIV evidence-based PTSD pilot 16 week workgroup. February 11, 2015
    • Findings
      • Not beneficial to VTC phase I JIVs
      • Legacy Peer Support Group recommended in lieu of workgroup during initial stabilization phase.
      • PTSD evidence-based workgroup recommended for VTC Phase 2 JIVs.
  1. POST Commission certifies Council’s PAIR training and trainers February 19, 2015
  1. Council attended hearing for JIV in Smith County, 15th Judicial District. Smith County Judge, ADA, PD and PO excited about the VTC program but did not know anything about VTC. Want to learn more. JIV Hearing postponed. February 23, 2015
  1. Council began 5th LPG recovery program in March 9, 2015
  1. Council begins first PAIR in service training to the Knox County Sheriff Office (KCSO) in March 6, 2015 through April 24, 2015
    • 595 KCSO LEOs trained in 2015
  1. First JIV from Sevier County, 4th Judicial District, transferred Knox County VTC. March 9, 2015
  1. Council partnered with CoParenting Solutions, Inc. CoParenting Solutions offers pro bono and sliding fee legal assistance and mediation to clients who need help with family court and unable to hire an attorney. March 10, 2015.
  1. Council’s officer, certified as a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma leads VA, Knox County VTC and Council in a Veteran Treatment Court Roundtable discussion. March 11, 2015.
  1. Veterans Treatment Court Mentor Orientation April 9-10, 2015
    • 33 new VTC mentors
    • 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 21st Judicial District represented: 22 counties
    • Two Mayors, Three Judges
    • VA support from Central Office, VISN 9, Mountain Home Healthcare System and
    • Three Veteran Justice Outreach Specialist
  1. First JIV from Monroe County, 10th Judicial District, transferred Knox County VTC. April 14, 2015
  1. First Veteran Friendly Congregation enrolled from Vet to Vet Middle TN. Craft Memorial UMC, Columbia, TN which bring the number of VFCs to 15. April 14, 2015.
  1. First Council teleconference with Mountain Home VA Healthcare System Chief of Staff. April 17, 2015
  1. First JIV from Hamilton County, 11th Judicial District, transferred to Knox County VTC, May 19, 2015
  1. PAIR training in Monroe County, 10th Judicial District including a Judge and three Police Chief. Program extended from 2 hours to 2 ½ hours at the request of the Judge. May 28, 2015
  1. Vet to Vet Middle Tennessee requested Council and Vet to Vet Tennessee to train members of the 21st Judicial District VTC team including mentors. June 18, 2015
  • Schedule for September 11th & 12th, 2015
  • Veterans Treatment Court Introduction
  • PAIR training
  1. Council incorporated “Battlemind Training” into the Legacy Peer Support Groups. Battlemind was developed by Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command 1. June 22, 2015.
  1. First JIV from Jefferson County, 4th Judicial District, deferred to Mountain Home Healthcare system for treatment. June 29, 2015
  1. Full Battlemind Training program and material posted on the Council’s website: June 30, 2015
  1. First JIV from Lawrenceburg County, 22th Judicial District, transferred to Knox County VTC. July 1, 2015
  1. Council was requested to partner with the Tennessee Valley Coalition for the Homelessness on a Veteran homeless program in Monroe County which has a potential of 30 beds available to Veterans in the near future. The focus is to provide a variety of short term to medium term housing while each veteran rests, recovers, and focuses on their future. The program will build confidence and independence and inspires veterans to pursue their personal goals and aspirations as it relates to work, school, family, health, and recreation. July 7, 2015
  1. Legacy Peer Support Group conducted 176 peer recovery meetings and supplied the recovery material and facility.
  1. UTK course list new Sociology 492 (East Tennessee Center for Transformative Justice”) for 2015 fall semester. Sent a memorandum of understanding to the Knox County Veterans Treatment Court. Council member and Peer Facilitator is the lead student in this new program and has participated since inception. Currently 11 student have registered; four seats available.
  1. First JIV from Union County, 8th Judicial District, transferred to Knox County VTC. July 16, 2015
  1. Against the Grain founder founders, Rob and Meredith Kendall, has develop the nationally recognized 180 program. The curriculum was developed to answer the questions asked by the women and help them gain the skills they needed to overcome their struggles and become self-sufficient.
    • Scheduled train the trainer course July 30, 2015
    • LPG, Vet to Vet TN, and Council members attending
    • Sponsored by Metro Drug Commission
  1. 2nd PAIR training scheduled for July 30, 2015 in Monroe County, 10th Judicial District. Program extended from 2 hours to three hours at the request of the LEOs


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the Council,

Edouard “Ed” Junod

Chairman, Knoxville Regional Veterans Mental Health Council


Listen to our Sands Veterans about Readjustment and Peer Support

Yesterday our future council leaders were absolutely great during Randall Baxter’s, “The Veteran Next Door,” radio program.  Thank you, Randy, for allowing our young veterans to reach out to other Sands veterans.

Adam Deffinger (OEF/OIF, Marine vet) Robert Cooter (Desert Storm, Navy vet), Don Davis (Vietnam vet) and Ed Junod (Vietnam vet) participated in Randy’s live two-hour show.  All four guests were members of the council, and Adam was elected a secretary to the council on August 13, 2015.

This was Adam and Don’s first appearance on a radio program, and you can hear how well Adam, Don and Robert performed. Amazing!


“Part 1 – August 16, 2015 – Topic: “Suicide and Getting Help”

Special Guests: Adam Deffinger, Don Davis, Ed Junod, Robert Cooter



“Part 2 – August 16, 2015 – Topic: “Peer Support – Bottom up management -“

Special Guests: Adam Deffinger, Don Davis, Ed Junod, Robert Cooter



“Part 3 August 16, 2015 – Topic: “The Wave is Coming & Readjustment”

Special Guests: Adam Deffinger, Don Davis, Ed Junod, Robert Cooter



Part 4 August 16, 2015  Topic “Council’s VA Report Card and One Year Achievements”

Special Guests: Adam Deffinger, Don Davis, Ed Junod, Robert Cooter



Share your comments once you have listened to the broadcast.

After the program, Don and I immediately drove to our church.  The church placed a card on each chair.  The cards read “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:”  (Peter 4:10a ESV)


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Council Elects Sands Veteran as new Secretary

On August 13, 2015 the Council unanimously elected it first OEF/OIF Veteran as a Council officer.  Adam Deffinger has been with LPG and Vet to Vet for almost two years and has been important in the development of our Sands LPG meeting.  Adam leads the Wednesday LPG and has been a Veterans Treatment Court mentor for almost a year.

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PTSD Awareness, Intervention, Awareness (PAIR) Training expands to Middle Tennessee

August 12, 2015

Vet to Vet Tennessee and their affiliate, Vet to Vet Middle Tennessee, entered into an agreement to provide PAIR training to the newly forming Williamson County VTC team.  Vet to Vet TN will also “train the trainers” to  members of Vet to Vet Middle Tennessee and provide them a license to train others.  The PAIR training is Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission approved.  Currently the Knoxville Regional Veterans Mental Health Council PAIR trainers have presented to almost 900 Law Enforcement and First Responder.

The training is schedule in Franklin on September 12, 2015.  The PAIR training will begin at 9:00am.  The PAIR trainers training will begin at 1:00PM.  If you are interested in attending either or both please contact Vet to Vet Middle Tennessee President Harry “Top” Hishon at 954-873-0010 or email him at  Our you can leave him a message below.

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