American Flag returned from Iraq

November 30, 2016 Madisonville, Tennessee

1130161242aWillis Parker, Maj. USAF, Aircraft Commander with the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron and Veterans Court Mentor in the 10th Judicial District, returned from another deployment in the Middle East.  He stopped by unexpectedly at Vet to Vet Tennessee’s (V2VT) outpost on 11-30-16. Willis surprised the V2VT officers with his unexpected return and were humbled and honored to receive an American flag that was flown over Iraq for V2VT on November 10, 2016. in Iraq.  Randy Scott, V2VT Vice President accepted the flag.  Willis is holding the Certificate of Authenticity signed his the crew.

We a grateful to Willis for remembering V2VT  and for his valor and personal sacrifice protecting our freedom.


Newest Veteran Friendly Congregation

November 13, 2016  Knoxville Tennessee

A new Veteran Friendly Congregation, New Life Ministries, enrolls after hearing about the Veteran Friendly Congregation initiative at the East Tennessee Military Affairs Council (ETMAC) 34th Annual Veterans Day Luncheon on November 11, 2016.

Freddie Owens, Veteran Friendly Congregation Chairman & Vet to Vet Tennessee V2VT), Ed Junod, Knoxville Regional Veterans Mental Health Council (Council) Chairman & V2VT Treasurer and Colonel Owen Ragland, USAF (Ret.), ETMAC President were discussing the new direction the Military Chaplain Association Board approved recently.

During our conversation, Pastor Jayme Tharp, Senior Pastor of New Life Ministries overheard our discussion.  Within minutes after the conversation, Pastor Tharp
asked to become a Veteran Friendly Congregation.  Ed Junod agreed to attend New Life Ministries Veterans Appreciation on 11-13-16.  Ed attended New Life Ministries and was welcomed with open arms.  Ed was asked by Pastor Tharp to speak during the service.  “I felt right at home” Ed said as the members and Pastor welcomed the Council and V2VT with open arms and “is a perfect fit for the church” said Pastor Tharp. Before the sermon began Church member Ms. Debra Watson ask the Pastor if it was OK to collect an offering to help the Council and V2VT continue with their mission.  As result of the request, V2VT received over $700.00.  After the sermon, Pastor Tharp asked for donations to purchase a washer and dryer for True Purpose Knox;  V2VT donated $200.00.



New Life Ministries has many groups in the church, including a homeless shelter and substance use disorder program “True Purpose Knox” headed by Executive Director Russ Owens.

We are blessed to have Pastor Tharp and his church as part of our VFC initiative.  Peace.

Freddie Owens awarded the “Sam Hardman Memorial Award”

November 11, 2016  Knoxville, Tennessee



Freddie Owens, Army Ia Drang Vietnam survivor, Vice Chairman of the Knoxville Regional Veterans Mental Health Council, President of Vet to Vet Tennessee, was presented the East Tennessee Military Affairs Council’s (ETMAC) “Sam Hardman Memorial Award” by Colonel Owen Hardman USAF (Ret,) ETMAC President for his leadership & outstanding progress with Veterans Courts and Veteran/Military Friendly Congregations.

ETMAC’s major award has previously been called the Civilian Warrior award. In 2013, the Veteran community in East Tennessee lost one of its staunchest supporters – a man who did not really get involved until he was 80 or so, but a man who would sell watches to raise funds for Honor Air, or participate in a kissing booth, or simply fill his calendar by attending every imaginable Veteran-related activity. He did all of this for the last 15 years of his life. His name was Sam Hardman, and the Board of ETMAC voted to rename our most significant honor – The Sam Hardman Warrior Award – in his memory.

Please make sure you let Freddie how proud we are and honored to call him our brother.  Send him an email at

Vet to Vet TN to assist Korean War Vets

November 3, 2016  Knoxville, Tennessee.

Vet to Vet Tennessee (V2VT) announced they are seeking to assist eligible Korean War veterans interested in receiving the Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal. The Ambassador for Peace medal is awarded in appreciation from the people of the Republic of Korea to those who served valiantly during the Korean War.

V2VT has been a Department of Defense Vietnam War Commemoration (VWC) Partner since July 1, 2016.  The outreach opportunity has recognized and pinned over 1,100 eligible VWC recipients.  During these events we found many Korean War veterans who asked us about “our medal”.  We never had a good response until October 29, 2016 during a V2VT VWC event in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, when we learned about the South Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal.

V2VT identified our first Korean War veteran during our October 29, 2016 V2VT Pow Wow event in Cookeville, TN.

Thanks to the support of Tennessee congressional members and the South Korean Embassy, V2VT has developed and implemented a new program in 8 days.  V2VT VWC presenters have already identified and assisted several Korean War veterans.

Click here to see if you are eligible.

A grateful national thanks U.S. Korean War veterans for their service. sacrifice and valor.