A Veteran-Friendly Congregation: How to Become One–How to Find One

Tennessee Supreme Court Endorsement

Dear Knox County Regional Veterans Council:

On behalf of the Administrative Office of the Courts, we are pleased to hear of your success in expanding your program and serving thirteen counties in East Tennessee. The efforts of the Knox County Veterans Regional Council to serve the veterans of this State are not only admirable,but also necessary. Veterans who find themselves involved with the criminal justice system deserve a program for support and recovery. Undoubtedly, this program is a valuable resource to the counties you serve and without them the specialized support would be unavailable to veterans.

The judicial system is grateful for your unfailing service and dedication to our State and to our veterans. We support your efforts as you are able to bring expanded services to veterans. Please call on us if we can be a resource to you In your future endeavors.

We are honored to participate in your announcement on September 29,2014 as you celebrate success and look forward to a strong future. Once again, congratulations on your accomplishments and thank you for serving the veterans of our great State.

Very truly yours,

Bill Young

TN Supreme Court AOC endorsement letter

Legacy Peer Support Group, Council & Vet to Vet TN grateful to the Elmcroft staff

Elmcroft Senior Living Centers                                                                      October 9, 2014

ATTN: David Grady, Regional Director of Operations

Mr. Grady,

On Behalf of the Knoxville Regional Veterans Mental Health Council, Vet o Vet Tennessee, and the Legacy Peer Support Group we want to thank you and especially the staff at the Elmcroft of West Knoxville, 8024 Gleason Dr., Knoxville, TN for the assistance they’ve provided to area veterans. Over two years ago the VA Knoxville Clinic no longer had meeting space available for veterans who completed recovery programs due to physical constraints with the Clinic. This issue was televised when veteran s complained and a nurse and administrators at Elmcroft responded with help. They offered us facility space, and our first meeting was held on June 25, 2012he majority of our members are Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraqi and Afghan veterans, but we’ve also had attendees who served in World War II and Korea. We’ve gladly welcomed Elmcroft residents into our meetings who also share the experience of having served in the military. The reception and support the Elmcroft administrators and staff provide is nothing short of fantastic.

Marvelous+Monday+at+Elmcroft+$28478x640$29Last year we were asked to provide a military service to “retire” the U.S. flag in front of the facility. On September 9, 2013 we lowered the damaged flag, burned it in a ceremony at the base of the flagpole, and raised the new flag to its place of honor.


We planted a memorial ornamental tree and plaque for the deceased son of one of our members in the entrance garden.SONY DSC






Last month, on September 19, 2014, we had the privilege to recognize a new Elmcroft resident who is a WW II veteran and was a German prisoner-of-war (POW).  September 19th was National POW/MIA Recognition Day.  We dedicated and raised a new POW Flag in a service that was attended by many veterans, County officials and Elmcroft residents.


“If you want to know what FREEDOM means, ask a prisoner of war…. I am proud to live in a country that has freedom.

I appreciate what you are doing but I don’t feel that I deserve all of this attention. All gave some, some gave all. The ones that made the ultimate sacrifice all the ones that deserve the honor.

Don’t ever take Freedom for granted. Freedom is not free. God bless the USA and God bless America. I am proud to be an American.” WWII POW and Elmcroft resident Robert William Chadwick 9-29-14

Those we would especially like to recognize are:

Kristy Ritch                            Jenna Conforti                      Dawn Crump

Rebecca Swingle                   Lisa Ellis                               Robert Cover

David McClure                       Lesley Hilton-Young              Pat Anderson

Zoe Ammons

The aides, housekeeping and other support staff whose names we don’t have, but are also so supportive of our members and your residents and guests.

You have a staff that takes great pride and care in what they do, and reflects very positively in the mission and operation of the Elmcroft organization. Thank you,


Edouard P. Junod                                                                   Freddie Owens

Council Chair                                                                          Council Vice Chair

Frank Vollmer                                                                         Ron Morton

Council Secretary                                                                    Council Chaplain & Parliamentarian

NAMI National Board of Directors 2014-2017

Our own Ron Morton, Vietnam Navy Veteran is one of our own and was recently reelected to the NAMI’s National Board of Directors.

Congratulations!  We are proud to call you our Brother!  Welcome Home

The 16 members of NAMI’s National Board of Directors are elected by NAMI members to provide strategic guidance in the fulfillment of NAMI’s mission to eradicate mental illnesses and improve the quality of life of all whose lives are affected by these diseases. NAMI National Board Members have broad responsibility to govern the organization. Together and with input from all members, they make policy to govern NAMI, determine NAMI’s official position on matters of public policy, set the budget and priorities of the national office, and develop strategic plans to guide organizational development.

Ron Morton, M.A.

Ron Morton is a member on the NAMI Board of Directors and director of recovery and resiliency at ValueOptions in Knoxville, Tenn. Mr. Morton was previously the director of recovery services at Peninsula Behavioral Health Services.  Ron Morton is the Parliamentarian and Chaplain of the Knoxville Regional Veterans Mental Health Council, Co-Chair of the East Tennessee Veterans Treatment Court PTSD/TBI law enforcement subcommittee, and is Peer Facilitator with Legacy Peer Support Group.

Mr. Morton found that the spirit and goals of NAMI matched his own. He would like NAMI to focus on the prevention of child abuse as a causative factor for mental illness. He would also like NAMI to involve more active duty members of the military.

Ron Morton was instrumental in the creation of the National Council of Urban Indian Health and its first president. He is in his second three-year term on the Mayor’s Council for Disability Issues in Knoxville. He is a member of the Psi Chi Psychological Academic Honor Society and the Society of Indian Psychologists. He is the author of “Treatment of Native Americans in an Urban Setting,” published in Innovations in Clinical Practice.

Ron Morton earned his B.S. at the National University in San Diego, his M.S. at United States International University and his Ph.D. at the California School of Professional Psychology. He is a member of NAMI Knoxville.