First female head of Tennessee’s Veterans Services to retire

December 20, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The first woman to serve as commissioner for Tennessee’s Department of Veterans Services says she will retire in January.

The department says Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder retired as a Colonel in the Tennessee National Guard in 2011 to accept Gov. Bill Haslam’s appointment. Her accomplishments include expanding the department’s focus to include veteran education, employment and Veteran Treatment Courts support.

In a news release, Haslam praised Grinder’s “tenacity, commitment and passion.”

Grinder’s 35 years of military service include 24 years of active duty and a one-year deployment in Afghanistan.

She was inducted into the Fort Benning Hall of Fame in 2004. Her military awards include the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star Medal.

She will continue to serve on the Chief of Staff, Army Retired Soldiers Council and the Tennessee State Museum Foundation Board.

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