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Mayor Barry Seeks to Recognize Veterans Day as Official Metro Holiday

April 21, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In a ceremony joined by veterans from our armed services, members of the Metro Council, Colonel Don Deering, and Tennessee Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder, Mayor Megan Barry announced her intention to make Veterans Day, November 11, an official holiday for Metro Government, closing non-emergency government offices so that employees can celebrate and honor our veterans.

“As the daughter of a Marine, I was raised to appreciate the dedication and sacrifice that the men and women of our armed forces have given to their country,” said Mayor Barry. “Recognizing Veterans Day in Metro is one more way, on top of the programs and policies already in place to support our veterans, in which we can recognize and celebrate their service which has kept Americans safe and secure.”

Mayor Barry, along with Metro Council Budget and Finance Committee Chair Bill Pridemore, announced the decision to seek additional funding in the FY16-17 budget for this effort, pending review and approval by the Civil Service Commission at their next meeting on May 10.

Following Civil Service Commission approval, Mayor Barry will issue an executive order that will give non-civil service employees the day off to be able to recognize Veterans Day as well. The executive order also will request that Metro elected officials and other Metro agencies that have their own independent civil service authority take similar action. This would include NES, MDHA and the Hospital Authority, as well as certain Metro agencies overseen by elected officials, such as the Davidson County Clerk’s Office and the Trustee’s Office.

“Nearly 700 men and women who served their country also serve their city, and we should honor them appropriately,” said Mayor Barry. “My hope is that we can set an example for other non-Metro governmental agencies, as well as those in the private sector here in Nashville to make more of an effort to recognize the service and sacrifice of the nearly 37,000 veterans here in Davidson County.”

Nashville’s focus on veterans is seen in a variety of programs and policies in Davidson County:

  • Metro has a Veterans Service Officer, Lisa Kiss, who assists veterans in navigating the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs system when applying for benefits and entitlements.
  • The Davidson County Veterans Court presided over by Judge Melissa Blackburn, works to assist veterans who face legal trouble through mental health evaluations, alcohol and substance abuse assistance and supervision by client specialists assigned to work on their particular needs.
  • Veterans with disabilities can qualify for property tax relief, depending on income.
  • Metro has been committed to ending veteran homelessness through the How’s Nashville campaign which placed 294 veterans in housing in 2015. Additionally, MDHA and Buffalo Valley opened Patriot Place in Madison which offers 34 one-bedroom apartments for homeless veterans.
  • The Mayor’s Senior Advisor on Workforce Development is working with state officials and local companies to promote veteran employment.

“Mayor Barry and Metro Nashville have been strong partners in supporting veterans in Nashville,” said Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder. “We look forward to finding new ways in which we can highlight the issues facing veterans and find new opportunities to give them the resources and support to succeed in Tennessee.”