Veterans Services Commissioner Grinder To Serve as Grand Marshal in Pigeon Forge Parade

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Aug. 24, 2016)—Tennessee Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder will serve as grand marshal of the annual Veterans Homecoming Parade in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., on Saturday, Aug. 27, at 9 a.m. on the Parkway.

The Veterans Homecoming Parade, (which begins at traffic light 8 on the Parkway and travels north to traffic light 5 where it concludes) is the highlight of the city’s monthlong Celebrate Freedom! event in August which honors America’s heroes for their service and sacrifice. Service members, veterans, police officers, firefighters and other emergency responders are entitled to various discounts at participating businesses. More information is available at MyPigeonForgeCelebrateFreedom.

“Our service men and women, past and present, are certainly worthy of our appreciation and acknowledgment,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism. “The city of Pigeon Forge devotes the month of August to honoring these deserving folks, like Commissioner Grinder, who sacrifice so much for the many freedoms we enjoy.”

Grinder was appointed by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam in 2011.  Colonel Grinder is the first female in the state to serve as Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Veterans Services.  The retired colonel served more than 35 years in the Tennessee Army National Guard before accepting her current appointment.

“Traveling the state to meet with, recognize and serve Tennessee’s veterans is an incredible honor,” Grinder said. “Listening to the stories of our fellow veterans continues to increase my gratitude for their sacrifices, courage and continued contribution to our state and country.  The Volunteer State was built and thrives on the spirit of these amazing men and women.”

Grinder earned a master’s degree in strategic studies from the Army War College and a master’s degree in human resource development from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Grinder is a Bronze Star medal recipient and an Operation Enduring Freedom combat veteran.



Contact:         Trish McGee

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