Tuesday, April 16, 2013

[420] Double amputee to keynote April 15 event at MTSU for women veterans

News and Media Relations contact: Jimmy Hart, 615-898-5131 or Jimmy.Hart@mtsu.edu
Veteran Affairs contact: Chris Conklin, 615-225-4690 or Christopher.conklin@va.gov

MURFREESBORO — Middle Tennessee State University is partnering with the Department of Veteran Affairs Tennessee Valley Healthcare System to honor women veterans through an upcoming documentary screening and informational session on VA healthcare and education benefits.

The event will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, April 15, at the Keathley University Center Theater on the MTSU campus. The keynote speaker will be U.S. Army veteran Sue Downes, who is featured in the documentary “Service: When Women Come Marching Home,” highlighting the struggles of and triumphs of returning home as a combat wounded woman veteran.

Downes, a driver and gunner while serving in Afghanistan, had both legs amputated below the knee when the Humvee she was in hit landmines in 2005. She will take part in a question-and-answer session during the April 15 event with other veterans in attendance.

Women veterans who attend the event will see a free viewing of the documentary and have the chance to talk to staff from the VA and MTSU on how to maximize available education and healthcare benefits, as well as the chance to register for VA healthcare.

Director of VA TVHS Juan A. Morales said the event is an exciting partnership to work with the university to highlight VA benefits, especially the VA health benefits available for women veterans.

“VA TVHS’s Women Veterans Healthcare Program is a leader in the VA nationwide providing healthcare to the brave women who served our country. We are aware that many of these women are utilizing their VA educational benefits at college campuses throughout the Midstate such as MTSU. This event allows us to provide awareness of healthcare programs available exclusively to women veterans,” Morales said.

MTSU officials are welcoming women veterans from throughout the Midstate and those who attend community colleges in the area to provide information regarding educational benefits and how they can apply these benefits. Veteran advisors from MTSU’s VetSuccess of Campus office will be at the program to provide information.

The event is open to the public and all women veterans and their families in Middle Tennessee. For more information on the event, contact Kim Holden at 615-225-5535 or Cathy Kirchner at 615-898-5814.

“MTSU is honored to partner with the VA for this event in support of women veterans,” MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee said. “Through our VetSuccess office and events such as this, the university will continue to support these valuable contributors to our campus and the wider community. Helping women veterans fulfill their higher education goals is an effort we gladly join.”

MTSU is the only Tennessee university selected by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for a “VetSuccess on Campus” program. It also has been named a military-friendly institution for three years in a row by G.I. Jobs magazine.

To learn more about the MTSU VetSuccess on Campus program, call 615-898-2974.

For more information about VA TVHS, visit http://www.tennesseevalley.va.gov/.

To learn more about the documentary, visit http://servicethefilm.com.

About MTSU

Founded in 1911 as one of three state normal schools for teacher training, MTSU is now the oldest and largest public university in Middle Tennessee. With an enrollment of more than 25,000 students, MTSU is the largest undergraduate university in Tennessee.

MTSU remains committed to providing individualized service in an exciting and nurturing atmosphere where student success is the top priority. With a wide variety of nationally recognized academic degree programs at the baccalaureate, master's and doctoral levels, MTSU takes pride in educating the best and the brightest students from Tennessee and around the world.


Media welcomed

A printable campus map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTParkingMap12-13.

            MTSU is committed to developing a community devoted to learning, growth, and service. We hold these values dear, and there’s a simple phrase that conveys them:  “I am True Blue.” Learn more at www.mtsu.edu/trueblue. For MTSU news anytime, visit www.MTSUNews.com.

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