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MoCo Government News
1 Millennium Plaza
Clarksville, TN 37040

Phone: (931) 648-8482
Email: [email protected]

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Military Veterans Make a Big Impact in Montgomery County

July 08, 2022 - MoCo Gov.

VSO Director shares data from the Veterans Affairs Office


MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TN – At the July 6 informal County Commission meeting, Montgomery County Veterans Service Organization Director Andrew Kester presented his annual overview of the benefits and economic impact of military veterans in the community. The data he shared is from the latest information the Veterans Administration (VA) provided.

Montgomery County is in the top four percent of all military veteran populations in the U.S. and ranked 25 for their total known veteran population at slightly over 14%. Out of the 3,134 counties in the United States, Montgomery County ranks number 309 in the overall population and 127 in the total veteran population. 

“When you consider the number of military veterans in the community who may be voters along with the voters in their household, I believe they make up at least 25% of our community,” said Kester.

From an economic standpoint, in 2021, a total of $459,412,000 has come from veterans' disability benefits alone. Montgomery County leads in economic impact over every other county across the state.

“That is not seen directly in our office but in the community in economic impact dollars in education, entertainment, and housing,” said Kester.

The three main concerns identified to VA by the veteran community were healthcare, disability benefits, and transportation. The degree of concern varied with age and demographics. The MCVSO assists and directs those three areas but primarily helps veterans with disability benefits.

"We are fortunate to have a local VA Clinic for healthcare but, if our veterans need to visit the VA Medical Center in Nashville, we have a 501C3 non-profit veterans van service for transportation. We are one of the few VSOs in the state that offers rides. We also provide veterans van service with a computer and phone, which is part of a cross-collaborative effort of the non-profit and public sectors,” added Kester.

Between 2019 through 2021, MCVSO served more than 9,000 veterans each year with no significant difference in numbers through COVID-19. Eighty percent of the veterans they serve live in Montgomery County, 10% live outside Montgomery County, and 10% live out of state.

“We make the biggest impact at our VSO and have the largest staff because of the support we receive from County Commissioners, our VSO board, the Mayor and the community, allowing us to provide the best services for our veterans,” said Kester. 

To see the presentation, visit, and to find out more about MCVSO, visit

Fort Campbell Leaders Present Awards to EMS Employees at County EMS Station

June 21, 2022 - MoCo Gov.

Montgomery County, TN — On June 15 at the main County EMS Station on Dunlop Lane, Fort Campbell Garrison Commander Colonel Andrew Jordan and Blanchfield Army Community Hospital (BACH) Commander Colonel Vincent Myers presented awards to Montgomery County and BACH EMS Team Members who assisted in incidents at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Certificates, coins and medals were given to County EMS Lieutenant Dustin Haas, County EMS Lieutenant Chris Turner, County EMS Paramedic Ernie Schmidt and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Officer Joe Campbell in appreciation for their assistance in locating a soldier who drowned at a quarry on Fort Campbell in September of 2021.

Colonel Jordan stated, “We mourned that hero’s loss and worked with our community partners to remove his body and provide him with the honorable burial he deserved. There are times we need help from our community, and there are times when they need our assistance. I am thankful that we have strong partnerships in our surrounding communities.”

Recognitions were also presented to County Paramedic Joe Farley, County AEMT Alex Wood and Dustin Blankenship, Jeff Martin, Kim Burr, and Josh Maynard from Blanchfield Army Community Hospital’s EMS team for their efforts on the morning of May 11, 2022, when weather conditions resulted in a mass casualty event during a ruck march at Fort Campbell. Members of the Fort Campbell team who were not able to be at the presentation and are also receiving awards are Sgt. Qingjie Wang, Bobbi Trogden, Marc Rogers, and Dennis Scales.

Colonel Jordon described the training as the most difficult 10-day course in the Army that culminates with a 12-mile march carrying a 35-pound rucksack after nine days of intense drills. 

“On the tenth day, the weather went from mild to unseasonably hot and humid. The soldiers did not have a chance to acclimate to the change, which could have resulted in severe consequences. Thanks to quick and proper action from BACH and Montgomery County EMS, all of our soldiers left the training without harm,” stated Colonel Jordan.

Colonel Myers added, “EMS is near and dear to my heart. Being a paramedic was my first job out of school in the small town where I grew up in Pennsylvania. EMS personnel save lives every day, and we are grateful to you.”

Montgomery County Mayor Durrett also congratulated the recipients for their work in the community and with our heroes at Fort Campbell. 

If you want to be part of a team that makes a life-saving difference in the community, consider becoming an EMS team member. For more information about joining the Montgomery County EMS team, visit


Photo 1 Left to Right

Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph Harbour, Fort Campbell Garrison Sergeant Major, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Officer Joe Campbell, Montgomery County EMS Lieutenant Dustin Haas, Montgomery County EMS Lieutenant Chris Turner, Montgomery County Paramedic Ernie Schmidt, and Colonel Jordan.

Photo 2 Left to Right 

Command Sgt. Maj. Harbour, Montgomery County EMS Paramedic Joseph Farley, Montgomery County EMS, AEMT Alex Wood and Colonel Jordan.

Photo 3 Fort Campbell Group Left to Right: Command Sgt. Major Marlon Faulds, Dustin Blankenship, Jeff Martin, Kimberly Burr, Josh Maynard, Col. Vincent B. Myers.

Photo 4 Left to Right

Mayor Durrett, Dustin Haas, Alex Wood, Chris Turner, Joseph Farley, Ernie Schmidt and EMS Chief William Webb.



Montgomery County Mayor Appoints New Chief of Staff

June 20, 2022 - MoCo Gov.

Montgomery County, TN — Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett has appointed Lee Harrell for the position of Montgomery County Government Chief of Staff. He will begin serving in the chief of staff position on June 22.

Harrell most recently served as Vice President of Advocacy for Tennesseans for Quality Early Education leading lobbying efforts, providing oversight and direction of contract lobbyists, and building coalitions.

Prior to his work with Tennesseans for Quality Early Education, Harrell worked as Vice President of State Policy for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce from Jan. 2016 through Dec. 2020. Before that, he served from Nov. 2009 through Nov. 2015 as the Director of Government Relations and Staff Attorney for the Tennessee School Boards Association (TSBA).

Harrell holds a JD from Nashville School of Law and became a licensed attorney in 2007. He also earned his Bachelors of Arts in History from Tennessee Technological University in 2002.

"I look forward to serving as Chief of Staff for Montgomery County Government. I appreciate the opportunity to work with Mayor Durrett and the exceptional team of County employees. Montgomery County is home for me and my family. I have spent many years working in Nashville and I’m eager about not only living in my community but now working here as well,” said Harrell.

Lee is bringing a wealth of unique and important experiences and perspectives to the Chief’s

position,” said Mayor Durrett. “I believe his background will prove to be a great benefit to our staff and the community as we continue to grow and work to meet the challenges ahead,” he added.


The County chief of staff is under the supervision and authority of the Mayor and is the executive assistant and liaison officer for the County. This position is responsible for spearheading key planning, administrative, and organizational development efforts and typically makes recommendations to the Mayor and Commission for action and represents the County’s interests with other levels and agency governments.

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Montgomery County VSO Hosts Annual Flag Day Retirement Ceremony

June 06, 2022 - MoCo Gov.

The Montgomery County Veterans Service Organization, in conjunction with Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4895, will be conducting the annual Flag Day ceremony beginning at 10 a.m., Tuesday, June 14, at VFW Post 4895, 1701 Haynes St., Clarksville. The public is invited to attend.                    

The ceremony is held to properly destroy—by burning—worn, damaged or otherwise unserviceable American flags in a dignified and proper manner.

Damaged U.S. flags may be dropped off between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Montgomery County Veterans Service Organization, 350 Pageant Lane, Suite 405, Clarksville, or at the VFW anytime during their business hours prior to the ceremony.

For more information, please call the MCVSO at 553-5173 or e-mail [email protected].  

Montgomery County Hosts First Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Event

May 16, 2022 - MoCo Gov.

Montgomery County, TN — The Montgomery County Title VI Committee will host the first Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Celebration on May 27, 2022, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Wilma Rudolph Event Center. The City of Clarksville and the Clarksville Human Relations Commission as well as members from the AAPI community are partnering in the celebration through the use of event space and their involvement in planning and execution. The event is free and open to everyone who is interested in the heritage and contributions of the AAPI community.

World-renowned laser eye surgeon Dr. Ming Wang will be the guest speaker at the event as he shares his journey to success. Wang, who earned doctorate degrees, one in laser physics and one in medicine, from Harvard and MIT, is also a philanthropist, co-founder of the non-profit Common Ground Network and creator of the amniotic membrane contact lens. As a teenager, Ming fought to escape China’s Cultural Revolution when millions of innocent youth were deported to remote areas to face a life sentence of hard labor and poverty. The Wang Foundation for Sight Restoration has helped patients from over 40 states in the U.S. and 55 countries, with all sight restoration surgeries performed free of charge. Dr. Wang was named the Kiwanis Nashvillian of the Year for his lifelong dedication to helping blind orphaned children from around the world.  

Music, dancing, food tastings and booths representing Korean, Filipino, Samoan, Hawaiian, Japanese and Thai communities will be a part of the event to celebrate the diverse culture and recognize the rich history, traditions, and contributions of the AAPI communities of Clarksville-Montgomery County. 

“It is an honor to host Montgomery County's inaugural Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with our Asian and Pacific Island community members. In Montgomery County, we strive to live up to our word. We don’t just acknowledge and respect diversity and inclusion within the government and community, we cherish and embrace it,” said Zoyie Jackson, Montgomery County Diversity and Inclusion Officer. 

For more information about the event contact Montgomery County Title VI Co-Chair Pam Clark at 931-648-5715 ext. 12309