Volunteer State War Era Veterans Honor Guard

Knoxville, Tennessee



American Hero Dying For Freedom

Isn't The Worst That Can Happen

Being Forgotten is! ...

"A Nation Reveals Itself Not Only By

The Men It Produces, But Also By The

Men It Honors. "

John F. Kennedy, President


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Website Updated Tuesday, 9 May, 2017


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Volunteer State Veterans Honor Guard Web Master

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If you need a copy of your DD-214: The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) has provided the

 following website for veterans to gain access to their DD-214s online:

 http://vetrecs.archives.gov/ or http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records


It's the Soldier,
not the reporter
Who has given us the freedom of the press.
It's the Soldier,
not the poet,
Who has given us the freedom of speech.
It's the Soldier,
not the politicians that ensures
Our right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
It's the Soldier
who salutes the flag, 
who serves beneath the flag,
and whose coffin is draped by the flag.


Flag of Knoxville, Tennessee


The creation of the Knoxville flag is closely tied to the Tennessee Centennial and International Exposition. As citizens began reflecting on the state's accomplishments and its survival after the American Civil War, persons developed ways to express their local community's pride.

Horace van Deventer, a Knoxville attorney, suggested the idea of creating a city flag to the Chamber of Commerce in 1896 in order to symbolize Knoxville. The Chamber then sponsored a nationwide competition for the flag's design. Lloyd Branson, a Knoxville painter professionally trained at the National Academy of Design in New York City and through further study in Paris, won the contest and a cash award of $100.

City Council accepted Branson's design and on October 16, 1896 passed City Ordinance Number 958 entitled "An Ordinance Establishing a Flag, Colors, and Coat of Arms for the City of Knoxville and Regulating the Use and Display Thereof."

The Chamber of Commerce had a flag sown together and on October 22, 1896 presented the city's mayor with its first Knoxville flag. This official ceremony occurred during the three-day long Manufacturers and Merchants Street Fair. Joshua Caldwell, chair of the Chamber of Commerce, conferred the flag to Mayor S. G. Heiskell. An account of this presentation event was printed in the Morning Tribune on October 22, 1896 "The City Flag Now Floats to the Breeze from the City Hall.

The Knoxville flag was flown during the Tennessee Centennial, which occurred between May 1 and October 31, 1897 in Nashville. Although it was a year late, this event celebrated the 100th anniversary of Tennessee's entry into the union in 1796.

On April 12, 1941, during the year when Knoxvillians were celebrating the 150th anniversary of the City's founding, City Council and Mayor Fred Allen reaffirmed the flag's 1896 design with two changes: the date was changed to 1791 to properly reflect the year of Knoxville's founding and the locomotive engine depicted on the flag was to resemble The General, which in 1941 was located at the Chattanooga Union Depot.



In proportion the flag is six feet on the pole length and nine feet on the fly length and is divided into three equal horizontal divisions.

In the upper pole corner is a two-foot canton of azure blue representing Loyalty. In the lower pole corner is a like canton of red signifying Bravery. The entire center division is white denoting Faith.

From the blue and red cantons, running parallel with the fly of the flag, are two equal size stripes of black and white representing coal and marble, respectively. The stripes running from the blue canton are white above and black below. The stripes running from the red canton are black above and white below.

In the approximate center of the flag is a Golden Wheel of Progress which extends well into the two black stripes. Within this winged wheel is the quartered shield (i.e., the coat of arms or seal) of Knoxville which is surmounted by nine gold stars representing the nine wards of the city in 1896 when the flag was adopted.

The shield is supported by a sheaf of wheat and a shock of corn which are in gold and are emblematic of Agriculture. Directly under the shield are the black numerals, 1791, denoting the year Knoxville was founded.

In the quartered shield is an azure blue field (upper left) emblazoned with a white derrick representing Marble; a black field (upper right) emblazoned with crossed, gold colored picks representing various types of Mining; a gold field (lower left) emblazoned with a black railroad engine representing Transportation or Commerce; and a red field (lower right) emblazoned with a neutral colored factory representing Manufacturing.


Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs


Colonel Many-Bears Grinder


Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs

Tennessee Tower, 13th Floor

312 Rosa L. Parks Ave.

Nashville, Tennessee  37243-1102


Commissioner Grinder joined the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs after retiring from the Tennessee Army National Guard in Nashville where she served as

Director of Logistics while having previously served as the Director of Personnel, overseeing actions from the time an individual enlists in the National to the retirement

process. As Director of Logistics, Grinder supervised more than 340 personnel across the state activities, facilities, equipment and support mission requirements. She

was responsible for a more that $35 million budget and is a certified Defense Financial Manager, the Defense equivalent of a certified public accountant. "I am honored

to serve Governor Haslam, as well as the men and women who have served their country in the Armed Force in this capacity," Grinder said. "Although I will miss wearing

 the uniform, I will be able to continue my bond with service members, their families and survivors." Grinder holds a master's Degree in Strategic Studies from the Army

War College and a master's in Human Resource Management from the University of  Tennessee, Knoxville. She is a Bronze Star Medal recipient, and she is an Operations

Enduring Freedom combat veteran. Commissioner Grinder is a member of several military and veterans associations, including the Military Officers' Association, American

Legion and the Vietnam Veterans of America.



A United States Marine Corps, KIA 72 Years Ago on Betio, Tarawa.

 Finally Comes Home to Knoxville, Tennessee.


Here's a video of the funeral for WWII Medal of Honor Recipient Alexander (Sandy) Bonnyman, Jr., USMC. He enlisted at the age of 35; he served as a Private on

Gradual Canal and received a battlefield commission in that campaign. At Tarawa, he was an engineer assigned to the Shore Party Unit when he was killed in 1943. 


To View Video, Click On Link Below



Old East Tennessee Veterans Cemetery (Lyons View)

5901 Lyons View Pike

Knoxville, Tennessee  37919

Phone: 865-577-3228

Fax: 865-573-3630

Cemetery full for new interments

Spouses of interned only


Find a Grave in the OLD East Tennessee Veterans Cemetery

 (Lyons View), Knoxville, Tennessee

Click on Link Below

East Tennessee Veterans Cemetery


East Tennessee Veterans Cemetery - Governor John Sevier

2200 E. John Sevier Highway

Knoxville, Tennessee  37920

Phone: 865-577-3228

Fax: 865-573-3630


Coming Home

Colonel Jack Roger Harris returns to His Families Land

First Internment at New East Tennessee Veterans Cemetery - Governor John Sevier



Click on picture to enlarge


Find a grave in the  East Tennessee Veterans Cemetery

 (Governor John Sevier), Knoxville, Tennessee

Click on Link Below

 East Tennessee Veterans Cemetery


Middle Tennessee Veterans Cemetery

7931 McCrory Lane

Nashville, Tennessee, 37221

Phone: 615-532-2238

Fax: 615-532-2241


Find a Grave in the Middle Tennessee Veterans Cemetery,

 Nashville, Tennessee

 Click on Link Below

Middle Tennessee Veterans Cemetery


West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery

4000 Forest Hill-Irene Road

Memphis, Tennessee, 38125

Phone: 901-543-7005

Fax: 901-543-7141


Find a Grave in the West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery,

Memphis, Tennessee

 Click on Link Below

West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery


National Cemeteries of Tennessee


Find a Grave in a Tennessee National Cemetery

Click on Link Below

Tennessee National Cemeteries Transcriptions - Access ...


Only Confederate Buried in Knoxville, Tennessee, National Cemetery


The story behind this head stone is that the stone

was made with a pointed center top. This was to stop Yankee Soldiers from

setting on his stone.

(Folk-Lore or Truth?)





Unknown Soldier Tomb Video

To View Video, Click On Link Below



6 May, 2017,

2 members of the Volunteer State Veterans Honor Guard lays a

Wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider.

video still under construction

Chief Master Sergeant Gary Woolf and Sergeant Major Bob LeTellier

getting ready to leave for Arlington


East Tennessee Veterans Cemetery (Governor John Sevier), Knoxville, Tennessee

with Christmas Wreath's


 "I Just Can't Keep From Crying' Sometimes"

Video takes a minute for Ann to start singing

To View Video, Click On Link Below


Created by Ann M Wolf




The Volunteer State Veterans Honor Guard was founded in August of 1987 by Command Sergeant Major (Ret) Arnold R. Mullins, his wife Patricia L. Mullins and

Chief Master Sergeant Raymond Thomas. The primary purpose of the organization is to honor all East Tennessee honorably discharged veterans who have served

their country with honor in the United States Armed Services. The Volunteer State Veterans Honor Guard is a non-profit, volunteer member organization.

The Honor Guard to date has operated from public support and private donations. We are chartered under the jurisdiction and laws of the State of Tennessee.


Volunteer State Veterans Honor Guard



Since 1987 the Volunteer State Veterans Honor Guard has provided full military honors for over 5000 funerals for fallen comrades who have answered the Last

Roll Call. Volunteers in the Honor Guard have served an 18 county area of East Tennessee with full military honor ceremonies. Honor Guard volunteers visit

area schools, nursing homes, churches and civil organizations, with a flag ceremony and patriotic program, which teaches Americanism and Patriotism. Dedicated

members of the Honor Guard volunteers contribute over 30,000 volunteer-hours per year. Honorably discharged veterans in the East Tennessee area receive

proper full military honors at their funerals, if requested.  As a group of American military veterans, we have devoted our lives to the defense of this great country

and the freedoms we enjoy today, and are determined to honor them and fulfill the promises made.  By defending the freedoms and beliefs that we and our

fore fathers so strongly promote, our armed forces have protected and defended each and every citizen of this land. We are all able to go to sleep at night, secure

in the knowledge that we are free.  We can go about our daily lives without fear, thanks to the willingness of a group of men and women to stand in support and

sacrifice for what is right. In turn they ask for nothing more than the basic respect each of us deserves and the added honor owed to a person who willingly defends

another. Unfortunately even these basic returns are frequently denied, and our veterans end their lives alone and forgotten. Several years ago we organized in

protest to the regrettable occurrence of one of our brethren's silent burial - a burial which did not extend the honor and gratitude earned by the veteran in defense

of this country. We developed a charter and designed a goal that proposes to attend and extend distinguished regards, free of charge, at the burial of any honorably

discharged veteran having served in the armed forces.  The Veterans Honor Guard provides a vital service to families of deceased, eligible veterans by providing

full military honors that the veteran has earned, but cannot receive from the federal government because of budget constraints. 


Honor Guard Vehicle



When you see this vehicle on the road, please pause for a moment

and say "Thank You" to a Veteran who has answered the final call to duty.


War ERA Veteran Dates

World War II ERA Veteran - December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946

Korean War ERA Veteran - June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955

Vietnam War ERA - February 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975

Gulf War (includes: Gulf War Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom)

08/02/1990 Open    


America's War Dead

1776 - 2016

83 Wars and Assorted Military Actions in the Past 214 Years

Reference: Veterans of Foreign Wars Magazine, May 2016, Vol. 103,  No. 8




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