MTSU names Veterans and Military Family Center to honor music legend Charlie Daniels, wife Hazel

Daniels 2MURFREESBORO — MTSU’s new Veterans and Military Family Center will be named for legendary country music entertainer Charlie Daniels and his wife, Hazel, President Sidney A. McPhee announced Wednesday.

McPhee surprised the couple with the honor at a private dinner Tuesday night at the President’s Residence, where the music icon presented an additional $70,000 gift to the center from The Journey Home Project.

The donation raises the total support from the veterans-support organization, founded by Charlie Daniels and his longtime manager David Corlew, to $120,000.

“We are deeply touched and deeply honored,” said the singer, who is widely known for his advocacy work for veterans. “I’ve been blessed to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and, now, having a veterans center named after me.”

“This is truly special,” Hazel Daniels said to McPhee.

The Tennessee Board of Regents delegates authority for the naming of centers and entities within campus structures at the sole discretion of the president, McPhee said. “This is a responsibility I take very seriously,” he said.

McPhee said the support by the Journey Home Project “creates a legacy for you and your family, where veterans and their families will have the benefit of having such incredible services offered at the Charlie and Hazel Daniels center.”

The Journey Home Project assists other not-for-profits in securing funds to benefits veterans and assist in their transition from uniform into civilian life.. It was founded by Daniels, Corlew and board members Ed Hardy and Joe and Mercedez Longever.

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Name Change: now the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center

Daniels McPheeMTSU - MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee held a private dinner with Charlie and Hazel Daniels at his residence April 26, 2016. That evening he announced the new naming of the Veterans and Military Family Center for Charlie and his wife. Visit MTSU Sidelines for the full story.

"Charlie Daniels and his wife, Hazel, along with the directors of The Journey Home Project, present a $70,000 check to MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee to support the Veterans and Military Family Center after a dinner April 26, 2016 at the President's Residence. The project has donated $120,000 to the center since it opened in November 2015. (Photo: Andrew Oppmann)"

THE JOURNEY HOME PROJECT DONATES $50K TO FUEL SHEPHERD'S MEN RUNNERS' TREK FROM BOSTON TO ATLANTA; EVERY STEP COMBATS PTSD

Journey Home ProjectNASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 1, 2016) – On March 26, 2016, Shepherd’s Men began a 1,400-mile run from Boston to Atlanta through 10 cities to benefit the SHARE Military Initiative at Atlanta’s Shepherd Center and raise awareness of the suicide epidemic plaguing veterans of the U.S. armed forces. They made their way through Nashville Thursday, stopping for a bite to eat at The Palm restaurant on 5th Avenue, treat of country music star Charlie Daniels and his co-founded military non-profit The Journey Home Project, which also presented them with a $50,000 check donation. Daniels and The Journey Home Project board of David Corlew, Mercedez Longever, Joe Longever and Ed Hardy, hope to put a little spring in their steps and get them closer to their $1 million fundraising goal to combat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other traumatic brain injuries among U.S. military members and veterans.

“The Journey Home Project was founded in 2014 for the sole purpose of helping those organizations that do the most good in helping our veterans and military members in need,” said Corlew. “The Atlanta Shepherd Center is one of those worthy organizations, and what the Shepherd’s Men are doing is just so unbelievable and inspiring. They’re making an incredible sacrifice for those who sacrificed it all.”

Funds raised through Charlie Daniels’ 40th Anniversary Volunteer Jam at Bridgestone Arena on August 12, 2015 contributed to The Journey Home Project’s donation. The event was just one of the many ways the organization has raised funds in order to support veterans in the local community and beyond with hundreds of thousands of dollars to meet healthcare, education and employment needs. In September 2015, the Project donated $50,000 to aid in the completion of a new state-of-the-art Veterans and Military Families Center at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) which encourages the success of student veterans as they transition out of uniform and into academics.

Travis Ellis, civilian founder of Shepherd’s Men says the initiative plans to raise one million dollars to benefit the SHARE Military Initiative this year. “The men and women returning from today’s conflicts volunteered for our country, for all of us, and they return with battle scars that need our help to heal. Too many are pushed to the margins and take their own lives while the rest of us enjoy the freedom for which these veterans fought. The physical challenge of our run is nothing compared to the challenges faced by our veterans,” Ellis said.

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