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Volunteers, Colleges, Governor Honor TN Veterans - Eric Alvarez

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. Gov. Bill Haslam and the Department of Veterans Affairs declared March 29 as Vietnam Veterans Day in Tennessee, but the Volunteer States recognition of veterans didnt end there.

The Journey Home project is helping veterans put down their weapons and pick up where they left off.

     Jeremy Temple is writing a paper on the Reconstruction for his history class at Lipscomb University.

"This is my transition into raising a family and providing for a family and that's my main goal, Temple said.

While hitting the books isn't easy, it's nothing like the challenges he faced in his two years as a U.S. marine.

"My first deployment, we spent in Haditha, just basically patrolling areas, looking for IEDs and keeping the area safe, Temple said.  My second deployment I spent in Ramadi and I was a turret gunner there and a team leader.

Those days are now behind him. But for the 27-year-old service member turned husband and student, simply getting a degree isn't enough.

I'm trying to actually do good and stand out and I think that's another thing I brought from the military is that I strive to do better, Temple said.

Temple hopes his hard work at Lipscomb will eventually pay off with a job as a history teacher.  Along his way, he's getting help from several organizations including The Journey Home Project."

"We talk all the time about rehabilitation, reintegration and opportunity, Joe Longever said.

Longever says the organization helps veterans transition out of the service and into civilian life, whether that's through counseling, finding a job or helping veterans go to college.

"Ninety-five-plus percent of the money we raise goes to that soldier, Longever said.

Temple says that kind of support him focus on his new mission of getting through college.

"It's awesome that they're willing to do that on their own dime, on their own time, Temple said.  It's just something that they want to do out of the kindness of their heart.

     Temple is one of about 200 veterans enrolled at Lipscomb, according to the veterans Services department of the university.

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