- Associated Press - Saturday, April 5, 2014

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee’s Commissioner for Veterans Affairs says the department is widening its focus to address needs like unemployment, education and suicide prevention.

The Kingsport Times-News reports (https://bit.ly/QP7uWx) the remarks from Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder came Friday during a veterans job fair in Blountville.

Grinder said it was unacceptable that unemployment for Tennessee veterans last year was 6.9 percent.

She also wants more veterans to attend college. Grinder said 35 percent of Tennessee veterans have at least some college. She said legislation passed this year allowing veterans to pay in-state tuition should help move that number up.

And Grinder said she is concerned that in 2012, nearly 200 veterans committed suicide and another 2,400 were in Tennessee prisons and county jails.

She said veteran treatment courts are a step in the right direction.

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Information from: Kingsport Times-News, https://www.timesnews.net

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