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Army vet takes over MU Military, Veterans affairs

Nov. 11, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Marshall University has named a former graduate and United States Army veteran as its new director of Military and Veterans Affairs at the school.

Tommy Reynolds, 28, replaces Kelly Sweetman, who resigned this summer. Reynolds assumed his duties Sept. 16.

More than 500 military veterans are enrolled at Marshall this semester. Reynolds said he wants to help them transition from military life to higher education life, "to help them navigate (the website) and do the same things I had to do."

He has redone the military and veterans affairs website and is creating a brochure.

"Just finding the veterans on campus is difficult," he said. "My main goal is to make military veterans feel at home at Marshall. I want them to be a part of the college experience and feel at home."

Reynolds is a native of Point Pleasant, W.Va., and a 2003 graduate of Point Pleasant High School. He joined the Army after high school and served five years, including a 15-month tour of Iraq as an infantry paratrooper with the 82nd airborne division.

After being discharged from the Army, Reynolds went to work at a steel mill in New Haven, W.Va. While there, he decided to enroll at Marshall, where he earned a social work degree.

"I wanted to be a social worker to help veterans," he said.

While a student at Marshall, Reynolds worked in the military and veterans affairs office under Sweetman. Steve Hensley, dean of student affairs, said Marshall is fortunate that it didn't have to look far to find Sweetman's replacement, although an extensive search was conducted.

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