Now there’s a ‘Veterans for Randy Boyd Coalition’

News release from Randy Boyd campaign

Knoxville, Tenn. – As we approach our nation’s annual Veterans Day commemoration, Randy Boyd, Republican candidate for Governor, announced this week the statewide leadership team of a newly-formed Veterans for Randy Boyd Coalition.

The announcement was held at the East Tennessee Veterans Memorial in Knoxville, with special guests including retired Lt. Gen. RA Tiebout, U.S. Marine Corps; retired U.S. Army Four-Star Gen. Carl Stiner; State Representative and retired Air Force fighter pilot John Ragan; and Debbie York, great-granddaughter of Tennessee World War I hero Sergeant Alvin York.

“This group of outstanding Tennessee leaders and patriots on our Veterans Coalition represents generations of Tennesseans who have sacrificed for our country and they will be actively advising me on the issues of importance to our military veterans,” said Boyd.

“Second only to God, I owe my life to veterans, as we all do.  But also in my case, both my Mom and Dad are Army veterans, and my wife Jenny, was adopted by an Army veteran and his wife in Germany,” said Boyd. “So I have a real awareness and appreciation for all that our veterans and their families sacrifice in their service to our nation. And I am committed to better understanding and addressing the challenges that face as they return home to Tennessee.”

Veterans for Randy Boyd Coalition chairman retired Lt. Gen RA Tiebout heads the group with more than 30 years of military service in the U.S. Marine Corps. Gen. Tiebout has been recognized multiple times for his exemplary service with honors including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Navy Distinguished Service Medal and the Gold Star.

“Veterans face some real challenges, and we are so pleased to have somebody like Randy that has an ear towards helping them. We are dedicated to giving Randy all the things that we think are important for our veterans to ensure he can do everything possible to improve upon their needs,” said Lt. Gen. Tiebout.

As a way to also highlight and represent the countless sacrifices made by the families of veterans in Tennessee, Boyd also tapped Debbie York as the Honorary Co-Chair of the Coalition. York hails from a long line of service members and is currently the Executive Director of the Sgt. York Patriotic Foundation in Pall Mall, TN. Previously, she worked with the US Department of Defense as a counselor.

“My great grandfather was in World War I, my grandfather was in World War II, my father was in Vietnam, my brother was in Iraq, and my husband was an AVM in many different conflicts,” said York. “I’ve got a heart for veterans. I’m a licensed counselor who spent many years counseling veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries. I know the mental health issues that go along with being a veteran and the sacrifices, not just of the veteran, but also the entire family,” said York.

Coalition leadership also includes State Senator Richard Briggs who chairs the Joint Veterans Caucus in the Tennessee General Assembly, as well as State Representative John Ragan, co-chair of the Joint Veterans Caucus. Col. Rob Salome, recently retired Garrison Cmdr. at Ft. Campbell, is also serving as a co-chair.  

The leadership group for the Veterans for Randy Boyd Coalition represents service members from all three Grand Divisions of the state and all levels of military experience. The group will focus on improving the transition to civilian life for veterans and their families in Tennessee, including ways to prioritize veterans’ educational, economic and health resources

Randy Boyd for Governor Veterans Coalition Leadership

Gen. Carl Stiner, Co-Chair (Army)
Lt. Gen. RA Tiebout, Chair (Marine Corps)
Brig. Gen. Carl Levi Co-Chair (Tennessee National Guard)
Col. Richard Briggs, Co-Chair (Army)
Col. Rob Salome, Co-Chair (Army)

Col. Bob McAleer (Army)

Lt. Col. Wes Stowers (Air Force Reserves)

Maj. Alex Bertelli (Army)

Capt. Michael Bass (Marine Corps)

Capt. Michael Bryant (Marine Corps)
Capt. Michael Lemming (Army)

1st Lt. Blake Hogan (Marine Corps)

 Staff Sgt. Jo Stalnaker, Special Operations, Co-Chair (Air Force)

Sgt. Ernie Rumsby (Army)

Sgt. Michael Tacke (Army)

Sgt. Brian Bergherer (Army)

Sgt. Richard Hill (Air Force)
Colin Campbell
State Representative John Ragan (Air Force)
Debbie York, Honorary Chair

“I am honored to have this coalition of great leaders, veterans, and America heroes to advise me. This is a working coalition that will get together and come up with big, bold ideas to move our state forward and to create many more opportunities for our veterans and their families in our great state,” said Boyd.

On Tuesday, Boyd completed his historic 537.3 mile run from Bristol to Memphis.  Boyd is the only candidate to have already visited all 95 counties, most many times, during both his campaign for governor, and previously, during his state service as ECD commissioner and the governor’s higher education advisor. Boyd is also the only candidate to have collected campaign donations from one or more donors from all 95 counties in the state.


Boyd, a Knoxville businessman and philanthropist, served in Governor Bill Haslam’s cabinet as the state Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, and was the architect of the state’s Drive to 55 workforce development initiative, and the tnAchieves and Tennessee Promise scholarship programs to help more young people go to college. 

First started out of the back of Boyd’s van, Radio Systems Corporation, which is headquartered in Knoxville, has over 700 employees in seven countries, and produces over 4,600 pet products under brand names such as Invisible Fence, PETSafe, and SportDOG. Boyd is also owner of Boyd Sports LLC, owner of the Tennessee Smokies Baseball team, the AA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, and the Johnson City Cardinals, a rookie league affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Note: Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee announced a Veterans Coalition supporting his campaign earlier. Previous post HERE.

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