Army veteran takes over as director of military and veterans affairs

TommyReynoldsTommy Reynolds, a Marshall University graduate and United States Army veteran, is the new director of military and veterans affairs at Marshall.

Reynolds, 28, replaces Kelly Sweetman, who resigned this summer. He 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 right 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.

“I’m very proud of Tommy,” Hensley said. “He’s a combat veteran, and he earned his degree through the very program that we support, the modern GI Bill. He is very energetic and extremely committed to providing support for our veterans.”

For the past few years, Reynolds has been involved in raising money for the Wounded Warriors Project in Delaware, Ohio. His wife, Linsey, is from Fairmont, W.Va., and they have a 22-month-old son, Jaxx Reynolds.