Administrators at Middle Tennessee State University, state officials and Nashville Mayor Megan Barry came together in Murfreesboro Tuesday to offer a special salute to Mt. Juliet's own Charlie and Hazel Daniels.
During a Tuesday morning ceremony, a plaque was unveiled and special presentations were made to honor the country music legend and his wife for their gifts through the non-profit The Journey Home Project totaling $120,000 for the MTSU Veterans and Military Family Center. Daniels is co-founder of The Journey Home Project.
Earlier this spring, MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee announced the new MTSU Veterans and Military Family Center would be named for the Danielses.
"We are deeply touched and deeply honored," said the singer, who is widely known for his advocacy work for veterans. "I've been blessed to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and, now, having a veterans center named after me."
"This is truly special," Hazel Daniels told McPhee.
The Journey Home Project assists other not-for-profits in securing funds to benefit veterans and assist in their transition from uniform into civilian life. It was founded by Daniels, his longtime manager David Corlew and board members Ed Hardy and Joe and Mercedez Longever. The project raises funding from individual donors and fund-raising event, including the renowned Charlie Daniels Volunteer Jam.
Daniels has had close ties to MTSU for decades. In 1975, the second Volunteer Jam was held at MTSU's Murphy Center, and in 2009, the university presented him with the Joe M. Rodgers Spirit of America Award, an honor presented to a businessperson who has demonstrated the best of the spirit of America through significant contributions in government, education and/or civic and charitable organizations.