Governor Lee Recognizes Tennessee VeteransFive Military Veteran State Employees Honored for Exemplary Service
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Tennessee Department of Veterans Services
Commissioner Tommy Baker, and Tennessee Adjutant General Major General Jeff Holmes recognized veteran
state employees and more than 450,000 Tennessee veterans at the annual Governor’s Veterans Day event.
“The Tennesseans who have bravely served our state and nation deserve our highest honor and respect,” said
Lee. “Today, I’m proud to recognize the dedicated men and women who continue to support Tennessee by
improving state programs, saving taxpayer dollars, and providing exceptional customer service.”
“Every year we honor current and former service members who have taken on the necessary task of defending
our nation,” said Baker. “While we can never repay the sacrifices they have made, it is important to show our
appreciation today for the noble work they have done to keep all of us safe.”
“Our veterans represent the pinnacle of patriotism,” said Holmes. “The glory of their service is theirs, the duty to
live our lives in a way that honors that service is ours.”
Lee recognized the achievements of five outstanding veteran state employees currently making a difference
within their area of expertise. The following employees have nearly 50 years of combined service to the state of
Dyshea Brown is an Executive Administrative Assistant and has been with the Tennessee Department of
Agriculture for eight years. Dyshea served with the United States Army from 1985 to 1993 as a Personnel
Administrative Specialist earning various awards including the Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense
Matthew (Matt) Eakes is currently a Senior Operations Technician with The Tennessee Department of
Transportation (TDOT). Since joining TDOT in May 2012, Matt has been a Highway Worker, and an Operations
Technician 1 & 2. Matt joined the United States Marine Corps in 2007 as a Rifleman and earned the rank of
Lance Corporal before his Honorable Discharge in 2011. Matt’s awards include the Navy and Marine Corps
Achievement Medal with Combat “V” for Valor, Combat Action Ribbon- Marine Corps, the NATO Service Medal-
ISAF Afghanistan, and numerous other campaign and service awards.
Jim Guffey became a State of Tennessee employee in 2005 with TennCare as a Communications Specialist and
is now a Web Developer. During Jim’s twenty-two years of United States Army service, he rose to the rank of
Sergeant Major while earning (3) Meritorious Service Medals, (4) Army Commendations Medals, (3) Army
Achievement Medals, the Drill Sergeant Identification Badge and numerous other badges, campaign, and
Shannon Velasquez began her career with the Department of Health in April 2019 as a Built Environments Coordinator and Grants Manager. Shannon was a Captain with the U.S. Air Force from 2011 to 2016 and worked
in Spaces Operations. She was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, (2) Air Force Commendation
Medals, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and various other training
and service awards.
TBI Special Agent Rob Schlafly has served the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation with distinction since 2011.
Robert was an Infantryman with the U.S. Marine Corps from 1999 to 2006 where he was awarded the National
Defense Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Armed Forces
Reserve Medal w/ “M” device, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.