Deputy secretary of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs visits Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt University welcomed Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Donald M. Remy to campus on Feb. 23.

The visit, which took place at Vanderbilt Law School’s Flynn Auditorium, provided Remy a chance to meet with student veterans in the Nashville area. Remy gathered insight and fielded questions from the students around topics such as PACT Act implementation as well as access to other VA benefits and programs. The PACT Act is a new law that may allow veterans exposed to toxins while serving access to benefits and care.

“It was our honor to host Deputy Secretary Remy as part of Vanderbilt’s longstanding commitment to veterans,” Chancellor Daniel Diermeier said. “We were especially pleased to provide a forum where veterans and the deputy secretary could engage in candid, open dialogue on matters of real concern, in keeping with our university’s closely held belief in civil discourse.”
Chancellor Daniel Diermeier (left) with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Deputy Secretary Donald Remy speak at a meet-and-greet event at Vanderbilt University on Feb. 23. (Vanderbilt University)
The roundtable discussion was moderated by retired U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Scott Brower, director of the Bass Military Scholars Program. “I appreciated Deputy Secretary Remy taking the time to engage with our veteranstudents,” Brower said. “His sincerity, interest and desire to learn from their experiences was obvious, which can only result in better care for all veterans in the future.”
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Tiffiny Tung (right) speaks with education liaison representative for the VA Tracy Lattanzio at a meet-and-greet event prior to the roundtable discussion. (Vanderbilt University)
“Vanderbilt is deeply committed to supporting our student veterans,” said Jill Stratton, assistant provost for academic support and community engagement who helped coordinate the visit in partnership with the Division of Government and Community Relations. “It was an honor to host Deputy Secretary Remy on campus and provide student veterans with the opportunity to speak with him directly on several important topics that impact them and their families, including health care and education benefits.”

Remy’s visit to Nashville occurred in conjunction with the Veterans Benefits Administration’s
job fair focused on positions to process PACT Act claims. The fairs are part of the VA’s PACT Act initiative to hire processors to handle the many claims that have been submitted since the PACT Act became law in August 2022.
Wade Patten, a Vanderbilt MBA candidate who is in the Bass Military Scholars Program, attended the event and was glad to see the VA actively engaged in the community. 
Bass Military Scholar Wade Patten asks VA Deputy Secretary Donald Remy a question during the student veteran roundtable discussion. (Department of Veterans Affairs)
“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to meet with Deputy Secretary Remy and learn more about the PACT Act and other VA programs, [and his] visit was a reminder that the VA is actively dedicated to solving veterans’ most pressing problems,” Patten said. “I am proud to be a part of a [university] community that values the contributions of veterans and is dedicated to supporting their wellbeing through actionable dialog and problem solving.”