G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery – Aug 5, 1920 – May 12, 2006

sonny-montgomery-funeralRemembering Sonny on the tenth anniversary of his death.

Listen to a May 10 2016 radio broadcast of Richelle Putnam on SuperTalk Mississippi 103.3FM – “Looking Back at Sonny Montgomery with Bob Bailey”:

Carmen Wilder Receives Montgomery Leadership Award

From The Meridian Star:

carmen-wilder-awardCarmen Wilder, center, assistant director of Student Leadership and Community Engagement at Mississippi State University, was awarded the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Leadership Award for her work in service and leadership development in her role in the Montgomery Leadership Program at MSU. The Montgomery Leadership Program works with a select group of students who commit themselves to developing the leadership skills that transform lives – both theirs and others. With the Montgomery Leadership Program, Mississippi State recognizes the legacy of G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery, a 1943 Mississippi State alumnus and a 15-term U.S. congressman who authored the Montgomery G.I. Bill. A former “Mr. MSU,” he embodied the qualities of leadership, statesmanship, and public service that influenced generations of Americans. Shown making the presentation to Wilder were Montgomery Foundation board members Sid Salter, left, and Bob Bailey, right.

Read at Meridian Star

Rep. Sonny Montgomery Leads House In Pledge For First Time

From Politico:

On this day in 1988, Rep. G. V. (Sonny) Montgomery (D-Miss.) led the House for the first time ever in a recital of the Pledge of Allegiance as the initial order of business. This ritual endures in both the House and Senate whenever they are in session.

GVM Foundation Sponsors “The Moving Wall”

“The Moving Wall” is the half-size replica of the Washington, DC Vietnam Veterans Memorial and has been touring the country for thirty plus years.  When John Devitt attended the 1982 dedication in Washington, he felt the positive power of the “The Wall.”  He vowed to share that experience with those who did not have the opportunity to go to Washington.

John, Norris Shears, Gerry Haver, and other Vietnam veteran volunteers built The Moving Wall.  It went on display for the first time in Tyler Texas in October 1984.  Two structures of The Moving Wall now travel the USA from April through November, spending about a week at each site.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, “The Wall” now has carved into it the names of the 58,272 American military personnel (eight were women) who were direct casualties of the war, including about 1300 who are still considered Missing In Action (MIA) but officially classified as “Died, body not recovered.”  Each of the branches of the Department of Defense made and continues to make the determination of eligibility to have a name inscribed on The Wall.

You can learn more about this amazing tribute to fallen Vietnam Veterans here: http://www.themovingwallyazoocountyms.org

Sonny Montgomery: Citizen Soldier

Montgomery Congressional Collection Announced At MSU

From MSState.EDU:

Contact: Meg Henderson

081715Library-IMG_0200-(00000002)

The late congressman and MSU alumnus G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery recently was honored with the opening of the Montgomery Congressional Research Collection at Mitchell Memorial Library. Taking part in the ceremony were (l-r) Robert J. “Bob” Bailey, president emeritus of the Meridian-based Montgomery Foundation; Kyle Steward, MSU executive director of external affairs and former senior Montgomery staff member; U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper; and Jerry Gilbert, MSU provost and executive vice president.

STARKVILLE, Miss.—The G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Congressional Collection now is open to the public at Mississippi State.

On the Aug. 5 occasion—what would have been the former U.S. representative’s 95th birthday—the university formally dedicated the collection in its Congressional and Political Research Center at Mitchell Memorial Library.

University officials said the collection includes more than 1,200 cubic feet of correspondence, memos, speeches, floor statements, photographs and memorabilia about the longtime public servant and MSU alumnus who died in 2006 at age 85.

The files cover the Meridian native from his time at the McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, through his student leadership at then-Mississippi State College to his World War II military service in Europe, where was awarded a Bronze Star with Valor. The collection also highlights his public service career that began with a decade in the Mississippi Legislature, followed by 30 years in Congress that concluded with retirement in 1997.

U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper, Montgomery’s 3rd District successor, joined with members of the Meridian-based Montgomery Foundation to help announce the collection’s formal opening.

Jerry Gilbert, MSU provost and executive vice president, said “from his years as a Mississippi State student throughout his lifetime, Sonny Montgomery was considered a leader who worked tirelessly on behalf of those he served.”

Noting how the congressman’s “leadership and people skills served him well throughout his career,” Gilbert also praised Montgomery for being “a devoted and loyal friend of Mississippi State and one who frequented the campus throughout his life and whose legacy can been seen throughout the campus.”

During his time in Washington, D.C., Montgomery gained an international reputation for his tireless work on behalf of American military veterans. In addition to visiting Vietnam repeatedly throughout the war and assisting in the return of prisoners of war, he most notably led in securing an extension of the G. I. Bill—an effort that his colleagues renamed the “Montgomery G. I. Bill” in tribute.

Additionally, the collection illustrates the close friendship between Montgomery and former President George H.W. Bush. The two met on their first day in Congress in 1967 and remained friends for the remainder of the congressman’s life.

In his remarks, Harper praised Montgomery for serving the district and nation “with integrity, compassion and hard work.

“His efforts on behalf of our country’s veterans and the people of Mississippi are still realized today, and we are eternally grateful,” Harper said.

“Sonny loved Mississippi State University, and I know that he would be proud of the new G.V. ‘Sonny’ Montgomery Collection,” he continued. “I hope that this collection will be a reminder of Sonny’s esteemed public service for generations to come.”

The Congressional and Political Research Center is open 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday. For more information, visit http://library.msstate.edu/cprc/index.asp.

For more on the Mississippi State University Libraries, see www.library.msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

G.V. ‘Sonny’ Montgomery Foundation donates $50,000 to MAEC

From The Meridian Star:

This conceptual drawing depicts what the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center will look like once completed.

This conceptual drawing depicts what the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center will look like once completed.

Posted: Friday, May 29, 2015 4:07 am

    The G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Foundation will donate $50,000 to the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center, the organization’s executive director and president, Brad Crawford, announced.

“This world-class facility is just what former Congressman Sonny Montgomery had in mind when he established the foundation with one of his primary objectives to …’encourage leadership and support educational activities …’” Crawford states in a press release.

Construction of the MAEC is expected to begin this fall.

“The MAEC will educate and inspire children of all ages in the fields of literature, performing and visual arts, design, music and the culinary arts while simultaneously entertaining in-state and out of state visitors,” the press release states.

[ Continue reading… ]

MSU breaks ground for new veterans’ center, residence halls

(photo by Russ Houston / © Mississippi State University)

(photo by Russ Houston / © Mississippi State University)

Office of Public Affairs

News Bureau (662) 325-3442
May 08, 2015

STARKVILLE, Miss.–Mississippi State officials and university friends gathered Friday morning [May 8] to formally break ground for two new residence halls and a premier veterans’ facility slated for completion next year.

“These facilities will be major assets for our students by offering additional residential spaces to accommodate a growing demand for on-campus housing,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. “The new veterans’ facility, which will house our nationally recognized G.V. ‘Sonny’ Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans, will continue to carry out the university’s commitment to serving those who have served our country.”

Architectural firm The McCarty Company of Tupelo is working closely with contractor W.G. Yates and Sons Construction Company of Philadelphia to complete the buildings by July 1, 2016, according to Tim Muzzi, MSU interim director for planning, design and construction administration.

The new buildings are made possible, in part, through the generosity of Tommy and Terri Nusz, alumni of MSU’s Class of 1982, who donated a $12.3 million gift as part of Infinite Impact, MSU’s ongoing capital campaign.

Terri Nusz earned a bachelor’s degree in interior design and began her own design company after graduation. Tommy Nusz completed a petroleum engineering degree, and he is CEO and chairman of the board of NYSE-listed Oasis Petroleum Inc., the Texas-based independent exploration and production company he co-founded in 2007. He will give the commencement address at Humphrey Coliseum for MSU’s spring graduation ceremonies Friday and Saturday [May 8 and 9].

The Nusz family’s gift designates $2 million as a cornerstone contribution to build the university’s Center for America’s Veterans. The center is a national leader in providing campus-based veteran resources in support of some 2,100 currently enrolled student veterans, service members, dependents and survivors.

“We’ve had a history in our family of military service,” said Tommy Nusz. “As we looked at the needs across campus, we felt like it was a great opportunity to give back not only to Mississippi State, but to all those who have served,” he said.

The facility for the Center for America’s Veterans will include 7,500 square-feet and feature administrative offices, a meeting area and student-support spaces.

The new residence halls will total 245,000 square-feet and each have 376 beds, for a total of 752 beds. Double-occupancy rooms with private bathrooms will be available, as will suites with four single bedrooms, two baths and shared living spaces.

The total construction cost for all three buildings is $53.4 million.

“These facilities will help provide a variety of options and a great learning community for upper-class students,” said Bill Broyles, interim vice president for student affairs. “We like to see students not only excel in their academic pursuits, but also complement their studies with meaningful co-curricular activities, and these residence halls are conveniently located next to our world-class recreational facilities.”

MSU is Mississippi’s flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu, meridian.com/msstate, facebook.com/msstate, instagram.com/msstate, pinterest.com/msstate and twitter.com/msstate.

Montgomery Scholarships Awarded At Meridian Community College For 2015

From the Meridian Star – Wednesday, April 8, 2015:

US-Meridian-Community-CollegeJarred Scott, Savannah Jackson, Thomas Haney, Brittany Drummond and Krista Everett have been selected to receive the G. V. “Sonny” Montgomery Scholarships at Meridian Community College.

These $1,000 awards are funded through the MCC Foundation by the Board of Trustees of the G. V. “Sonny” Montgomery Foundation. They believe they are “Carrying the Legacy Forward” by continuing Congressman Montgomery’s fervent commitment to education.

Scott is a 2014 high honors graduate of Meridian High School, where he was a member of the National Honor Society and on the Wildcat Baseball Team. Scott is a member of the 2014-15 MCC Baseball Team. He is in the University Transfer Program at MCC.

[ Read full article at Meridian Star ]

GVMF Honors VA Whistleblowers

On February 28th, 2015, the G. V. Sonny Montgomery Foundation recognized and honored some outspoken veterans and whistle-blowers like Erik Heron and Charles Sherwood. Sherwood testified in front of the House Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs. The information these individuals provided led to massive changes to V.A. Hospitals nationwide leading to improvements in medical care for veterans.

From WLBT News:

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) – Some V.A. Hospital whistleblowers were recognized Saturday.

The V.A. Sonny Montgomery Veterans Hospital is one of many V.A. hospitals around the country that have undergone big changes. The changes came after claims of fraud, falsified appointment records, and other problems.

The claims were brought by outspoken veterans and whistleblowers like Erik Heron and Charles Sherwood. Sherwood testified in front of the House Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs.

On Saturday morning, a handful of those brave people were honored by the G.V. Sonny Montgomery Foundation. Awards were handed out at Lou’s Full-Serv Restaurant in Jackson.
“My little bit of testimony primarily pointed out the fact that there was a systemic problem in the V.A. because all senior V.A. executive compensation was tied to these performance measures (which were inflated). The system was very easy to game, and that apparently was happening around the country,” Sherwood tells us.

“We’ve made progress on this. The V.A. has begrudgingly made some improvements. But the attitude has gotten better lately,” Heron says.

[ Read more ]