Concord University Honoring Veterans In Special Ceremony Nov. 9

For Immediate Release: 
Nov 04 2012

CONTACT: Sarah Dalton
Office of Advancement Nov. 5, 2012
PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712
(304) 384-6312,



ATHENS, W.Va. – A Vietnam veteran with more than 30 years of experience as a Readjustment Counseling Therapist with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs will be honored by Concord University during a special program on Friday, Nov. 9. 

Mr. Ernest J. (Ernie) Baringer will receive the Veterans Advocate of the Year Award as part of Concord’s Veterans Appreciation Ceremony. The program, sponsored by the University’s Veterans Committee, will begin at 12 noon in the Wilkes Family Chapel in University Point. The community is invited to attend.

Baringer served in Vietnam from June of 1966 to August of 1967 as a platoon sergeant with the United States Marine Corps.
He received an associate degree in business management from Goldey-Beacom Junior College, a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wilmington College and a Master of Social Work from West Virginia University.

Baringer started working as a counseling therapist with the Elkton (Md.) Vet Center program when it began in 1979. He retired in 1998 from counseling and become a paramedic.

However, a family member’s experience with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) led him back to counseling. “When my oldest son returned from Iraq with PTSD from his first tour, I decided I could do more returning to the vet center program and helping the new influx of Iraq vets,” he said.

He currently works at the Princeton (W.Va.) Vet Center as a Readjustment Counseling Therapist. He resides in Beckley, W.Va. with his wife, Melody, who is the Team Leader/Supervisor at the Vet Center in Beckley. Between the two of them, they have over 52 years of experience in counseling veterans with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Along with serving as a therapist, Baringer is also an adjunct professor at Concord University where he teaches several courses relating to PTSD symptoms, treatment and management.

For more information about the ceremony contact Kati Hatfield in the Office of Special Events at or 1-304-384-6286 or Lisa Spencer, veterans coordinator, at or 1-304-384-5339.


Persons with disabilities should contact Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 or 1-800-344-6679 extension 6086 if special assistance is required for access to an event scheduled by the University on campus.