Ernest Baringer Receives Concord University’s Veterans Advocate Of The Year Award

For Immediate Release: 
Nov 20 2012

 CONTACT: Sarah Dalton
Concord University
Office of Advancement
PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712
(304) 384-6312,


ATHENS, W.Va. – Mr. Ernest J. (Ernie) Baringer is recipient of Concord University’s 2012 Veterans Advocate of the Year Award. Baringer is a Vietnam veteran with more than 30 years of experience as a readjustment counseling therapist with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Concord’s Veterans Committee honored Baringer during their annual Veterans Appreciation Ceremony held in the Wilkes Family Chapel at University Point the afternoon of Nov. 9.

Joining Concord University President Gregory F. Aloia in presenting the award were Student Veteran Advocate David Moore and Veterans Coordinator Lisa Spencer. Phil Lewis, southern area coordinator for Senator John D. Rockefeller, offered remarks on behalf of the Senator.

Alicia Besenyei, interim vice president for advancement, welcomed guests and provided closing remarks. PikeView High School’s JROTC presented the colors and Concord University’s choir sang the national anthem.

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. He teaches several courses relating to PTSD symptoms, treatment and management.

Photo attached below

Concord University photo by Lance McDaniel

Ernest J. (Ernie) Baringer, second from left, receives the 2012 Veteran Advocate of the Year Award during Concord University’s Veterans Appreciation Ceremony held Nov. 9 at University Point. A Vietnam veteran, Baringer has more than 30 years of experience as a readjustment counseling therapist with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Making the presentation are, from left, Concord University Student Veteran Advocate David Moore; Concord University Veterans Coordinator Lisa Spencer; and, Concord University President Dr. Gregory F. Aloia.