Fairfield Legislative Delegation Appoints Martin as New Veterans Affairs Director
Senator Mike Fanning and Representative Annie McDaniel have appointed lifelong Fairfi eld resident and native Margaret Melinda Henderson-Martin for this vital role, providing support for our county’s veterans, their spouses, dependent children, and parents. Martin will replace former Director Rhett Hair who recently retired after successful tenure representing Fairfield County. Six months ago, after Hair notified the delegation of his retirement, the Fairfield Delegation began its search for a new director. After advertising this position–inviting any interested veteran in Fairfield County to apply, the Delegation Office received more than a dozen applications. After reviewing applications, Representative Annie McDaniel and Senator Fanning conducted interviews. Mrs. Martin was the overwhelming choice to be Fairfield County’s newest Veterans Affairs Director.
Ms. Margaret Melinda Henderson-Martin was born and reared in Fairfield county. A daughter of the late Willie Wade (Jr) and Almenia Kennedy-Henderson, Ms. Martin was educated in the public schools of Fairfield County: White Hall Elementary, Fairfield County Career Center, and McCrorey-Liston High School. Ms. Martin attended Midlands Technical College (Beltline Campus) for two years and later enlisted in the United States Army in 1985--receiving basic training at the Fort Jackson Army Training Base in Columbia, South Carolina. Aft er completing her Basic Training, she completed AIT training at the Fort Sam Houston Medical Training Facility in San Antonio, Texas – where she trained as a Combat Medic. Mrs. Martin received her certification from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy in Columbia, South Carolina and holds her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Phoenix. Ms. Martin served in the United States Army from 1985-1993, serving as a Combat Medic and LPN.
Mrs. Margaret Melinda Henderson-Martin continues to make history and break down barriers! Mrs. Martin made history in Fairfield County by becoming the first African-American female crossed-trained police/firefighter for the Town of Winnsboro. She then went on to become the first black female deputy sheriff for the Fairfield County Sheriff ’s Office. Mrs. Martin taught the DARE program for the Fairfield County School District and received her instructor training from the Louisiana DARE Training Center in Alexandria, Louisiana. She also continued her certification process by receiving her facilitator instructor training to train fellow police officers (also from the Louisiana DARE Training Center). Mrs. Martin has trained incoming officers for the DARE/SRO program through the South Carolina DARE Training Center in Columbia, North Carolina DARE Training Center, Tennessee DARE Training Center, Florida DARE Training Center and the training of United States soldiers with the Georgia DARE Training Center.
Ms. Martin is the proud parent of two daughters: Medina and Jada, who she has raised as a single parent and is proud of their accomplishments. Mrs. Martin attributes her success to her faith in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She maintains her motto: Never give up on a dream, for patience has its reward, for the race is not finished until the last person crosses the line.
“I am excited about my new role serving veterans and their families from Fairfield County. Th is appointment will allow me to continue a lifetime of public service and will afford me the opportunity to be an instrument in helping Veterans who have given so much of themselves to protect our Country,” said Director Martin. “My goal is to be a productive part of the process, working with commitment and passion to assist veterans and their families in receiving benefits and assisting in any capacity needed.”