Nunley Award

Judge Ben Hall McFarlin, Jr.


With lots of family looking on, retired Judge Ben Hall McFarlin, Jr.  received the annual Joe Nunley Award Saturday, 11 NOV 2023 at the 41st annual Salute to Veterans and Armed Forces game, for his military service and for establishing the Veterans Treatment Court in Middle Tennessee.

Judge Ben Hall McFarlin, Jr.  is a true Murfreesborian.  He was born here, graduated from Central High School, and attended Middle Tennessee State University where he majored in Political Science and was commissioned as a 2LT through the MTSU ROTC Program (May 1970). He was granted an Educational Delay by the Army to attend Law School at the University of TN.            

After graduating Law School and taking the Bar Exam, he reported to Ft. Huachuca, AZ for the Officers Basic course for Military Intelligence Officers (MIOBC) in the Spring of 1973. This course was of historic importance as it was the first Officers Basic Course for the Military Intelligence Officers. After completion of this course, he joined the 3397th US Army Reserve Garrison Unit in Chattanooga, TN where he served until 1981, retiring from the US Army Reserves at the rank of MAJ.

Judge McFarlin, Jr.  was elected General Sessions Judge in 1998 and again in 2006 and 2014.  In 2015, he started the Veterans Treatment Court for the 16th Judicial District; which he notes “with the help of many professionals, this court has helped many veterans return to being productive citizens.”

Trey Nunley presented Judge McFarlin, Jr. the award on behalf of the Nunley family, many of whom were present at the ceremony.  Judge McFarlin remarked, “I’m truly humbled by this honor… I accept it on behalf of all who’ve served and the acknowledgement of the ROTC training… This is the highlight of my life. … Duty, honor and country is what prepared me in life.”

Judge McFarlin, Jr., was joined at the ceremony by his wife of 53 years, Mrs. Brenda Lee Mack McFarlin (retired Rutherford County teacher), his children, Judge Ben Hall McFarlin, III (and wife, Sarah) and Dr. Elizabeth Louise McFarlin Coe (and husband, Trevor), and his many grandchildren.  

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