WV Transportation

WV Transportation

WV Transportation

WV Department of Transportation

WVDOH recognizes its military veterans, and those who are no longer with us



In 2020, Jim Klinger was excited for an opportunity to go to work for the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) in Randolph County. A member of the U.S. Army and Army National Guard who had been deployed to Iraq in 2005 and to a peacekeeping mission in Egypt in 2012, Klinger was always optimistic and always looking to help others.
“Everything he did, it was just such an opportunity for him,” recalled Vicky Klinger, Jim Klinger’s wife. The same attitude he brought to the military, he brought to the WVDOH.
“He wanted to be part of something bigger than himself,” Vicky Klinger said.
MEDIA: Make Your Own Story - Raw Video and Interview with Arlie Matney, WVDOH District 1 Manager
District 1 Manager Arlie Matney, who oversees WVDOH activities in Boone, Clay, Kanawha, Mason and Putnam counties, joined the U.S. Army in 1985 and served two years. Driven to excel, he became a member of the Army’s elite 82nd Airborne Division.
“We were away from our families for an extended time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Matney recalled. “The reward is seeing we were able to ensure our children could grow up to see all the opportunities they could dream of.”
On this Veterans Day, the WVDOH salutes the military servicemen and servicewomen among our ranks, and remembers those who are no longer with us. More than 300 military veterans currently work within the WVDOH, with thousands having been employed over the years.

Jim and Vicky Klinger married in 2005, sticking together during two deployments until his retirement from the military in 2017. When he went to work for the WVDOH in 2022, it was just another chance for the outgoing Army captain to work together for a larger goal.
But about the same time Jim Klinger went to work for Randolph County, he was diagnosed with cancer; Vicky Klinger, a nursing instructor at Davis and Elkins College, can’t help wonder if the cancer had something to do with exposure to burn pits overseas.
Jim Klinger fought the cancer with the same tenacity and positive attitude he applied to everything he undertook. He died on Aug. 14, 2022.
“He loved this country more than anything,” Vicky Klinger said. “My six-time great-grandfather was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was proud of that, and always wanted me to tell that story.”

On Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, students and staff at Southside Elementary School in the McDowell County town of War had a special ceremony to honor McDowell County veterans, one of whom is Matney. The ceremony, in its 28th year, was organized by Meshell Billings, a classmate of Matney’s.
“My dad and my brother were in the military,” Billings said. “This means the world to me.”
Matney has attended about 20 of the ceremonies, but this time he got to attend it with his daughter Karlie, and granddaughter Isabella.
“This room is so full of heroes, of people who gave a part of their lives to make sure that my daughter and my granddaughter can be free,” Matney said. “It’s an honor.”
Vicky Klinger believes our veterans should be remembered.
“People have been sacrificing for our country before we even were a country,” she said.