Serving Veterans in the Commonwealth

Commissioner Henry July 2014.jpgThat is our mission, our job, and our privilege. We work every day to make sure Kentucky's 311,000 veterans and their families receive all the benefits and services they have earned. Here you will find information on benefits counseling, skilled long-term care at state veterans centers, dignified interment at state veterans cemeteries health care, education, employment and special programs for women veterans, homeless veterans and others.Commissioner Heather French Henry

50th Vietnam War Anniversary Commemoration

KDVA honors all veterans every day, but for the next 10 years we will be focusing on Vietnam War veterans. Decades after they came home to no parades, no recognition and no thanks, Congress has declared the 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Commemoration.

Here in the Commonwealth we have approximately 116,000 Vietnam Veterans. About 8,000 of those are women. About 8,000 are African-American or Hispanic. They live and work in all 120 counties. They, like many groups of veterans we have honored, are worthy of the national 12-year-long Commemoration.

The purpose of the Commemoration is to recognize, honor and thank the Vietnam veterans in our communities.

Photos from Kentucky's Commemoration Event

Get directions to the Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Upcoming Events:

Fort Knox Job Fair.  Wednesday, Oct. 14, 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Details here.

Women Veterans on Honor Flight

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Commissioner Heather French Henry accompanied Kentucky Women Veterans on the Sept. 26 Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., including THVC resident Inez Wilson.

KY Veterans Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
September 25-26, Frankfort Convention Center

Free Prostate Cancer Screenings at State Fair

    Kentucky’s male veterans should not miss the opportunity to get free prostate cancer screening at the Kentucky State Fair which opens Thursday.
    Heather French Henry, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, has been a strong advocate of prostate cancer screening for all men and particularly veterans for years.Prostate Screenings photo.jpg
    “Especially during this 50th Vietnam War Commemoration, Vietnam Veterans who may have been exposed to Agent Orange should get screened because they are at risk,” Henry said. “With early detection, this is a survivable cancer.  It’s free at the State Fair.  Do it for your loved ones.”
    The Kentucky Veterans Program Trust Fund Board of Directors granted $2,500 to the prostrate screening program because of its importance to veterans.
    Free prostate cancer screening will be available on Saturday, August 22, Sunday, August 23 (which is also Military Appreciation Day), Tuesday, August 25 and Sunday, August 29.
    Cancer screenings for other cancers and various health conditions will also be available throughout the State Fair. 
       All screenings as well as the press conference are being held in the Health Horizons area of the South Wing.

Ninth Annual Veteran Appreciation Picnic at THVC
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It drew hundreds of people on August 8 to its speakers, food, entertainment, famous car show and of course the Vietnam Traveling Wall.

WWII Woman Veteran Entered Army on a Dare

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Helen Horlacher Evans was teaching home economics at Versailles High School when the United States joined the Allies in World War II. On a dare, she applied to the newly created Women’s Army Corps Officer Candidate School and was accepted.
As the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs highlights the military service of Kentucky women in its Year of the Woman Veteran, KDVA asked the 95-year-old Lexington resident to share her story.
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Traveling Vietnam Wall at Horse Park

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Governor Steve Beshear spoke at the Opening Ceremony on Friday, July 10 at 10 a.m.  TheTraveling Wall was open open 24/7 from noon on Thursday, July 9 through 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 12. 

Pictures of the Women Veterans Remembered Event Saturday

Pictures of the Wall arriving at the Horse Park

Pictures of volunteers installing the Wall at the Horse Park

Pictures of Opening Ceremony

Press release


KY Woman Veteran of WWII, 95, Throws Out First Pitch

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Margaret Mary Somers Ballard was the star of the Legend Legends pre-game on Saturday, June 13.  The World War II Army Air Corps veteran cared for wounded soldiers being flown from the European battlefields to England and the U.S. The mother of eight and grandmother of 16 still lives on her own and exercises every day.

Read the story here

Picture gallery here.

More pictures here.

KY Women Veterans Unite! 2015

2015 is the Year of the Woman Veteran

Women Veterans on Honor Flight May 16

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The June 6, 2015 Honor Flight of the Bluegrass included several Kentucky women veterans, including two veterans of World War II.

From Chris Kenning's story in the Courier-Journal:

That changed last Saturday, when the now 94-year-old Horecny became one of two female World War II veterans on an "honor flight" put on by a nonprofit that takes aging vets to the war memorials in Washington, D.C., where they were met with crowds of thankful supporters.

All day long, strangers — thrilled to see several women among the mostly male veterans — jostled to shake Horecny's hand, thank her and hear her story. Among fellow veterans in wheelchairs, stories came tumbling out. Arriving back at the Louisville airport, she waded through a cheering crowd of more than 500 people, her face beaming with pride.

Read the rest of the story and see more pictures here.

Women Veterans Day at Thurby

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 was the first Women Veterans Day on Thurby at Churchill Downs. 

Pictured in front are Lindsay Gargotto, Kentucky Woman Veteran of the Year and founder of Athena's Sisters, KDVA Commissioner Henry and new Women Veterans Coordinator LuWanda Knuckles.

During Thurby, Commissioner Henry presented a check for $5,000 from the Kentucky Veterans Program Trust Fund to Ms. Gargott to support programs by Athena Sisters to help women veterans.

Thurby Interview on WDRB

WKYT News on Year of the Woman Veteran

WDRB News on Year of the Woman Veteran

The Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs (KDVA) will spotlight Kentucky’s 24,000 women veterans throughout 2015, which Governor Steve Beshear has proclaimed the Year of the Woman Veteran in Kentucky.

Two Ways to Stay Informed:

Sign up for text alerts.  We send these no more than two or three times per week, always to call attention to imminent events of interest to veterans.  Text Follow kyveterans to 40404.

Join the KDVA listserve. We send no more than two or three emails per day about events and issues importatnt to veterans. If you wish to be added to the listserve, please email

Show Your Support

Purchase an I Support Veterans license plate
Purchase an  I Support Veterans License Plate

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​News & Events

Become a Vietnam War Commemorative Partner 
Join more than 100 Kentucky communities and organizations.
Find out how your town, country, group, business or club can honor local Vietnam Veterans and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

Free Workforce Credential Testing for Veterans
Limited Time Offer. Interested veterans should contact their local Kentucky Career Center and request a free NCRC for Kentucky veterans. To find the nearest Kentucky Career Center, log onto

Paducah Memorabilia Needed for Honoring Those Who Serve Exhibits [PDF 256 KB]
Quilt Exhibits August 20, 2015 through February 12, 2015 in Paducah.

Recognizing and Honoring Women Veterans: Operation Legacy II PDF 350KB]
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015 in Lousiville. Register today.


24-Hour VA Crisis Hotline

1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Read more

Online Services

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Recent Events

Commissioner Henry at NASDVA

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Commissioner Henry spoke with VA Under Secretary Sloan Gibson at the annual conference of the National Association of State Departments of Veterans Affairs in September.

KDVA Youth Council Distributes Gun Locks at State Fair

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Commissioner Henry with members of the KDVA Youth Council helped the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office distribute free gun locks at the State Fair.

Ky Veterans Hall of Fame Induction

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Commissioner Henry attended the induction ceremony for 25 Kentucky Veterans into the Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame July 29 at the Capitol Rotunda.

Honoring Jewish War Veterans

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Commissioner Henry, Col. Mike Feunfer, General Rubenstein, Congressman Yarmuth honoring Jewish War Veterans in Louisville May 31.

Honor Flight

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Commissioner Henry, Rep. Ed Whitfield and Veteran William Dixon at the World War II Memorial with Kentucky veterans on the July 6 Honor Flight.

Memorial Day

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KDVA Counsel Dennis Shepherd was the guest speaker at Richmond City Cemetery.

Hooray for Heroes/Traveling Wall in Radcliff

KDVA Commissioner and staff were in Radcliff for the Dedication and to recognize, honor and thank Vietnam Veterans.

More pictures here.

KDVA Headquarters
1111B Louisville Rd
Frankfort, KY 40601
 Get Directions
 Phone: (502) 564-9203
 Toll-free: (800) 572-6245
 Fax: (502) 564-9240