KDVA - Introduction and History

Governor Paul Patton established the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs (KDVA) in 1998.  He charged the Department with helping veterans and their families obtain all federal, state and local veterans benefits to which they are entitled. 
Kentucky's veterans have earned their benefits and services
Kentucky began building a Department capable of significantly assisting Kentucky’s large veteran population.
 
“Serving those who have served the Commonwealth and our great Nation”
 
KDVA’s motto sums up its work:  ensuring that Kentucky’s veterans receive all the benefits and services they have earned.  Today, the Department offers free services and benefits counseling provided by a network of experienced and dedicated paid staff, provides representation before the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs during formal and informal hearings, and is operating three state-of-the-art veterans nursing homes.  KDVA has opened four state veterans cemeteries and is planning a fifth.  Responding to an unfilled need, in 2004 the department established a program to help homeless veterans.

Organization 
Commissioner Norman E. Arflack is the chief executive officer of the Department and has the responsibility of the overall operation.
 
The Commissioner, Office of Kentucky Veterans Centers (health services), cemetery services, and headquarters are located in Frankfort.  The Field Operations headquarters is co-located with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) Regional Office in downtown Louisville.  There are three major, distinct operational elements in the Department: field operations, healthcare services, and cemetery services.
 
Field Operations 
Our Field Operations Branch consists of 18 Field Offices strategically located throughout the state with Veterans Benefits Field Representatives (VBFR) located within each nursing home and one at the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery West in Hopkinsville.  In FY 2007, KDVA expanded the number of field representatives and decreased the size of some service areas.  Each of our 20 field representatives now serves approximately 18,000 veterans in seven counties.   
 
The Regional Administrators and VBFRs are the heart of the field operation.  These dedicated men and women, most of whom are veterans themselves, provide counseling, advice and assistance to Kentucky’s veterans.   Each VBFR and Regional Administrator receives the professional training in veterans benefits required to competently assist veterans, their families and survivors. 

Nursing Homes 
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is committed to providing long-term care facilities for Kentucky's veterans, offering a broad range of versatile nursing care.
 
Each facility has a compassionate and professional staff committed to providing thoughtful, quality care. These facilities are also fully prepared to provide care for dementia and Alzheimer residents. Additionally, each of our homes are outfitted with state of the art equipment. Physical therapy and recreational activities are available to help our residents achieve their ultimate functioning abilities.
 
Finally, and most importantly, we are fully dedicated to providing this long-term care service to our patriots.

Cemeteries 
The mission of KDVA's Cemetery Branch is to ensure dignified interment for veterans in the a sacred space that stands as a tribute to their service for the Commonwealth and the nation. 
 
KDVA operates four State Veterans Cemeteries and is planning a fifth.