Kentucky Women Veterans Unite! 2018

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Kentucky Women Veterans Unite! continues in 2018.  We will continue to hold events for and outreach to Kentucky's 24,000 women veterans, including regional conferences in Eastern and Western Kentucky.

Kentucky Women Veterans at the Kentucky Oaks

Women Vets at Oaks 2.jpgOn May 6, five Kentucky Women Veterans representing service dating back to World War II had the honor of escorting the blanket of lillies for the winning horse at the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs. Helen Evans served in the Kentucky Women’s Army Corps during World War II. Retired Colonel Pamela Stevenson served 27 years in the U.S. Air Force. Retired Captain Cheryl Ginn served 25 years as a MEDVA Flight Medic in the Army Nurse Corp. Retired Master Sergeant Shafonia Johnson served 27 years in the Kentucky Army National Guard. LuWanda Knuckles, the Kentucky Women Veterans Coordinator, served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and is currently serving in the Kentucky Army National Guard.

Women Veterans History

Marlene.jpgOn March 22, Kentucky Women Veterans Coordinator LuWanda Knuckles addressed the Women Veterans of Thomson-Hood Veterans Center at their Women's History Month luncheon.

Read her speech here.

More pictures here

A Home of Her Own

Marlene.jpgOn Nov. 10, more than 100 project volunteers, neighbors and supports welcomed Navy Veteran Marlene Aldridge to her newly renovated home on Clara Avenue in Louisville. A coalition of dozens of unions, community groups, companies, state and local agencies and volunteers renovated the house. KDVA Outreach Coordinator Trina Patty recommended Marlene Aldritch for the project.

Representing Kentucky's Women Veterans on a National Stage

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Kentucky’s Women Veterans Coordinator LuWanda Knuckles represented the Commonwealth in style at the National Association of Women Veteran Coordinators conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota this week.

With the help of Governor’s Mansion Director Marita Whalen, Ms. Knuckles matched a Jockey Silks shirt with a purple fascinator and a stick horse to win the conference’s Dress Like Your State contest.


Women's History Month

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When her brand-new husband deployed overseas in 1942, Mary Hottell didn’t sit around doing nothing. She joined the California National Guard – one of just two women in her unit.

When the unit deployed all the men but not the women, Mary found a job as a “Rosie,” wielding a riveter building warplanes in San Francisco. She later worked as a civilian overseeing flight simulators for military pilots.

She also suffered the grief of receiving a telegram that her husband was missing in action. Then another that he was in a German POW camp. He did come home, 40 pounds lighter but heavier by several decorations, including the Purple Heart.

Today Mary Hottell, who will turn 94 in May, lives in her tidy house in Louisville, enjoying her four children and several grandchildren, and happy to talk about her days serving her country during World War II.

edited Mary and friend.JPGMary Hottell, left, in her National Guard uniform in California.


Recent Women Veterans Events 

Christmas Dinner for Lady Veterans at THVC

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From the white linen and crystal to the prime rib and the sparkling cider in champagne glasses, it was a four-star occasion for the Lady Veterans of Thomson-Hood Veterans Center. Kentucky Women Veterans Coordinator LuWanda Knuckles was the guest speaker, and helped distribute Christmas stockings, gift bags and hand-made angel centerpieces to the veterans, one of whom, Dorothy Farmer, right, just celebrated her 99th birthday.

More pictures here.

Paintings for Veterans

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Three veterans at Western Kentucky Veterans Center in Hanson, including James Barnes at left, received original paintings created by participants in the Louisville Paint for Women Veterans event. Several participants donated their artwork to veterans at KDVA's veterans centers.

More pictures here.

E. Kentucky Women Veterans Regional Conference

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KDVA held the first ever Eastern Kentucky Women Veterans Regional Conference in Hazard Oct. 1.  It featured Keynote Speaker Vietnam Veteran Major Marj Graves, plus Perry County Judge-Executive Scott Alexander, Assistant Secretary of State Lindsay Thurston and Commissioner of Workplace Standards Ervin Dimeny. The Letcher County Central High School ROTC Drill Team performed five different drills to close the conference.

More pictures here.

Paint for Women Veterans Lexington

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The Second Paint for Women Veterans Fundraiser took place at the Locust Trace Agriculture Center in Lexington Sept. 16. Artist Shelley King led the mostly non-painter crowd started recreating a fireworks-like vision of puff dandelions at sunset. Soon even the least artistic in the crowd released their creativity.  The event raised more than $300 for the KDVA Women Veterans Program.  Thank you to everyone who participated!

More pictures here


Paint for Women Veterans Louisville

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Two dozen friends of women veterans painted up a fundraising storm July 22 in Louisville. Artist Shelley King got the mostly non-painter crowd started recreating a van Gogh-style version of the U.S. flag. Soon even the least artistic in the crowd released their creativity. The event raised 460 for the KDVA Women Veterans Program. Another Paint for Women Veterans event is planned for Lexington.

​More pictures here.

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