Serving Veterans in the Commonwealth

That is our mission, our job, and our privilege. We work every day to make sure Kentucky's 304,000 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. 


 Thanksgiving Message

America is in debt. And, it is a debt we began incurring before our Nation was even a nation. Native peoples began incurring this debt long before the first White settlers arrived upon the shores of North America and the first pilgrims compounded this debt when they safely arrived after a long oceanic voyage that took months. Formal attempts to acknowledge this debt are traceable to a first autumnal dinner, when the bounty of a harvest, and a land in which the immigrants were free to worship their God in their own way, topped the list of things for which thanks were given. And, since that first Thanksgiving dinner, it seems no two decades in our history have passed without America calling upon her Service members to defend the freedom and bounty for which our Great Nation is so grateful. Ten decades ago, America was called to rescue a European continent in flames and under fire and America sent the Doughboys. When the Armistice was declared, and the guns fell silent in the War to End All Wars, America brought her Veterans home. We are so blessed to have so many of our magnificent Veterans who call the Commonwealth home. Those who donned the uniform, and who stared-down a tyrannical king, despots who wished to snatch our freedom, and ideologues who still envy the bounty of our Fruited Plain. So whether it is for the bounty upon the table, or for the preservation of our freedom to speak our minds, or to worship the God of our choosing, I hope you’ll join each of us in the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs in giving thanks. In turn, I hope you’ll join me, and many of members of the Department this Thanksgiving weekend: In making some glad installment payment toward our collective debt, as we give thanks to those who answered the call to duty. I hope you’ll lend a hand with the Wounded Warriors, or visit an aging Kentucky Veteran in one of our Veterans Homes. Or, perhaps, visiting one of our State Veterans Cemeteries; pausing during this holiday to say thanks. And, to give thanks. Warmest wishes for a joyous, blessed, and safe Thanksgiving.
 Veterans Day Message

Most every child in an American grammar school can recite the sing-song moment and day by which the guns fell silent in the War to End All Wars: On the eleventh minute, of the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month of the year. So it is, that on this November 11th, we pause for the one hundredth time. A centennial of celebrating when peace was achieved, and matters of State returned to the world’s headlines. 

But what we don’t often recall are those who were just beyond the public eye, just beyond the headlines, and just beyond the staccato of the rifles and mortars. Augustus O. Stanley was serving as the 38th Governor of Kentucky as Europe became embroiled in what became known as the Great War. And, as the heroes of the First World War were boarding troop ships to return home, Stanley, like most every sitting governor of his day had to figure out what it meant to be a state in a nation and world that was suddenly at peace again. The roster of Kentuckians who distinguished themselves by their gallantry in battle is dotted with names now largely forgotten: Lieutenant Samuel Woodfill of Fort Thomas and SGT Willie Sandlin of Hyden were presented the Congressional Medal of Honor; and both Sergeant Dick Moorefield, of Christian City, and Lieutenant (Doctor) William C. Dabney, were both presented with the Distinguished Service Cross. But Governor Stanley, like every other member of his Cabinet and staff quietly went about the task of restoring normalcy, and shifting the wartime industrial base of the Commonwealth, to one of peacetime industrial and agricultural prominence; all underpinned by a tradition of Kentucky service to our Veterans. And, that tradition of service continues these many years later. 

On this one-hundredth anniversary of that first Armistice Day, we celebrate the Armed Forces service of all our Veterans, on what has fittingly become Veterans Day. For each of our Kentucky Veterans of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard we thank you for your service. Regardless of whether that service was protecting our Homeland stateside, or standing your watch overseas, every moment of that investment of your time and talent for our Nation is deeply appreciated. I hope you will join me in spending at least a part of this Veterans’ Day visiting with an aging Veteran, volunteering your time with the Wounded Warriors, or simply thanking our Veterans for their priceless role in preserving our Freedom.

Benjamin F. Adams, III Brigadier General, US Army, Ret.
Commissioner
Kentucky Department of Veteran Affairs
 

 WWI Logo.jpg Seeking Veteran Artwork for Capitol Exhibit

The Kentucky Arts Council is seeking artwork by Veterans, their spouses and children to be part of an exhibit that will travel the Commonwealth for the next year. 
There is no fee to submit artwork, but you must register by Oct. 5 and submit work by Oct. 8.

 
Spotlight:  Medal of Honor for Garlin Murl Conner

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KDVA Deputy Commissioner Heather French Henry attended the White House ceremony on Tuesday. 


Here is a link to a video of the June 26 ceremony at the White House.


Here is a link to Pauline Conner's speech at the Pentagon Hall of Heroes.


 


From The Clinton News


 

Clinton County’s World War II hero, Garlin Murl Conner, will be posthumously awarded the nation’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor, in a ceremony next week in Washington, D.C. Conner died in Albany, in November, 1998 at age 79. Conner’s widow, Pauline Conner, will travel to the nation’s capitol where she will accept the medal her late husband earned for his acts of heroism while fighting in France in 1945. President Donald Trump will award the medal to Conner during a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday, June 26...


 

For those who are not able to personally attend next week’s ceremony in Washington, D.C., watching the event will be an easy task with several possible outlets broadcasting the entire ceremony and events leading up to the actual awarding of the medal to Pauline Conner. In addition, the ceremony can also be viewed on a computer, cell phone or tablet as long as Internet service is accessible on the device. The link that has been provided for viewing the ceremony on an Internet enabled device is: https://www.whitehouse.gov/live/ That official White House site is used for most of the live streamed events held there, and is a YouTube based streaming site. 


 

 Read the whole thing.


 

Watch this video about Lt. Conner’s heroism.

 

 


 
Spotlight:  Kentucky In the Great War

This is the 100th Anniversary of the Great War, the one they called the War to End All Wars.  There are no more World War I veterans alive to tell us about it themselves, but the United States World War I Centennial Commemoration​ is making sure the rest of us don't forget them and what they did. 

Learn about Kentucky in World War 1 here andhere.

  
Spotlight:  KYVets Employment Program
 

KYVets is the Kentucky Veterans Employment Training and Support Program. KYVets provides resources and support to assist veterans across the commonwealth in gainful employment and training services. 
 
Call or email Dean Stoops at 502-564-9203, Dean.Stoops@ky.gov.


small CommemorativePartnerLogo_Final_10-3-12 ai.png Spotlight: Veterans Benefits and Services
KDVA proudly offers FREE benefits assistance, including filing claims and appeals, by our 18 Veterans Benefits Field Representatives to veterans in every county of the Commonwealth. Our benefits experts are fully accredited by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and take pride in obtaining every benefit and service veterans have earned.


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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 lisa.aug@ky.gov.

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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.

Operation Victory Volunteers Needed
8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Louisville. The KY Department of Veterans Affairs, KY Habitat for Humanity, Metro United Way, greater Louisville area unions, local businesses, and the Housing Partnership Inc., have joined together once again to rehabilitate a vacated house for a Homeless Veteran. We are asking for any volunteers to join us on Saturday, August 18 from 8am-1pm. We will be cleaning out the house and doing some landscaping in the front and backyards. This all must be done so the Electricians, Plumbers and Pipefitters, Carpenters and everyone else can rebuild this house and give this veteran a better life. Get more information here.

6th Annual Robley Rex VA/Community Summit on Suicide Prevention.
Friday, August 24, 2018, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hotel Louisville, 120 West Broadway, Louisville. VA/Community Summit on Suicide Prevention 2018 is a joint collaboration between veterans and their family members, the Robley Rex VA Medical Center, KY Department for Behavioral Health Suicide Prevention, Kentuckiana community agencies and clinical leaders who want to expand community-based efforts to decrease suicide and its impact on Veterans and their families. This year’s Summit features Dr. Frank Campbell, who will talk about building community capacity for post-intervention, as well as a special concurrent workshop for Veterans and their spouses and dual Veteran couples. There is no cost to attend. Breakfast and lunch are provided. Register today at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/va-community-summit-on-suicide-prevention-tickets-47090588217?aff=ehomecard. For more information, contact Ms. Brittany Priddy at 502-287-4001 or via email at Brittany.priddy@va.gov or Ms. Sarah Jemison, Centerstone Kentucky at 502-589-8615, ext. 1284 or by email at sarah.jemison@centerstone.org.

Kentucky Veterans Program Trust Fund Board of Directors Meeting
10:00 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018 at KDVA Headquarters in Frankfort. 

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24-Hour VA Crisis Hotline

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


Online Services






Stay Involved

  •  Join e-mail distribution list
  •   Find a Veteran Service Organization
  •  Request a Speaker
  • Request Commissioner Adams or Deputy Commissioner Henry for Your Event. Online or by mail/fax

  •   Follow Us

     

    Show Your Support

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

     



    Recent Events

    Captitol Wreaths

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    KDVA Commissioner Benjamin Adams was the guest speaker at the Wreaths Across America Statehouse Ceremony on Monday, Dec. 10, 2018.

    See more photos here.

    Medal of Honor Plaque With Garlin Murl Conner Unveiled

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    On Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018, Governor Matt Bevin and Pauline Conner, widow of Lt. Garlin Murl Conner, unveiled the updated plaque, with Lt. Conner's name engraved among the other WWII MOH recipients from Kentucky. Gov. Bevin also presented Mrs. Conner with a proclamation and a Kentucky state flag that has flown over the Capitol. Before the unveiling, Mrs. Conner and her family, friends and supporters gathered at the Berry Hill Mansion for a reception and luncheon.

    See more photos here.

    Kentucky Veterans of the Year

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    On Monday, Nov. 5, the Epilepsy Foundation named its Kentucky Veterans of the Year at its annual banquet. Army and Coast Guard veteran Megan Karr is active in Team RWB, which works to connect veterans with their community through physical and social activity. Retired Army Sergeant Jeremy Harrell founded Veterans Club for “veterans who want to join together to share resources, rebuild camaraderie with one another and provide cost-free equine therapy to vets.” KDVA Commissioner Ben Adams spoke of the lifelong service to community exemplified by the 2018 Veterans of the Year and all the nominees.

    See more photos here.

    Vietnam War Monument Dedicated at Camp Nelson

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    On Saturday, Oct. 6, KDVA Commissioner Adams along with Vietnam Veterans, friends, family and supporters dedicated the Vietnam War Memorial at Camp Nelson in Jessamine County.

    See morephotos here.

    Commissioner Presents Purple Heart to WWII POW

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    Army Staff Sergeant Dudley Riley survived combat in North Africa and wounds received during two years in a German POW camp, but never received the Purple Heart medal he earned in 1945. That oversight was corrected yesterday just short of Mr. Riley’s 95th birthday. Brigadier General Ben Adams, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, presented the medal to Staff Sgt. Riley at the Joseph “Eddie” Ballard Western Kentucky Veterans Center (WKVC) in Hanson on Wednesday. It was a surprise ceremony, arranged by WKVC staff and KDVA Veterans Benefits Field Representative Johnny Allen, who collected and submitted documents to confirm the award and obtained the medal for Staff Sgt. Riley.

    See more photos here.

    Read the article here.
    Watch the Evansville TV 14 video here.
    Watch the Paducah WPSD video here.
    Watch videos of Sgt. Riley talking about his experiences. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

    Gov. Bevin Signs TBI Treatment Bill

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    On Thursday, April 12, 2018, Gov. Matt Bevin signed HB 64, which allows Kentucky veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury to access hyperbaric chamber treatment. KDVA Commissioner congratulated Retired Col. Ron Ray, for whom the bill is named, and presented him with a Vietnam Veteran pin. Col. Ray earned a Silver Star for his combat service in Vietnam, and later suffered the effects of TBI for which he needed hyperbaric treatment.

    Long-Delayed Upgrade Awarded

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    Henry “Hank” Mullins served in 10 consecutive combat campaigns as a Marine serving in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968. He took part in some of the bloodiest battles of that war. However, he committed infractions of the rules on his return to the States. The violations were the result of PTSD. He received an other-than-honorable discharge from the Marine Corps. With the help of his wife, Renee, and the assistance of KDVA, Hank had his discharge upgraded. On Friday, April 06, 2018, KDVA Commissioner Benjamin Adams presented Mr. Mullins with his new DD-214 showing honorable service. Commissioner Adams also presented Hank with a Vietnam Veteran pin as well as the Kentucky Veteran pin.


     

    KDVA Headquarters

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