Kentucky Veterans Cemetery South East

Phased Re-Opening of KDVA State Veterans Cemeteries

UPDATE: In accordance with the new statewide mask mandate from Governor Andy Beshear, all visitors to Kentucky Veterans Cemeteries MUST wear face masks while on cemetery property unless they remain in their cars.  Thank you for your cooperation.

NOTE: Guidance is changing on a daily bases, so it is best to call your State Veterans Cemetery for the current and most up-to-date information.

On June 1, KDVA began a phased re-opening of our five State Veterans Cemeteries. 

In a Memo to State Veterans Cemetery Directors, KDVA Commissioner Keith Jackson detailed the Phase I restrictions and protections for visitation, services and burial honors.

Those include:

  • The Administration Building will be open to visitors only to the extent they can maintain six-feet social distancing.
  • Directors will provide masks for all employees and offer masks to all visitors.
  • Hand sanitizers will be provided at the entrance to the Administration Building.  All staff and visitors must use hand sanitizer.
  • Memorial services will be conducted in accordance with industry-specific guidance, including sanitizing chairs and the podium in the Committal Shelter before each service.
  • Gatherings in the committal shelter will be limited to service participants and family, with seating and standing maintaining physical distancing. Attendees are strongly encouraged to wear masks.
  • Other guests, mourners and attendees should stay in their parked and shut off cars, socializing through windows only at a distance of six feet.
  • Rifle teams for Military Honors will maintain physical distancing from each other, the services and other guests. Military Honors team members folding and presenting the flag will wear masks and gloves.
  • Funeral directors will place flowers on the gravesite.
  • Visitors to gravesites do not need to wear masks if they are members of the same family and do not interact with staff.
It is the intent of KDVA to move from Healthy at Home to Healthy at work while keeping our employees, veterans and their families healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. The State Cemeteries Branch will continue to provide interments and perpetual care for all qualified veterans and eligible family members in a dignified and compassionate manner worthy of the respect and honor they richly deserve.


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

Wreaths Ceremony Dec. 7

small Simmons Friends and Family.jpgKentucky Veterans Cemetery South East's Wreath Laying Ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019.

Veterans Day Ceremony

74670639_545780042891013_1315824438708535296_n.jpgClear, sunny skies brightened the Veterans Day ceremony at Kentucky Veterans Cemetery South East in Hyden. KDVA's newest veterans cemetery contiinued its Veterans Day tradition of displaying photographs of local veterans. Administrative Assistant Shannon Ritchie wrote on Monday: Today, the Veterans Day program, was hosted at Kentucky Veterans Cemetery South East. We would like to thank all those who attended and helped us celebrate our heroes. A special thank you to DAV Post 133, Mayor Carol Joseph and the City of Hyden, Leslie County High School Students, Perry County Central JROTC, and James Lewis and his crew. Thank you all! Also, a special thank you to each and every Veteran on this day and every day!!

9-11 Commemoration Service
veteran.jpgOn September 11, 2019, Kentucky Veterans Cemetery South East in Hyden held a Commemoration Service. Those who took part included DAV Post 133, Mayor Carol Joseph and the City of Hyden, Mountain View Elementary School (Grades 5th & 8th), Hannah & Hailey Joseph from Leslie County High School, and the Leslie County High School Band. We remember... . 

More pictures here.

Fourth of July Aerial Photos

veteran.jpgKenneth Jones took these drone photos over Fourth of July weekend at Kentucky Veterans Cemetery South East in Hyden. . 

More pictures here.

Indigent Veteran Buried With Honor

veteran.jpgThanks in part to the efforts of the staff at Kentucky Veterans Cemetery South East, a veteran who died in Hazard last week far from his family received a dignified interment, with full burial honors, surrounded by more than 100 people he never knew, but nevertheless showed up to honor his service. “Family is more than just blood,” KVCSE Director Vaughda Wooten said. And on Monday in Hyden, it showed. Maggard Funeral Home donated the casket, and Kentucky's Indigent Veteran Burial Program covered the funeral costs. 

More pictures here.   News video here.

Memorial Day Ceremony 11 a.m. Monday, May 27, 2019

2019 Memorial Day Program KVCSE.jpg

KVCSE Carillon Dedicated

Since 2007, Joe Doebler of AMVETS worked tirelessly to ensure that all five Kentucky State Veterans Cemeteries had a carillon sponsored by the AMVETS National Service Foundation. Doebler died this year before the KVCSE Carillon was installed, but his spirit was evoked on Thursday, Dec. 13, by all the speakers, who remembered his long service - 65 years - to serving the veterans of Kentucky. 

At left are KVCSE Director Vaughda Wooten and KDVA Cemeteries Executive Director Jeff Acob.

Wreaths at KVCSE

On Saturday, Dec. 8, Kentucky's newest state Veterans Cemetery held its first Wreaths Ceremony. Veterans, family and friends turned out to place wreaths donated by local businesses. The wreaths were donated by Hometown Pharmacy (Derek Lewis), The Law Office of Brian Couch (Brian Couch & Johnathan Fugate), Gay Excavating, and Mountain Florist. The people who helped place the wreaths areFred & Tina Fugate, Tasha Boggs-Gay & Hayden Gay, Holly Napier, Charlie & Carol Fields, Derek, Brittany, & Athena Lewis, and not pictured was Eugenia Napier.

KVCSE Logo.jpg

 Meet Vaughda Wooten, Director of Kentucky Veterans Cemetery South East

The director of Kentucky's fifth State Veterans Cemetery is a retired Army First Sergeant and Desert Storm veteran.  After 22 years in the military, she taught Senior ROTC at the University of California at Santa Barabara (UCSB) and Junior ROTC in Mason County and Elliott County.  She is a native of Perry County, just next door to KVCSE's home in Leslie County.
"This work is exactly what I want to do now," she says.  "I can't imagine anything better than making sure that all veterans receive the honor of a dignified interment."

Kentucky Veterans Cemetery South East
1280 KY Highway 118 (Tim Couch Pass)
Hyden, KY  41749
Phone:  606 672-2750