Former Miss America and VA Commissioner Speaks at Open Hands Pantry

Heather French HenryCheri and David MontgomeryChaplin Phil Major, Army ReservesJerome Tomlian, VA RepDerek Craft, Fitness FirmPam Brough, American Legion AuxiliaryJoan Martin, AC Extension Office

Yesterday was a special day at the Open Hands Pantry’s Reaching Rural Veterans Program.  Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner, Heather French Henry, talked to the many veterans and those offering services about her history and how the commission is helping.  Heather, who is the daughter of a disabled US Marine veteran, won the Miss America Pageant 2000 title and based her platform on helping homeless veterans.

While at the Rural Veterans program, she said that finding and receiving help for her father and family was difficult because you had to know the right people and right questions to ask.  But now, there are more options and help for veterans and their families than ever before. “Never before in our history of our country have we’ve had the amount of resources together and networking that we’ve had today,” she said.

She then talked about some of the various ways the Kentucky VA Commission helps.  One of the biggest areas they help with is getting the word out to veterans of all the different services that are available to help through outreach programs across all counties of Kentucky.  She also mentioned a specific program to help homeless veterans connect with services to find housing.

She also made a point that each veteran has a specific experience and needs individualized help.  “One thing I have learned about veterans from across the US, you all may have served in the same army, marines, national guard, navy… each one of you have taken away a different experience from your military service.”

And in closing, she made a strong point in that future generations of service men and women are looking to how our current veterans are being helped.  She said that, without seeing strong support of veterans, the future generations may not want to enlist.  The program then continued with presentations from many throughout the community showing how they can help veterans.

For more information about the Rural Veterans Outreach Program and the Open Hands Pantry, check out their Facebook page.

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Posted in Business & Government, Family & Community, Senior News.

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