“During her year of service as Miss America 2000, Heather worked tirelessly on behalf of our nation’s homeless veterans who have never had a better advocate. Heather has been called ‘every veteran’s daughter’ and I was priviledged to recognize her contributions by naming H.R. 936 on her behalf.” –Congressman Lane Evans
As the daughter of a disabled Vietnam veteran, Heather French Henry has experienced the pain and suffering that can come with military service. Throughout her life she followed her father into the halls of VA hospitals for treatments, experienced his night terrors and stood by his side in his miraculous journey “home” from the terrors of war.
After winning the title of Miss America 2000 she traveled over 300,000 miles across the United States on a national speaking tour entitled “Our Forgotten Heroes: Honoring Our Nations Homeless Veterans.” Throughout her year she not only visited veterans facilities meeting and talking with veterans but her platform often took her to our nation’s capital to lobby members of Congress and Senate on veterans issues and legislation. During her tour veteran’s healthcare issues became another serious focus and a second campaign began entitled “Fighting the Silent Enemy: Hepatitis C.” Touring the country with Hepatitis C advocates screenings were held and hundreds of veterans were screened and made aware of the dangers of Hepatitis C.
Even after her year of service Heather is still seen traveling across the country to raise awareness and funding for veterans issues through the Heather French Foundation for Veterans, Inc. established during her tour as Miss America 2000. She is dedicated to raising the ideas of patriotism by educating young and old alike about the sacrifices made by the men and women who have served our nation.
In 2014, Governor Beshear appointed Heather as the commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs to oversee nearly 900 employees, 4 state veterans centers, 5 state veterans cemeteries, and a wide variety of programs and services for veterans and their families. To continue her service, Governor Bevn then asked her to stay on as the deputy commissioner in his administration. Under her guidence, the department maintained it's budget, created legislative policies for veterans and saw the completion of two facilities.
In Heather’s own words: “I will always be the daughter of a veteran and therefore I will always honor those who fell by continuing to serve those who live.”
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.11/15/2001. Encourages all Federal, State, and local departments and agencies and other entities and individuals to work toward the national goal of ending homelessness among veterans within a decade.
The Heather French Henry
Homeless Veterans Assistance Act
Heather is honored by USA CARES with the Patriot Award for her committment to veterans and Military.
Heather is honored by Governor Steve Beshear with the naming of the Heather French Henry Highway in Maysville, Ky.
Heather French Henry received the highest honor available from the AMVETS National Veterans Organization for her work with mlitary veterans. She and her family attended the awards ceremony in Washington, DC. She was honored along side Linda Carter, Wonder Woman, who received the Ladies Auxilliary's Humanitarian Award for her work during 9/11.
AMVETS SILVER HELMUT AWARD
HEATHER FRENCH HENRY
VETERANS ADVOCATE / DESIGNER / MISS AMERICA 2000
photo by John Nation