Heather French Henry , Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs was in attendance and spoke at the opening ceremony of the Student Veterans Resource Center at the Maysville Community and Technical College in Maysville, KY. The opening of this center is among a mulitude of similar facilities opening in colleges and universities around the nation to help provide space and services to student veterans tranitioning from military service to higher education.
Heather French Henry and the staff at the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs hosts the first annual 50th Commemoration of the Vietnam War in Frankfor, KY. Over 500 Vietnam Veterans were in attendence in this 12 year long effort to Welcome home our Vietnam Veterans. Keynote speakers were Governor Steve Beshear and Joe Galloway, author of We Were Soldiers Once and Young. The event was held at the Nationally acclained Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Frankfort, KY. For the first time South Vietnmese Veterans participated were on hand to stand beside their fellow American Vietnam Veterans to lay a wreath honoring the ultimate scarifice of thier commrades.
On July 1, 2014, Governor Steve Beshear appointed Heather French Henry, former Miss America and nationally recognized veterans advocate to serve as Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs. As the daughter of a Vietnam Veteran Heather has been an outspoken advocate for our military veterans nationwide. During her year of service as Miss America Heather chose to highlight the needs of our nation’s homeless veterans in her tour entitled, “Honoring our Forgotten Heroes: Our Nation’s Homeless Veterans.” As her year progressed Heather developed a full scale platform that encompassed not only homelessness among veterans but healthcare, housing, disability and benefits. Working along side many of the nation’s foremost experts on veterans healthcare issues such as Linda Boone of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, Pete Dougherty, National Director of Homeless Veterans Initiatives for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Service Organizations and members of Congress and Senate; Heather became an integral part of the a national movement to change the face of Veterans healthcare and outreach. Heather worked closely with many members of Congress and Senate to establish groundbreaking legislation to create new opportunities for community outreach in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Former Congressman Lane Evans and the Late Senator Paul Wellstone honored Heather by naming this comprehensive bill the Heather French Henry Homeless Veterans Assistance Act. During the last 14 years Heather continued her efforts nationwide by establishing the Heather French Foundation for Veterans, Inc. focusing on community outreach to help better educate young and old alike about programs available to assist veterans and to help increase patriotism in younger generations. Her efforts have been recognized by Veterans Service Organizations nationwide with the Americanism Award - VFW, The Martha Washington Spirit Award - The Auxiliary of the Military Order of the Purple Heart; The Patriot Award - USA Cares to name a few. Heather is from Augusta and Maysville, KY area earning a Bachelor of Science and Masters Degrees from the University of Cincinnati. She is married to Dr. Stephen Henry, notable trauma orthopedic surgeon and former Lt. Governor of KY, and has two children. They reside in Louisville, KY.
Speaking at Metcalfe County Middle School in honor of scholastic achievement. Heather remained on hand to tour the facility and to talk with students about the importance of education. During the appearance Heather spoke about her struggles to achieve her dream of Miss America while continuing her education at the University of Cincinnati obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Fashion Design and her Masters of Design. She spoke to many students after wards and was on hand to sign autographs and take photos.
Heather joins Republic Bank in their support of the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana "Operation Cookie" campaign. Republic bank has long been an advocate for our military and has continued it's support for the Girls Scouts of Kentuckiana's Military appreciation.