Heather French Henry, New Commissioner of Veterans Affairs KY

July 5, 2014

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.

 

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July 5, 2014

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