State veteran affairs department celebrates 25 years

Published 12:30 pm Monday, October 9, 2023

The Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs (KDVA) marked its silver anniversary Thursday at the Capitol Rotunda.

Les Beavers, who was appointed the agency’s first commissioner by then-Gov. Paul Patton in 1998, told those on hand, “The KDVA is recognized nationally as a premier department of veterans affairs. I don’t say that lightly, because after my days as commissioner, I became the first executive director for all the states’ departments for veterans affairs. I have looked at all the states, I know how they operate, I’ve seen them in performance, and I know our KDVA is really good.”

Beavers, a retired brigadier general, added, “Twenty-five years may seem like a long time, but it’s gone by in a flash.  This is a moment of celebration for the continuation of outstanding services and care for the commonwealth’s veterans. Most of us won’t be here for the 50th, but the Department will live on, and that’s what’s important.”

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Gov. Andy Beshear also spoke at the event.  “Our veterans are our very best, and they deserve the very best in return. That’s why this administration’s support of the Kentucky Department for Veterans Affairs is nothing short of a sacred duty to serve our veterans. No matter the conflict, out veterans, their families have stood ready to sacrifice to protect our freedom, and we are forever grateful.”     

The KDVA manages five State Veterans Cemeteries, four State Veteran Centers with a fifth to be completed in 2024, and hosts several programs and benefits available to Kentucky veterans. The programs include the Veterans Program Trust Fund, Women Veterans Program, Disabled Veterans, Homeless Veterans Program, and Kentucky Veterans Employment and Training Services.

In addition, the agency provides expert benefits representatives to help start our veterans on their benefits compensation, education and more, following their times in service.