Heather French Henry to take over Ky. Dept. of Veterans Affairs as Lucas moves to new role

05/30/2014 12:12 PM

Heather French Henry, the former Miss America who has made veterans issues a focus will take the helm of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs from Ken Lucas, who will oversee construction of a new veterans home in Radcliff, the governor announced Friday.

Henry, the wife of former Lt. Gov. Steve Henry, founded the Heather French Foundation for Veterans in December 1999. Two years later she pushed Congress to pass a bill to aid homeless veterans.

On July 1, she will take over as commissioner of the department that helps veterans with transitioning into new careers after their service. The agency also helps with veterans’ care and manages veterans cemeteries across the state.

The department also oversees three long-term care centers in Wilmore, Hanson and Hazard. A fourth is being built in Radcliff, where Fort Knox is based.

The opening of that facility will be overseen Lucas, the retired Democratic congressman who has been the state Department for Veterans Affairs commissioner for five years.

Lucas is scaling back to part-time but will still oversee the completion of that $40 million facility, which is scheduled to open in June 2015. Construction began in July 2013.


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