Kentucky military veterans hope Gov. Bevin will be a champion for veterans issues

12/08/2015 08:20 PM

FRANKFORT – The plight of veterans was front and center on Tuesday as approximately 250 Kentucky military veterans took part in Inaugural Day festivities in Frankfort.

Both new Governor Matt Bevin and Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton are veterans, while the Grand Marshal of Inaugural Day parade was Kentuckian Sgt. Dakota Meyer who is a Medal of Honor recipient.

Randall McComas, state commander of the Kentucky Veterans of Foreign Wars, was appreciative of the fact that Bevin put Kentucky veterans in the forefront in the Inaugural parade.

McComas sees access to behavioral care as one of the biggest challenges for many of Kentucky’s veterans.

“The biggest concern is to see that veterans with disabilities are taken care, especially the homeless veterans and the ones with mental issues,” McComas said.

U.S. Army veteran Larry West of Wayne County would like to see better access to healthcare for veterans who live in the rural areas of the state.

“A lot of these guys in the depressed areas where there’s not a lot of jobs and the economy is in pretty rough shape, they really don’t have much transportation,” West said. “It’s really a serious problem. We’re hoping the administration going to take a look at that and try to streamline things a bit for the vets.”

Bill Blakeman, a Kentucky National Guard veteran from Louisville likes the fact that both Bevin and Hampton are veterans and will be able to identify with vets needs.

“We can relate straight to him and we know that he can relate to us,” Blakeman said.
“Of course we may be the biggest group here that helped him get elected. We’re proud for him and we’re proud to be here to back him.”

Veterans from the Korean and Vietnam wars who took part in the parade said it was like a homecoming for them that they never had the chance to have.


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