Department of Veterans Affairs

Ryland Barton

Long-awaited construction of a veterans nursing home in Bowling Green has taken another step forward. 

Governor Andy Beshear signed HB24 on Tuesday that appropriates $2.5 million for pre-construction on the nursing home. 

The General Assembly approved $10.5 million in state bonds in 2017 to fund the project. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has committed $19.5 million, but the design work must be completed before the state can receive the federal funding.  In a news conference at the state Capitol, Beshear said signing the bill was a way to show appreciation for veterans and their sacrifice.


Lisa Autry

Monday is Memorial Day, a time when the nation will pause to remember the men and women who died while serving in the military. More than four decades after the Vietnam War, some veterans in Kentucky and elsewhere say the conflict is still claiming casualties. 

“This guy here, he and I were on the same team in Vietnam, said Hardin County veteran Denzil Lile. "That’s Billy Smith, he was the first one to get killed from Metcalfe County. Me and him was drafted on the same day.”

Denzil Lile looked through a scrapbook at the kitchen table in his apartment in Elizabethtown.  There's one of him with a black Labrador Retriever.

Veterans Affairs Picks Site for New Hospital in Louisville

Oct 20, 2017
Veterans Administration

Capping more than a decade of reviews and debate, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said Friday it has selected a suburban site for a new hospital in Kentucky's largest city.

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin signed off on the location— a 35-acre tract off Brownsboro Road several miles east of downtown Louisville — in an order made public Friday.

City of Radcliff

Radcliff Mayor Mike Weaver is working with some local entrepreneurs to put together a proposal to build a new veterans hospital in Hardin County. 

Weaver says a new law allowing public-private partnerships would reduce the cost and expedite the construction schedule. 

The Department of Veterans Affairs has estimated its preferred location in Louisville would cost around $900 million and construction would take ten years.  Weaver says some veterans don’t have that long to wait.

"The youngest World War Two veteran is 90, the youngest Korean War veteran is 80, and the youngest Vietnam veteran is 62," Weaver told WKU Public Radio.  "You know and I know that those people can't wait ten years for a hospital."                

Weaver says investment groups would build the hospital under budget and within four years. 

U.S. Army

One of the state’s leading veterans advocates is imploring state lawmakers to create a new position to connect the rising number of female veterans across the state with new services designed for them.

There are about 30,000 female veterans in Kentucky. But Margaret Plattner, a retired Lt. Col. with the National Guard and the deputy commissioner for the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, says just under 2,000 of them have applied for benefits.

She says  that the number of homeless female veterans in Kentucky, about 250, is growing faster than that of their male counterparts, and they suffer from domestic violence trauma in greater numbers than men.

Plattner implored a panel of lawmakers in Frankfort to create a position  for the state to bridge the gap.