Kentuckians at War

Kentucky Veterans Honored with Flight to Nation’s Capital

Sep 28, 2015
Stu Johnson / WEKU News


This past weekend, a large group of Kentucky military veterans made a one day trip to the nation’s capital.  They received a heroes’ welcome Saturday night at Blue Grass Airport.

Scores of people, many not knowing anyone on board the Honor Flight plane, lined the entire terminal at the Lexington airport.  World War II veteran  William McCroskey of Lexington was asked what stood out the most during the trip to Washington.  “Just the number of people that have turned out, that they haven’t forgotten,” said Mcroskey.

Lexington Homebuilders Breaks Ground on House for Veteran

Jul 27, 2015

A group of Central Kentucky home builders is constructing a house for a U.S. military veteran.  Iit's a project offered by a 62 year old trade organization.

Vietnam Veterans Tribute Wall Coming to Kentucky Horse Park

Jun 12, 2015

The Kentucky Horse Park will be home to the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall for five days in July.   Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Heather French-Henry says the wall is a 300 foot long replica of the memorial in Washington."People who may not have the opportunity to travel to D.C. to the Vietnam Memorial can do so at one of these walls and get the same rubbing of the names,” said French-Henry. “And I think that's extremely important."

Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Are Being Honored This Week

Mar 30, 2015

Kentuckians are being asked to recognize Vietnam Veterans this week.  Governor Beshear proclaimed Monday Vietnam Veterans Day across the Commonwealth.  Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Heather French Henry says she's the daughter of a disabled Vietnam Veteran.  She says the widespread negative attitude toward soldiers returning from Vietnam was felt by her father and many others.  "And it affected him and it affects him still today," said Henry.  "Not in as much a way as it did, let's say when I was 15, and he was still having difficulty in transitioning back into socie

Stu Johnson / WEKU News

A Lexington based organization is expanding its care package program for military servicemen and women.  Military Missions is sending additional holiday boxes to military members stationed overseas who are not signed up to receive them.

War-related deaths are rarely forgotten.  For many people, Memorial Day weekend remains a time to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in military service.  Tom Baker, Chair of the Bluegrass Military Affairs Coalition, has just such a memory.  “I had a good friend, from the earlier time I can remember, Walter Anderson.  He joined the Army out of high school and in his first week in Vietnam, the convoy he was in was ambushed and he was blown up by a mine and lost his life,” said Baker.


CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A new Honor Flight program has been set up to serve veterans in north-central Tennessee and south-central Kentucky.

Michael Flood, a 101st Airborne Division veteran, told The Leaf-Chronicle that he decided to start the Screaming Eagle Honor Flight after the nearby Music City Honor Flight in Nashville ceased operating last year.

Flood said he is currently seeking volunteers, donations and other support for his operation in Clarksville, Tenn.

Jeff Kubina / Flickr, Creative Commons

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says a backlog of disability claims handled by the Veterans Affairs Department is a "national disgrace."

Flight taking veterans to DC Memorials

May 20, 2013
Nathan Morgan/The Daily News

A flight carrying 71 Tristate veterans and their escorts departs at 8 am. Tuesday from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport to Washington to see visit national memorials. Honor Flight Tri-State is a nonprofit organization that flies World War II and Korean War veterans to their memorials in Washington at no cost. The flight returns at 10:15 p.m. Tuesday.  Read more...

Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame Started

May 13, 2013

A new Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame will honor people who came back and made a positive impact on their community. Organizers of the private Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc., are planning to select a first-ever class of up to 20 inductees in November. Nominations are being sought.

Volunteers again gather at Kentucky Battlefields

Apr 5, 2013
Kentucky State Parks

Thousands of volunteers gather this weekend for a clean-up at America’s Civil War battlefields.  From Maryland to California, they’ll clear away winter-time debris and make the parks ready for summertime visitors.  At the Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site, organizer Joan House says they’ll work on 500-acres of battlefield just acquired for the site.

A Lexington based organization that supports military personnel serving overseas is expanding its program.   For several years, Military Missions has shipped care-packages to soldiers.  This holiday season, the organization has launched an ‘Adopt-A-Hero’ program.  Military Missions Volunteer Larry Neuzel says donors can send items to specific service men and women.   “We have some in Kuwait.  I saw one the other day from Korea, so anybody that’s overseas that have gone to our website and we have a place on there where you can add a hero.  We do this all year long, not just at Christmas time.

Mass Grave offers Battlefield's Best Vista

Oct 8, 2012
The Friends of Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site

In hindsight, we know the Battle of Perryville permanently removed Kentucky from the Confederacy.  But, it was a Southern victory and, at the time, the issue was in doubt. 

Team to Examine Military Health Challenges

Aug 29, 2012

FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear Wednesday announced that a team of Kentuckians will work to find better ways to help military service members, veterans and their families with substance abuse and mental health challenges. “When those who have sacrificed so much already need help with substance abuse or mental health issues, we have to be ready with resources to support them as they heal,” Beshear said in a statement released by his office. “The team is expected to develop recommendations on how best to make that help available for the military and veteran families who need it."

Kentucky this week marks a major milestone at one of its historic sites. Over the weekend, the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Richmond was commemorated.  Joining in Kentucky’s Civil War commemoration was Pulitzer prize winning author Mark Neely.   Neely, who spoke last week at Eastern Kentucky University, won the prize in 1991 for his history, The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties.  Neely told WEKU’s John Hingsbergen that the US Constitution helped the Union with the war.

Hammadi Pleads Guilty to Terror Charges

Aug 22, 2012

In an unexpected development, an Iraqi refugee pleaded guilty in federal court in Louisville to terrorism-related charges.Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 24, of Bowling Green, pleaded guilty to five counts of attempting to provide material support and resources to terrorists, four counts of attempting to provide material support and resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization, two counts of making false statements on an immigration form and conspiracy to possess, receive, transfer and export surface-to-air missile launcher systems.

200 Kentucky Soldiers Return from Iraq

Aug 20, 2012
Kentucky Enquirer

More than 200 National Guard soldiers were reunited with their families after a year apart at a welcome-home ceremony on Saturday afternoon at Home of the Freedom ball park in Florence. The 1204th Aviation Support Battalion, based in Independence, was the last Kentucky unit to leave Iraq as U.S. troops were withdrawn in December. The soldiers were then sent to Kuwait, where they provided maintenance, logistics and communications support.

Community honors soldier killed in Afghanistan

May 17, 2012
Charles Bertram / Lexington Herald Leader

Mourners saluted at the funeral for Army Pfc. Dustin Gross held at the Montgomery County High School Thursday. Gross was killed by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan last week after being in the country just about six weeks.

Marching Band of Brothers

May 10, 2012

The Japanese government surrendered to Allied forces in 1945, but World War Two came to an official end in April, 1952, when a peace treaty went into effect.  Witnessing the declaration of peace, 60 years ago, were members of the 24th Infantry Division Band.  The American soldiers were in Japan on occupation duty.

Relatives of Kentuckians who died in Vietnam are being urged to submit photos and other remembrances of their loved ones to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.   Eastern Kentucky University later this week hosts a touring version of the Vietnam Memorial.  Lee Allen with the Memorial Fund says his organization launched a national campaign to get photos of all those people named on the wall.   Of the one thousand 58 Kentuckians who died during the Vietnam War, Allen says 625 pictures are still being sought.

US Defense Secretary says Sacrifices Necessary

Mar 2, 2012
Devin Katayama / Kentucky Public Radio

The U.S. Secretary of Defense says the country has made a turning point in its military history, including a new defense strategy with $487 billion of spending cuts; but he says it’ll take more sacrifice to maintain the U.S. position as a global leader. Panetta addressed an audience over 1,000 at the University of Louisville’s Papa John Stadium Thursday night. This was the first visit from a sitting Defense Secretary to U of L’s McConnell Center for Political Leadership lecture series.

Managing personal finances can present unique challenges… especially to military families.  Kentucky’s Department of Financial Institutions is offering a revised ‘Financial Field Manual’ to those families.  State spokeswoman Kelly May says it’s meant to help military families steer clear of scams.

U of L Targets National Guard Soldiers

Feb 17, 2012

The University of Louisville is trying to encourage members of Kentucky’s National Guard to take advantage of the school’s programs. U of L signed a memorandum of understanding with Kentucky’s National Guard Friday that’ll increase the university’s effort in offering programs and services that could benefit soldiers, said Renee Finnegan, executive director of military initiatives for U of L.

Three Fort Campbell Soldiers Honored

Jan 25, 2012
David Snow/The Eagle Post

Three members of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) 4th Brigade Combat Team (Currahees) were honored Monday for bravery under fire in Afghanistan last June. Their citations were pinned on them by Col. Valery C. Keaveny Jr., the commander of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 506th Infantry Regiment.

National Guard Unit Readies for Deployment

Jan 4, 2012
Tricia Spaulding/The State-Journal

Although the U.S. is withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, the war is not over for more than 60 members of the Kentucky National Guard in Frankfort. They were honored in a farewell ceremony Tuesday as they prepare to go to Afghanistan in the next several weeks. The members – officially Agribusiness Development Team 4 – will focus on teaching Afghanis how to be agriculturally self-sufficient in a war-ravaged nation.

Veterans Salute Those Laid to Rest

Jan 2, 2012

When 21-year Army veteran Floyd E. Douglas was laid to rest at Mill Springs National Cemetery in Pulaski County last month, 17 men and women, all veterans wearing the uniforms of the various military services, were there to render full military honors. They saluted the casket. They fired the traditional 21-volley rifle salute. They carefully removed the American flag from the casket, folded it in the prescribed manner, and presented it to the Douglas family, along with the shell casings from the salute. Finally, they completed the service with an emotional playing of taps.

Kentucky Soldier One of the Last to Leave

Dec 21, 2011

A soldier with Kentucky and southern Ohio roots was in one of the last units to leave Iraq over the weekend. According to family members, U.S. Army PFC Codie Breeze, a 2009 graduate of Bracken County High School, was on one of the last convoys of American soldiers to leave Iraq.  Breeze is with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Delta Co. 2 Battalion 5 Cavalry Regiment from Fort Hood, Texas.

Veterans React to End of Iraq War

Dec 16, 2011

The U.S. this week closed a chapter in its War on Terror, officially ending its mission in Iraq after nearly nine years of combat. The pullout of U.S. troops from the embattled country drew mixed opinions among Hardin County veterans, some of whom have been directly affected by the conflict. Ronnie Thompson Jr., an Elizabethtown resident who was injured in late 2004 when an IED struck his Humvee, had his military career end after the roadside bomb put him on a challenging road to rehabilitation. On Thursday, Thompson said he feels the close of the Iraq War is long overdue and it is time to trust that the Iraqi government can rise up and take care of its own without falling prey to insurgent forces.

An investigation by the McClatchy news organization casts some doubts on the official account of Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer’s actions. Meyer, a Kentuckian, received the medal for actions in Afghanistan in 2009. The official account of the Marine’s story describes how he ran into enemy fire to retrieve his fallen colleagues and Afghan fighters. It tells of him leaping from his vehicle’s gun turret and killing at least eight insurgents.

"Crucial parts" of the story that Marine Corps officials told about Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer's bravery in Afghanistan are "untrue, unsubstantiated or exaggerated, according to dozens of military documents" that McClatchy Newspapers has examined and reporting done by a McClatchy correspondent who survived the ambush in which Meyer performed heroically.

In a long report based on extensive research, correspondent Jonathan S. Landay writes that: