A new state website will allow visitors to search for veterans' events around the state, read personal stories from Kentucky veterans, and leave messages for veterans living in the state's veterans nursing homes. Governor Steve Beshear launched the "11-11-11" webpage today as part of his initiative to honor Kentucky's current and former military servicemen and women in the days leading up to Veterans Day on November 11, 2011 -- or 11-11-11.
"We can never repay the huge debt we owe our veterans or fully express our appreciation to them," Gov. Beshear said. "This website will allow all Kentuckians to plan visits to Veterans Day events, sign up for volunteer opportunities, or simply send a message to one of our veterans. The 11-11-11 initiative is a way to show our continued appreciation for the work of all of our state's veterans."
The new website allows visitors to add events planned in their communities to honor veterans. The resulting list will show dates, times and locations for a variety of events for Kentucky service members, leading up to and including Veterans Day.
The site also features a rotating profile of outstanding Kentucky military service men and women, and veterans are encouraged to submit their own essays about their work in the armed forces for possible publication to the site.
Finally, visitors to the website will also be able to leave a message of gratitude for Kentucky veterans. The notes will be collected and delivered to the state's three veterans nursing homes, which are home to more than 500 veterans.
"I am very pleased that Governor Beshear is emphasizing Veterans Day with so many activities and opportunities for everyone to honor our veterans," said Ken Lucas, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs. "The 11-11-11 website provides a one-stop-shop for learning about Kentucky's veterans and how you can volunteer to help them."
The website is accessible through the Governor's page at: http://www.governor.ky.gov/11-11-11/.
Governor Beshear's 11-11-11 initiative, launched on Memorial Day, includes multiple events and programs and will be capped off with a celebration on Veterans Day.
The 11-11-11 initiative includes the following:
* Establishment of an honorary committee associated with the Capitol event on Veterans Day, November 11, 2011
* Promoting volunteer opportunities to assist military families
* Working with Kentucky's business community to find opportunities honor veterans and military members
* Participation by the Governor and his administration in events throughout the year to honor the military and veterans
The Governor's Office and the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs have shown their support over the last three years by helping soldiers, veterans and their families deal with financial hardships, overcome logistical nightmares and gain deserving recognition.
Gov. Beshear has also signed an array of legislation and has supported a number of initiatives to support servicemen and women, their families and veterans. These include:
* Exempting active duty military personnel from paying Kentucky income tax
* Giving veterans preference in state hiring
* Giving disabled veterans and Wounded Warriors free accommodations at state parks
* Expanding use of the Military Family Assistance Trust Fund
* Opening two new state-run veterans cemeteries
* Creating the Kentucky Medal for Freedom to honor soldiers killed since 1991 on active duty.