Inaugural Week of Valor Honors Veterans and Active-Duty Service Men and Women

November 5, 2014

Mayor Greg Fischer and numerous community partners today announced the inaugural Mayor’s Week of Valor — a week-long series of events to honor and celebrate the contributions of active-duty military, veterans and their families.

Coinciding with Veterans Day, the Week of Valor events focus on honoring veterans’ contributions to their country and facilitating their successful transition back to civilian life.

“It’s our goal to make Louisville the most supportive and responsive community in the nation for veterans,” Fischer said. “By raising awareness during the Week of Valor, we can help ensure that every veteran living in Louisville has the coordinated support and access to services for an optimal quality of life.”

More than 56,000 veterans live in Louisville – and approximately 20,000 more post-9/11 veterans are expected to return to Kentucky by 2020. As suicide rates, addiction, homelessness, and unemployment have grown among veterans, there is an urgent need for coordinated services.

“Louisville has set a sterling example for the entire Commonwealth about celebrating veterans throughout the Week of Valor, not just on Veterans Day,” Kentucky Department of Veteran Affairs Commissioner Heather French Henry said.  “The Week of Valor is really a reminder to all of us to recognize, honor and thank veterans throughout the year. I want to encourage everyone to remember the 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Commemoration going on now, and make an extra effort to reach out to the Vietnam Veterans in your communities during the Week of Valor and every week.”

Week of Valor activities include:

Monday, November 10, 6 - 9 p.m.

Kentucky Veterans of Year Banquet

Location: American Legion Highland Post 201, 2919 Bardstown Road

This annual event honors one male and one female Kentucky veteran for their heroic efforts defending our country and our Commonwealth’s way of life.

More information: www.kentuckyveteransoftheyear.org.

Contact: John Mustain, (502) 637-4440 or jmustain@efky.org

Tuesday, November 11, 11 a.m.

Veterans Day Parade & Massing of the Colors

Location: UPDATED: Veterans Day Parade route.

Downtown Louisville –Main Street from 3rd to 6th; the first unit will arrive at the Review Stand, north side of Main between 4th & 5th in the American Life Plaza area (formerly KY Center), at 11:11 a.m. The Massing of the Colors will take place at the Review Stand as soon as the last parade unit passes that position at approximately noon.

A related community event, the rededication of the Vietnam Memorial at the foot of the Big Four Bridge, will take place at Waterfront Park at 2 p.m.

More information: www.louvetparade.com.

Contact: Dell Courtney, (502) 228-5237 or dellcourtn@aol.com

Wednesday, November 12, 8:30 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Employment & Transitions Over the Lifespan: Promoting Veteran Cultural Competence in Service Provision

Location: Brown & Williamson Club, Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, University of Louisville

Hosted by U of L’s Kent School of Social Work and the Kelley Psychological Services Center This conference will focus on topics including transition into employment, women veterans’ issues, housing and access to health care.

Contact: Dr. Michiel A. "Riaan" van Zyl, (502) 852-2430 or mavanz01@exchange.louisville.edu

Thursday, November 13, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Spalding University Veterans Health and Resource Fair

Location: Spalding University Center - Fourth and York streets

This is an opportunity to "get connected to being well" with other veterans and veteran related health services in a social atmosphere. Information and services will focus on well-being, social connection, mental health and prevention of heart, stroke, cancer, and COPD. All veterans across the region are invited to attend this free event. Veterans with a VA identification card are eligible for a free flu shot.

Contact: John Penezic, (502) 759-0180 or jpenezic@spalding.edu

Saturday, November 15, 8 a.m.

Seven Counties Services & University of Louisville Week of Valor 5K Run/Walk with Our Heroes

Location: University of Louisville Belknap Campus, South Floyd Street across from the Lacrosse Stadium

Race festivities include a tribute to veterans from every U.S. war and conflict, the official Retirement of the Colors and a special veterans’ hat ceremony performed by the Eastern High School ROTC.

Register online at www.runwithourheroes.org.

Contact: Gwen Cooper, (502) 498-0783 or gcooper@sevencounties.org

All week long

Week of Valor: Community Service Projects for Homeless Veterans and Veteran Families         

Time and location: Various

Individuals, businesses and civic groups are encouraged to identify local opportunities to support homeless veterans, veteran families or veteran service organizations throughout the Mayor’s Week of Valor but specifically on this day. In an effort to foster the integration of community relationships and support, VCAL will identify various service projects as well as connect volunteers/groups to veteran service organizations to identify and organize additional volunteer projects.
 

Visit www.vcalouisville.org for a list of dates and volunteer opportunities.

The Mayor’s Week of Valor is supported by the Veterans Community Alliance of Louisville (VCAL).  VCAL is an initiative launched in 2014 by a group of young professionals participating in Leadership Louisville’s IGNITE program in conjunction with Volunteers of America of Kentucky and Seven Counties Services. Now operating with an advisory board comprised of more than two dozen individuals representing corporate, non-profit, government and civic organizations, VCAL’s mission is to create an integrated network of support for veterans and their families by coordinating services, resources and initiatives to increase communication across organizational lines, enhance quality and delivery of service and promote veteran-friendly community relations in Louisville.

To learn more about Mayor’s Week of Valor events and the Veterans Community Alliance of Louisville, visit www.vcalouisville.org.

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