I Am Local 6: Sandy Hart prepares for Thank a Veteran Day

WICKLIFFE, KY — Giving back to those who served our country: You’ll soon have another chance to honor local veterans who sacrificed so much to protect our freedom.

A Thank A Veteran Day event is scheduled Saturday, and McCracken, Ballard and Graves counties have made the day official for May 11, 2019, with proclamations.

If you ever meet Sandy Hart, you’ll know she has endless stories to tell. “It’s just a passion. That’s all I can tell you,” Hart said. “I don’t think I’ll ever know enough.”

So does every inch of her Kentucky Veteran and Patriot Museum in Wickliffe.”They’re great stories, and it’s just — you can’t stop. You just absolutely can’t stop,” Hart said.

It’s obvious that Hart is passionate about her work, but she wouldn’t call it work. This is her life: Hearing and telling the stories of veterans fighting for their lives that, decades ago, no one wanted to hear.

“It takes us back to a time that I remember very well when they weren’t welcomed home properly and they were treated pretty terrible,” Hart said, recalling veterans who returned home from the Vietnam War.

Hart is a voice for veterans who don’t have one. It started when she was a young girl.

“My dad, my uncles were gone. I had never asked them anything, and they had served. And I haven’t talked about it that much, but the personal impact was there,” Hart said.

It changed her life. “I wanted to know what I could no longer ask my own relatives,” Hart said.

Hart stays true to that,  and with help from people in the community, she’s getting the museum ready for an event she’s been putting on for seven years now: Thank A Veteran Day.

“The more they share and they know that they understand each other, and they don’t feel like they’re all out there alone,” Hart said.

One plaque that is made especially for Thank a Veteran Day. It reads: “Let us always remember those heroes who came home to angry protectors. No celebration, not even a thank you from their own country. Many that lived to come home died years later due to exposure to agent orange. Many are still suffering a painful death. Their cause was just. They are all heroes!”

“If you come home and you feel like you can’t talk to anybody, you come up and talk to Mrs. Hart, because she’s always going to be there for you,” Hart said.

The Kentucky Veteran and Patriot Museum is hosting Thank A Veteran Day to celebrate the 15th anniversary of a trip 500 World War II veterans from Kentucky took together to our nation’s capital to see the Memorial Wall. Hart is hoping to reunite those veterans and their families at the event.

For more information about the event, click here.