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Kentucky National Guard honored with first federal award of its kind

Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin Crane

After multiple disasters throughout the Commonwealth in recent years, officials are honoring those who stepped up to respond. Officials said amidst the announcement, they intend to continue supporting current and former Kentucky soldiers through the Veteran’s Program Trust Fund.

The Kentucky National Guard has received the 2023 Association of the United States Army’s best National Guard Command, the first such award ever given. At the announcement in February, the governor’s office commended the Guard for its service following the tornado disaster in western Kentucky, as well as the eastern Kentucky floods only six months later.

Major General Hal Lamberton accepted the award on behalf of the Kentucky National Guard. He said the Guard provides its members with unique ways to serve, compared to other branches of the army.

“This is your national guard. The folks who are our soldiers, who are our airmen. My belief is the majority of them joined in the national guard because they want to be of service to their communities, they want to be of service to the commonwealth,” said Lamberton. “They want to be of service to the country in both domestic and overseas operations.”

Lamberton said the Kentucky National Guard’s scope goes beyond local disasters, though serving Kentucky communities is a vital part of its mission.

“Being in the guard is a little bit more than just stacking sandbags in the event of a flood. And it’s not just a community focus, a national focus, but an international focus towards the security of our commonwealth, of the communities we come from, and of the nation as a whole,” said Lamberton.

The governor’s office also announced more than $100,000 will benefit various organizations through the Veteran’s Program Trust Fund. Morehead State University received $6,000 to continue offering books and class materials to veterans and veteran-affiliated students. More information on services for veteran and military-family students is available online at moreheadstate.edu/veterans.