- Associated Press - Friday, May 30, 2014

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Veterans advocate and former Miss America Heather French Henry has been appointed commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs.

Gov. Steve Beshear announced Friday that Henry will succeed former U.S. Rep. Ken Lucas, who will oversee construction of a veterans nursing home in Radcliff.

Henry became Miss America in September 1999 and a few months later started the Heather French Foundation for Veterans. The foundation works with public and private organizations to help veterans and their families.

Henry is married to former Lt. Gov. Steve Henry. She will begin her new post July 1.

Beshear’s spokesman, Terry Sebastian, says the change at the state agency is unrelated to federal Veterans Affairs chief Eric Shinseki resigning on Friday amid complaints about his handling of that agency.