Eighty-six-year-old Walter Head of the Chandlers community has a heart for veterans. Maybe it’s because he served in the United State Army during the Korean War. Maybe it’s because he, as a two-time wounded soldier, knows what it feels like to come home from war and need help getting acclimated back into society.
Head was born in Logan County but was raised in Warren County. He said when he moved back to Logan he was astonished coming from Warren where veterans had many options for help, there was little in the place where he started.
Head acts as a liaison between the Veterans Administration and the veteran themselves. He is adamant that he does not work for the Veterans Administration, but the veteran. He has been processing claims for over 20 years as a volunteer.
“When I came to this county I noticed the veterans here were not being taken care of. When talking to vets here they didn’t know where they could go for help,” said Head, who began writing letters about the need to the state of Kentucky and the Veterans Administration to no avail.
“I wrote letters to the general director of Veterans Affairs and letters to my state representative. One of my letters even made it to the governor of Kentucky,” said Head. “But I never got an answer back.”
It was at this time that Logan County Magistrate Jo Orange stepped in to help Head. According to Head, Orange hand delivered one of his letters and even sat down with the director of Veterans Affairs.
“Jo is passionate about veterans,” said Head. “She used to carry her husband’s uncle to the VA hospital and sit there for along time waiting for him to be seen. She saw first hand how veterans are treated, and because of it this was something she wanted to become involved with.”
Head said there is a lot of help out there for veterans if they have someone who cares enough to help them find it. Head said he will help a vet with the application process and follow their application all the way. He said there is a lot of help for those who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as well as sexual assault.
Head is working out of the American Legion Post 258 in Auburn on Tuesdays 4-6 p.m., Wednesdays 4-6 p.m. and Saturdays by appointment. You can call Head at 270-542-7494 or come by the Legion in Auburn.
Head has lots of experience and many connections to help veterans. He served in the United States Army for five and a half years. He was wounded twice during battle. Head is a highly decorated soldier having earned a Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge, Army Accommodation, Good Conduct Metal, the Japanese Army Occupation Citation, Korean War Service Metal with three combat stars, and received two Presidential Unit Citations.
Head says he is not a hero, however, saying the men who didn’t come home in the wars are the ones that earn that status.
“I want to help my fellow veterans find what they need,” said Head adding they deserve to be treated with respect and honor for the sacrifice.
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.