U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) joined local leaders to honor Breathitt County Veterans and to provide an update on how SOAR – Shaping Our Appalachian Region – could impact Breathitt County. Rogers spoke to local leaders, veterans and students on Monday morning at the National Guard Armory in Jackson.
Rogers presented J.L. Smith, Breathitt County Judge Executive, with an American flag that had been flown over the U.S. Capital in honor of local veterans.
“I wanted to commemorate the valor and patriotism of the veterans of Breathitt County,” said Congressman Rogers. “You’ve passed down a legacy of heroes through every war, from World War I, to Vietnam, to Afghanistan. Our veterans gave their all for our country and we owe them a great debt of gratitude.”
Rogers has continually sought to improve assistance for veterans across the country through legislation that will hold the VA accountable for its mismanagement of veterans’ benefits and services.
During the event, Rogers also recognized Rose Wolfe, Mayor of Jackson, for her support of local veterans. Rogers presented Mayor Wolfe with a Difference Maker Award for her leadership in revitalizing downtown Jackson, supporting local first responders, and spear-heading a critical grant application for improvements at the Julian Carroll Airport.
“Mayor Wolfe has provided crucial leadership to the City of Jackson,” said Rogers. “Her endearing, no-nonsense leadership style has helped forge important partnerships in Breathitt County and across county lines.”
Rogers encouraged Breathitt County leaders and educators to prepare for one of SOAR’s first major projects, KentuckyWired, or the “I-Way.” Monday afternoon, Rogers joined Governor Beshear, and other local, state and federal leaders in Hazard to kickoff the statewide broadband project, which begins construction in Eastern Kentucky. The project will bring high speed, high capacity broadband access to every county in the state.
“Broadband could be our ticket to more and better jobs, better educational opportunities for our students, better health care monitoring for our families and seniors, and a path forward for a better way of life,” said Rogers.
The first phase of the project is scheduled to be complete by Spring 2016. The statewide network will be complete in 2018.
For more information about SOAR, visit www.soar-ky.org.
Rogers has served Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District since 1981. With a focus on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drugs and preserving Appalachia’s natural treasures, he has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the region he represents. For more information, visit http://halrogers.house.gov/ or follow Rogers on Twitter, Instagram or on Facebook.