LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – The 2017 Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame inductees were introduced in grand fashion Tuesday morning.
Governor Matt Bevin, Lt. Governor Jenean Hampton and other state leaders took the stage at the ceremony in Frankfort.
It started with the Fastrax Parachute team, which nailed a perfect landing carrying our nation's flag. H.B Deatherage, founder and president of the Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame tells us, "We honor Veterans for what they've done after the service, it's not what they did in the service it’s the fact that they continue to serve when they got out."
Twenty-three veterans from the Bluegrass State have been nominated for the class of 2017, representing all branches of the military and multiple conflicts including World War II.
Four inductees are now deceased but they were represented by their loved ones in Frankfort in the Capitol Rotunda.
Lt. Gov Hampton said to the crowd, "I've met so many veterans who say I did nothing fantastic, I did nothing special, but you know what, if you served your nation in a military uniform you are to be commended."
This year marks the 5th year celebrating the Veterans Hall of Fame, almost 180 have already been inducted.
"It's not just the freedom of assembly, the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion or even yes, the freedom to vote that each of those that have worn a uniform protect and literally put their lives on the line for," Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky's Secretary of State added.
Gov. Bevin addressed the crowd adding, "Thank you for taking a moment to stop and honor the men and women who have served this nation, some with a degree of sacrifice that none of us would want to pay and yet among us there has always been people willing to pay."
When the conversation of our armed forces come up, the biggest action we see and hear so often is gratitude.
Tuesday was more of a celebration – the actual induction ceremony is Sep. 29 and Sep. 30 in Frankfort at the Convention Center featuring dinner and medallion presentations.
Friday's dinner on the Sep. 29 is free and the ceremony is open to the public.
The 2017 Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame inductees are:
• Pvt. Troy Bowling, Lexington
• Lt. Col. David Carter, Lexington
• Staff Sgt. Carroll Ewing, Florence
• Cpl. Oakley Farris, Covington
• Sgt. 1st Class Kirby Fint, Jr., Frankfort
• Sgt. Maj. Charles Fraley, Radcliff
• Staff Sgt. Daniel Houston, Glencoe
• Airman Raymond Hughes, Petersburg
• Cpl. Creed Johns, Nicholasville
• Sgt. Jack Mattingly, Harrodsburg
• Col. Willis McKee, Sr., Shelbyville
• Sgt. Donald McMillian, Walton
• Col. Ronald Ray, Crestwood
• Maj. Ralph Reese, Radcliff
• Sgt. 1st Class Richard Seekman, Jr., Radcliff
• Sgt. Eric Shrader, Hardinsburg
• Senior Master Sgt. Michael Sparks, Paris
• Seaman James Terrell, Frankfort
• Lt. Col. Arthur Turner, Bellevue
• Senior Airman Shawn Vanlue, Nebo
• Petty Officer 3rd Class Steven Weber, Alexandria
• Sgt. Sherry Whitehouse, Brooks
• Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Whitfield, Providence