Judge Shane Gabbard

Jackson County is getting ready to experience something that I believe we have not experienced in many, many years, a Veteran that was killed in battle coming home. On Saturday October 16, 2021, Private First Class, Burton J. McQueen, will finally be laid to rest in his home community of Wind Cave. PFC McQueen was killed in battle on November 23, 1944 during World War II. He was buried in France and remained unidentified until July 9, 2021, when, through the efforts of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, a positive identification was made. After 78 years he is finally coming home. I am very thankful that his family is finally getting to see their loved one properly laid to rest. We as a community want this to be a special day for them. Every County and City Agency is providing something for the ceremony or presession. We have ordered 1000 small American flags to provide for citizens that want to stand on the sidewalks or around the Courthouse as PFC McQueen’s motorcade is brought through town on the 16th. We want to wave him home with the pride and respect that American citizens have. We love God and Country in Jackson County and we respect those that are serving or have served. PFC McQueen has paid the ultimate price for our liberty so we are glad and honored to participate. The Services are planned on Saturday October 16th, 2021 at the Veterans Memorial in McKee from 10:00 am-2:00 pm. At 2:00 pm the motorcade will leave the Memorial and proceed through town. I pray it’s a beautiful day and we can line the streets to pay respect to this hometown hero. I encourage anyone that wants to come, grab a flag and show the world we respect our soldiers in Jackson County. 

 I am planning on attending the SOAR Conference in Corbin later this week. SOAR stands for “Shaping Our Appalachian Region”. SOAR covers 54 counties in Eastern Kentucky and is a regional nonpartisan nonprofit that champions local projects, programs and advocacy for the covered region. The main purpose of SOAR is to fill the economic gaps left by the decline of the coal industry. The plan that SOAR uses is to help communities build from the inside. This means helping communities find what they already have to attract and retain jobs. We have several key components of infrastructure such as PRTC fiber provided broadband internet, marketed industrial property and natural gas in place already. I hope to gain information on what new material is out there to help in economic development as well as network with folks that may take interest in Jackson County. I try to attend as many of these meetings as I can because you never know who you will meet or what you will learn that can help your community. We have some exciting announcements coming soon for Jackson County. When we get the official paperwork in we will be able to make them public. Our community needs some good things, we are working to see them happen. 

Have a blessed week         

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