Retired Army Major Takes Reins of Veterans’ Cemetery | Local News

The Kentucky Veterans Cemetery-Central at Radcliff is under new management.

Retired U.S. Army Maj. Juan Renaud, a native of Opelousas, Louisiana, took over as director of the administrative branch in September following the retirement of Chuck Heater, who had held the position for more than a decade. ‘a decade.

Renaud retired from the army earlier this year after 29 years of service. He said he interviewed for the job after a cemetery internship sparked his interest as another opportunity to serve.

“I have spent my life serving, serving the country, serving the nation and my community,” he said. “It’s a way for me to keep giving back.”

He served all over the world, including two combat tours in Iraq. He also volunteers locally with the Hardin County Kappa League, a local youth mentorship program.

The cemetery is made up of Renaud, an administrative assistant, a superintendent and 12 guardians. As the busiest of Kentucky’s five veteran cemeteries, teamwork is key to ensuring three to four funeral services can be handled daily, which Renaud says he is used to.

“I tell the guys here that I don’t know how not to be on a team,” he said. “As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been part of a team.”

Renaud is also responsible for ensuring that the perpetual maintenance of the cemetery is completed, such as repairing equipment and maintaining the grounds.

“When you think of a cemetery, you think of digging holes,” he said. “There is much more than that.”

For Renaud, the cemetery is more than just a place of burial, it is a lesson in history that must be preserved.

“Everyone here has a story,” he said. “The families associated with them have stories.”

Larry D. Stahl