Krystol Stinson, a local staff member of Western Kentucky University's Veterans Upward Bound program, has been elected to the Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame and will be formally inducted in the fall.
The Navy veteran from Scottsville will receive this honor in Frankfort for her service to the United States, graduating from WKU and her involvement with Veterans Upward Bound initiatives as outreach coordinator. Stinson served in the Navy for 20 years as an electronics technician. She achieved the rank of petty officer first class before retiring.
"When Lt. Gov. (Jenean) Hampton told me she was going to nominate me, I told her there were much more worthy individuals out there to nominate and she was adamant that I needed to be nominated at least," Stinson said. "Then, when I got the letter saying that I had been elected I was stunned.”
In 2013, Stinson graduated magna cum laude from WKU with bachelor's degrees in history and English. The Veterans Upward Bound project gained her as outreach coordinator that same year. Since then, she has been involved with the Southern Kentucky Veterans Council, Veteran Leadership Corps, Operation Stand Down Kentucky and the Western Kentucky Women Veterans Conference.
“It was just so fortuitous because it was right at a point in my life where I was ready to start helping, giving back," Stinson said. "And giving back to veterans was what I wanted to do."
As outreach coordinator, Stinson is in charge of traveling throughout Warren County and the seven surrounding counties to work with veterans on using their free educational benefits at WKU. She said she believes education gives you opportunity. Davy Stone, director of Veterans Upward Bound, said when the position was added, there was no doubt Stinson was the best fit.
"We’re lucky to have her, and when I heard she was going to be nominated I had no doubt she would be named as an inductee this year, because she has done so much for the veteran community," Stone said. "She has put her heart into it and it shows."
WKU has the only Veterans Upward Bound program in Kentucky and has been active since 1992. It is a federally funded, free educational program that helps veterans who qualify get admitted to college, receive degrees and get jobs. Rick Wright, counselor and coordinator at Veterans Upward Bound, said nobody is more deserving of this honor.
“It is very fitting that Krystol has been elected to the Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame,” Wright said in a news release. “She has helped hundreds of veterans in southern Kentucky in many ways since she first joined the VUB staff. It’s nice to see her get some recognition for her service and her sacrifices.”
According to the Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame website, veterans inducted receive a Hall of Fame Medallion recognizing their service and dedication to their nation and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Stinson, along with several other veterans, will be inducted at 10 a.m. Sept. 17 at the Frankfort Convention Center.