Branch: US Navy
Years Served: 1975 – 1985
Military Occupation: AD1 – Aviation Machinist Mate (Jet Mechanic)
Hometown: Derby, KS
Twitter Handle: @Keith_Humphrey
Tell us a little about you outside of the military:
- Marathon runner with six marathons and several hundred shorter races as well as three times completing the Pikes Peak Ascent race.
- PADI Rescue Diver
- Independent Filmmaker – wrote and produced a Hong Kong feature film called Miles Apart in 2000.
- President and CEO of Jet AirWerks, LLC – a large commercial jet engine component repair shop.
- Gold Star Father-in-Law – Sgt. Michael Martins, USMC. Killed in an accident on Nov. 9, 2009.
- Veteran and Military family Advocate
- After the 2013 government shutdown, I initiated a bill in the 2014 Kansas Legislature that would cover the cost of the death gratuity for a Kansas servicemember in the event of a loss of life during a federal government shutdown.
- Worked to build cosponsors for HR1928 – Families of Fallen Servicemembers First Act (HR 1928) in Congress – working closing with Rep. Connelly of Virginia (sponsor of the legislation) – the bill reached 199 cosponsors and was included in the 2019 Defense Appropriations Bill.
- Worked to create a Veteran’s Treatment Court in Sedgwick County, Kansas – worked with the County Commission, District Attorney and the local Veterans Administration to ultimately get the court created in the Spring of 2023.
- Married to Thérèse Humphrey with a blended family of six kids and six grandkids.
- Sober since 2/22/82
Why are you participating in the fly-in with IAVA?
- I want to use my experience to help better the lives of veterans, military service members and their families.
How did your military experience shape you to be the person you are today?
- The military gave me a home and a trade. I used my initial military training to secure civilian jobs and ultimately start my own business.
Which one of IAVA’s policy priorities do you believe is the most pressing? Why?
- IMPROVE THE JUSTICE SYSTEM TO SUPPORT VETERANS AND SERVICE MEMBERS
- We need to provide treatment for possible service-related issues instead of incarceration. Giving veterans and servicemembers a 2nd chance is the honorable thing to do especially if their infraction is tied to their service in the military.
Which one of IAVA’s policy priorities do you have the strongest personal connection to? Why?
- The creation of Veteran’s Treatment Courts. I have been working in my community to get a Veteran’s Treatment Court started so I’m knowledgeable in the subject.
- I am in recovery from Alcoholism (sober for 41 years) – my recovery began when I was in the Navy – the resources were there and I took advantage of them. Veterans and servicemembers need access to treatment and sometimes the only way for them it to receive it is through the justice system or a VTC.
More #AllStarAdvocacy videos are available in IAVA’s 2023 All-Star Advocacy Fly-In video showcase.