Gov. Scott honors vets in ‘most veteran-friendly state in the nation’

Governor Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott celebrated and honored the service of six Florida veterans Tuesday during the very first induction ceremony into the new Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame.

The governor’s office released the following photo and statement showing Florida’s first couple honoring the bravery and sacrifice of the those Florida vets who so proudly served our country.

Gov Scott vets

Governor Scott said, “Florida is the most veteran-friendly state in the nation. We must continue to support our veterans who have served the Sunshine State. This Veterans Hall of Fame will show our support to those who worked so hard and made sacrifices for our state and nation, and have help ensure freedom for all. ”

Governor Scott and First Lady Scott awarded Hall of Fame Medals and Certificates to the following inductees:

  1. 1.John R. D. Cleland, Major General (Retired), U.S. Army (Melbourne)
  2. The late Rep. Sam M. Gibbons, former U.S. Army Major (Tampa) – represented by his son, Clifford Sam Gibbons
  3. John L. Haynes, Major (Retired), U.S. Marine Corps (Monticello)
  4. Robert F. Milligan, Lieutenant General (Retired), U.S. Marine Corps (Tallahassee)
  5. Jeanne Grushinski Rubin, Captain (Retired), U.S. Navy (Sunrise)
  6. Robert J. Silah, Captain (Retired), U.S. Navy (Tampa)

The Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame recognizes and honors those military veterans who, through their works and lives during or after military service, have made a significant contribution to the state of Florida through civic, business, public service or other pursuits.  It is not a traditional military hall of fame, as it focuses on post-military contributions to the State of Florida.

“We have an impressive pool of outstanding patriots who call Florida home,” said retired Army Col. Mike Prendergast, executive director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs.  “These six inductees and the others who will follow in future years are inspirations to all of us who served honorably to defend the freedoms we enjoy today.”

Inductees are recommended annually by the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame Council based upon public submissions and approved by the Governor and Cabinet.  In selecting its nominees for submission, the council gives preference to veterans who were either born in Florida or adopted Florida as their home state.  The council’s recommendations for the inaugural class were unanimously accepted by Governor Scott and the Cabinet on Sept. 24, 2013.

“This ceremony sets forth a proud tradition of recognizing veterans for their leadership and civic contributions to the state,” said retired Air Force Col. Bruce Host, a former Leon County Commissioner who serves as council chairman.  “We look forward to recognizing many more veterans in future years.”

As part of today’s ceremony, the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame Wall was unveiled on the Plaza Level of the Capitol Building here.  The Capitol Building is also home to the Florida Medal of Honor Wall, paying tribute to Florida’s 25 Medal of Honor recipients.

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