Decades after six veterans served their country in the military, they are being honored in a new way. Florida unveiled its new Veteran’s Hall of Fame at the state Capitol.
Prior to the unveiling, Governor Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott presented six hall of fame inductees with awards for going above and beyond in the military.
“The bravery and sacrifice of our veterans has preserved and protected the American Dream for generations,” said Governor Scott.
Hall of Fame inductee Captain Robert Silah says the award is special.
“It’s unbelievable, especially being in the first class. I never expected that, so, it’s quite an honor and I’m very, very honored,” said Silah.
Florida joins Georgia and Arkansas in the Southeast with having veterans with a hall of fame. Nationwide there are fewer than 15 states who have a veterans halls of fame.
Maj. John Haynes, a retired U.S. Marine Corps, said, “I think it’s long overdue, that this should have happened years ago. But, we veterans, we certainly understand. We’re very patient people.”
Statewide there are 1.6 million veterans. Recipient John Cleland says this award doesn’t only honor him, but all of those who have fought for their country.
“All veterans stand tall and all veterans should be recognized,” said Cleland.
Inductees are chosen based on their contribution to the state in civic, business, public service or other pursuits.
As another way to honor those in the military, Florida is also looking into offering in-state tuition for all military, no matter what state they call home.