April 10, 2014
PINELLAS PARK, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott, joined by United States Air Force Major General Emmett R. Titshaw, Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs (FDVA) Executive Director Mike Prendergrast and FDVA Deputy Executive Director Al Carter, awarded 286 Florida veterans with the Governor’s Veterans Service Award for their service to Florida and the nation.
Governor Scott said, “It is an honor to present so many veterans with the Governor’s Veterans Service Award thanking them for their sacrifice and service to our nation. Last week I signed the Florida GI Bill to waive out of state tuition fees for our honorably discharged veterans, which is just one of the many ways to thank them. We will continue to make Florida the most military-friendly state in the nation and continue to recognize our veterans for their countless contributions to America.”
Adjutant General of Florida & Major General Emmett R. Titshaw, Jr. said, “Officially acknowledging all of our patriots for their service is a privilege, and I am honored to join Governor Scott in this ceremony that celebrates our veterans – and to reflect upon how strong and blessed our nation is because of their commitment.”
Retired Army Colonel Mike Prendergast, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs said, “As a Navy veteran and proud military advocate, the Governor’s commitment to honor our military and veteran communities is truly appreciated. These presentations enhance our ability to connect veterans with their earned services, benefits and support.”
The ceremony was held at the Congressman C.W. Bill Young Armed Forces Reserve Center in Pinellas Park. During the ceremony, Governor Scott highlighted the service of Florida veterans Cynthia Brown and Frank Strom.
Cynthia Brown: Cynthia Brown graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in Pensacola, Florida and enrolled in the U.S. Navy in 1989. Miss Brown is a 20-year Navy veteran who worked as an electrician on aircraft carriers doing aircraft maintenance. After 11 years, she switched military career paths to perform duties in career program management. She retired as a “Petty Officer First Class” veteran, and has been performing Veterans’ Claims Examiner duties at the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs for three years.
Frank Strom: Frank Strom graduated from Dixie Hollins High School in St. Petersburg, Florida in 1982, and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1983. Frank Strom is a retired U.S. Marine First Sergeant and combat veteran, and is now a Hillsborough County Veteran Service Officer. He was an infantry noncommissioned officer who later served as a drill instructor at both Parris Island and the U.S. Naval Academy. He currently serves as a veteran’s advocate and helps connect local veterans with their earned services benefits and support.
Florida Veterans Medal
The “Governor’s Veterans Service Award” honors Floridians who have served in the U.S. Military. The front of the medal depicts the Great Seal of the State of Florida. The back of the medal displays the five seals representing the five branches of the U.S. Military with an inscription that reads “Honoring Those Who Served.”
News article reference: http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/rick-scott-awards-veterans-for-service-in-pinellas-park/2174474