JACKSONVILLE, FL (STL.News) Today, Florida Governor Rick Scott honored 211 Florida veterans with the Veterans Service Medal and signed HB 29 and HB 75 which will increase opportunities and reduce fees for Florida military, veterans and their families. HB 29, known as the “Don Hahnfeldt Veteran and Family Opportunity Act,” expands legislation signed into law by Governor Scott in 2014 (more HERE) by reducing professional licensing fees and requirements for certain military members, veterans, and their spouses. This bill also designates March 25th of every year as “Medal of Honor Day” to honor the individuals recognized with the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force in the Armed Services of the United States. The “Don Hahnfeldt Veteran and Family Opportunity Act” was named after State Representative Don Hahnfeldt, a veteran and a member of the Florida House of Representatives who passed away last year.
The Governor also signed HB 75, which authorizes state colleges to waive student fees for active duty military service members. This bill will also help make higher education more affordable for our military men and women.
Governor Scott said, “I’m proud to sign this legislation to further expand career and educational opportunities for our military members, veterans and their families. I was also proud to recognize 211 American heroes with the Veterans Service Medal today. Florida is the most military and veteran friendly state in the nation, and we will continue working to support the brave members of our Armed Forces and their families who sacrifice so much for our nation and its freedom.”
Since 2013, Governor Scott has awarded more than 13,000 veterans with the Governor’s Veterans Service Medal for their service to the state and the nation. The following Florida veterans were highlighted during today’s ceremony:
Martha Burt served in the Women’s Army Corps from June 1944 to November 1945. She was sworn in at Camp Blanding, attended basic training at Fort Oglethorpe, and went to Statistic Control School in Orlando, Florida. In 1979, Burt joined the Women’s Army Corps Veterans’ Association in Jacksonville, Florida where she currently serves as Co-Chaplain.
Ruth Young served in the United States Army from 1950 to 1974 and retired as a 1st Sergeant. Ms. Young received the Army Commendation Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.
Specialist Kerilianne Prado
Specialist Prado completed Basic Combat Training before obtaining her high school diploma. Upon graduation she was assigned to the 146th Expeditionary Signal Battalion. She currently works full time with the State Separations Branch while continuing her military obligation with the Battalion.
Sergeant First Class Andre Campbell
Sergeant First Class Andre Campbell enlisted into the United States Army in 1988. He was assigned to his first Duty Station at Fort Benning, Georgia and served as a Combat Engineer during Operation Desert Storm. Sergeant Campbell then joined the Florida Army National Guard and currently servers in the 146th Expeditionary Signal Battalion.
To view the transmittal letter, CLICK HERE.