A compilation of Veterans Day messages from Florida’s elected officials and politicians:
Governor Rick Scott, via Twitter:
“It’s an honor to travel the state and meet Florida’s brave veterans. Thank you for your service to our nation!”
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio:
“On this Veterans Day, our entire nation pauses to honor those who have served and sacrificed for the greater good of the United States of America. It is because of the selflessness and valor of these brave men and women that we enjoy the blessings of liberty and democracy.
“Whether they are in uniform or not, our nation’s heroes surround us every day. Florida alone has over 1.5 million veterans that have earned and deserve our full support 365 days a year.
“It is our duty as a nation to ensure our veterans are receiving the care and benefits they were once promised. The incompetence at the Department of Veterans Affairs is unacceptable, and officials who are doing a disservice to our veterans must be held accountable.
“Today should not be the only day we give thanks to our veterans; rather, we owe them our greatest appreciation each and every day. Thank you to all the veterans in Florida and across this great nation, to whom we express our eternal gratitude. May God bless our veterans and may God bless America.”
U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown:
“Let it be our pledge that when they return home, we leave no veteran behind, and that Congress ‘Soldier Up’ and take care of our veterans.”
U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham:
“Our veterans are the bravest among us — they give up the comforts of home and put their lives on the line to protect our families and our freedom.
“Between Tyndall Air Force Base, the Naval Support Activity Base in Panama City, and the thousands of veterans and active duty officers who live here, our commitment to the military is at the very heart of our North Florida community.
“… So this Veterans Day, please join me in the fight to make sure our vets receive the respect and dignity they deserve when they come home.”
U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy:
“Today, our entire nation comes together to salute the service of over 21 million veterans who bravely served our nation, keeping us safe here at home and promoting freedom and democracy abroad. As members of Congress, one of our greatest responsibilities is to care for our troops, both while they are on the battlefield and once they return home. We must also protect the benefits they have earned and expand support and services for these brave men and women. This means helping returning service members as they pursue educational and career opportunities, improving mental health care and suicide prevention efforts, and reducing the disability claims and appeals backlogs.
“As we recognize Military Family Month throughout the month of November, we will not forget the parents, spouses, and children who share in the sacrifice of service, including the over 5 million loved ones serving as caregivers to our wounded warriors. These families deserve our nation’s thanks and support. As we honor the service and sacrifice of our veterans today, let us rededicate ourselves to doing more for their families.
“I am proud to represent almost 60,000 veterans across the Treasure Coast and Palm Beaches, and I promise to continue fighting for them in Congress as they fought for our country – not just on Veterans Day but every day.”
U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney:
“As your children enjoy a day off from school and you take in the festivities of Veteran’s Day, please take a moment to share with them the inspirational stories of veterans who have devoted their lives to ensure the safety and security of our nation. During this last year, our nation’s all volunteer force has aided in humanitarian efforts in West Africa during the Ebola outbreak, inspired us by expanding elite opportunities, like Ranger School, to female candidates and continue to protect us by operating in over 30 countries and territories world-wide.
“I will continue to advocate for our veterans and addressing the needs of FL-17 through legislation. I’ve introduced two bills (HR 2862 and HR 2863) to ward off fraudsters who prey on our veteran population. Additionally, I’ve cosponsored legislation that will address the devastating effects of war by through a pilot program to introduce therapy dogs in the VA and legislation that will hold the VA accountable for poor performance with the VA Accountability Act. This act will authorize the VA to remove or demote based on poor performance or misconduct. For FL-17’s Reserve Force, I’ve cosponsored legislation that allows guard and reserve personnel who have served 20 years, but never called up for active duty, to legally be recognized as a “veteran.” And finally, I just introduced bipartisan legislation called the Housing Our Heroes Act, which works to get homeless veterans off the street and into homes, with a pathway to one day owning these homes themselves.”
“For all the veterans of Florida’s 17th District, I personally thank you for your service. I feel truly honored and blessed to be your voice in Congress.”
U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster:
“Freedom is never free. The United States military is characterized by an ardent history of advancing freedom and defending liberty. Today, we celebrate Veterans Day by honoring the brave men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces and thanking them and their families for the sacrifices they have freely made so that we might live in freedom, peace, and security.”
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam:
“This Veterans Day, I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices our veterans have made to protect the freedoms we hold dear. Florida is home to more than 1.5 million men and women who have selflessly served and sacrificed for our nation as part of the armed forces. We can never repay the sacrifices our veterans made for our country, but we are proud to honor their service this Veterans Day, and every day.”
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater:
“With so many veterans calling Florida home, it’s important to recognize the commitment and sacrifices made by our veterans to protect our nation and state, and I encourage you to make your appreciation of these men and women known to them as well. It’s no easy job to summon the courage to face war, yet so many have found it within themselves to do so every day for their families, communities, and us. I am proud to call many of these patriots my friends.
“In his 1954 proclamation changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day, President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that [our veterans’] efforts shall not have been in vain.” It is because of these men and women that we have the freedoms we enjoy and hold so dearly. That is why we need to make sure our appreciation of these freedoms is known year-round and not just on one day.
“Florida is home to 1.6 million veterans, which is 1.6 million opportunities to say “thank you.” Our gratitude of veterans is hard-earned and well-deserved. Florida’s veterans have had unmistakable and lasting impacts on our state, even outside of their service. Through small businesses, volunteer programs, teaching, and countless other efforts, veterans contribute to the success and quality of life in our state. My hope is that each Florida veteran feels the unending gratitude we feel today and every day.”
Congressional candidate Neal Dunn:
“My wife and I grew up in military families; both our fathers were career officers as were their fathers. I served as a surgeon in the Army for over a decade and my son served. So I know first-hand just how special Veterans Day is and what it means to so many families here in our District, the Sunshine State and across the nation.
“Today, I ask that you please join me in honoring all of the men and women who have served and defended our great nation for our freedom. And, as we look toward the future, please keep this in mind: we are the greatest nation in the world, but only as long as we have a great military, and I believe that this administration is gutting ours. This White House is openly hostile to the military, shrinking and shorting it at every chance they get.
“I am running for this Congressional seat because I am concerned about the way we care for our veterans and hope to have the opportunity to work with you to find smart solutions.”
Congressional candidate Justin Grabelle:
“This country is the greatest on earth, and we owe it all – 100 percent – to America’s veterans. So to all those who stood up and answered the call, we thank you for your willingness to serve and for all that you have accomplished on behalf of this nation. Enjoy this day. You’ve more than earned it.”
Congressional candidate Eric Lynn:
Congressional candidate Melissa McKinlay:
“The men and women who serve our country and potentially put themselves in harm’s way to defend it deserve our thanks.
“In my current job as Commissioner, I represent a large number of veterans, old and young. They come from all backgrounds and have experienced so much.
“However, too many veterans are left in limbo – stuck in bureaucracies that don’t sufficiently help them get jobs, get treatment, or get the simple benefits they were promised.
“This shouldn’t just a be mission statement for those in Congress. It’s our obligation to make sure we’re living up to our promises to our veterans. It’s a promise I will keep.
“To those serving and to those who have served – thank you. Not just today, but every day.”
State Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto:
“On this Veterans Day, I urge my fellow Floridians to take a moment to express gratitude to the brave men and women who are serving or have served in the United States Armed Forces. Whether veterans of wartime or of peacetime, those drafted or who volunteered, those who have fallen or those with us today, these American heroes have selflessly put the welfare of our nation above their own.
“The Legislature has continued to work hard to make sure veterans in Florida receive the respect, services, and gratitude they so richly deserve. This year I have Co-Sponsored Senator Simpson’s bill, SB 128, which establishes the Florida Combat Veterans’ Care Coordination Program within the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to provide veterans and their families with behavioral health information and referral services. We are committed to continuing Florida’s tradition as the ‘Welcome Home’ state for veterans and their families.
“Please join me in thanking our service men and women, as well as their families, for the sacrifices they have made in responding to the call of duty, protecting us from threats to our freedom, and defending our liberty.”
State Senator Rene Garcia, via Facebook:
“Thanking our Veterans today and everyday for the great sacrifice they and their families make at home and abroad. Thank you for your service!”
State Senator Bill Galvano:
“Today we honor America’s heroes, the brave men and women who protect our country and the many freedoms we enjoy.”
State Senator Darren Soto:
“As we thank and honor our veterans and their families for their sacrifice and service, let’s renew our commitment to the men and women who risked everything to keep us safe. They fought for us, and the least we can do is do the same. They’ve earned it.”
State Representative Richard Corcoran:
“On this Veteran’s Day, let us celebrate and honor all those who have fought and died to defend our great country. Let us also keep in our thoughts and prayers the men and women of our Armed Forces who are spending today in harm’s way.”
State Representative Bob Cortes:
“As we pause to honor America’s veterans today, please join me in praying for the safety of our active duty military personnel. I am so grateful for their courage and the many sacrifices they and their families make to serve our nation so ably and honorably. We are very proud of our son and son-in-law, who are both currently deployed overseas. Our country owes them, and all our veterans, a great debt of gratitude, and we honor them for the outstanding job they do to keep the greatest nation on earth safe and free. Thank you!”
State Representative Dane Eagle:
“On this Veterans Day in 2015 let us reflect upon and honor our veterans who have made this country a great beacon of liberty: those who died in action answering the call to duty; those who survived battle and returned home to raise families; and those who protect us from afar in distant lands and unfamiliar places, away from loved ones.”
State Representative Jamie Grant, via Twitter:
“To all of those who made 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month mean something, thank you! Your service can never be forgotten”
State Representative Matt Hudson:
State Representative Jimmie Smith:
” ‘The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by our nation.’ — George Washington
“Thank you to all the veterans who willing stood up and said I’ll defend freedom and a special thank you to the Viet Nam Veterans who helped make me the man I am.”
State Representative Chris Sprowls:
State Representative Jennifer Sullivan:
“Happy Veterans Day! On this day we pay great thanks to the many men and women who have and are currently serving our great country. You all, day after day spend time away from friends and family to protect and defend our country making The United States of America the greatest country to live in. Many Thanks to you all and God Bless!”
State Representative Vic Torres, via Twitter:
“Happy and blessed Veteran’s Day to all my service brothers and sisters. Thank you for your valiant contributions. Semper Fi!”
Pasco Tax Collector Mike Fasano:
“On behalf of the Pasco County Tax Collector’s Office I would like to wish everyone who served in the military a very happy Veterans Day. Our nation was built by the sacrifices made by the brave men and women who have put on the uniform of the Armed Services. Our freedom is due to their selfless dedication to protecting and defending the values that make our country great. It is my hope that all who call the United States of America home remember to thank a veteran for their service. May we never forget the ultimate sacrifice of those who never returned home. May they always live on in our thoughts and prayers.”
State Senate candidate Gary Farmer:
“All of our veterans deserve our thanks and support – but for me, one veteran is my favorite: my dad.
“My dad was (and still is) a Marine. An expert marksman, Dad served in Korea, right after the war ended and tempers were still running high. It was a very tense time.
“When he returned, it was the GI Bill that sent him to Broward Junior College, and later, Florida Atlantic University and the University of Toledo College of Law. The GI Bill changed our family’s life, and gave us opportunities that he – and by extension, his kids – would never have had without it.
“Today, it’s my strong belief that our veterans aren’t being given the support they need. When their service to us ends, our service to them should begin.
“This support shouldn’t just come from the Federal government. Our state – which controls and regulates so many essential services from nursing care to licensing to Medicaid – can do much, much more to assist veterans of all ages. It’s a topic I plan to talk a great deal about in the coming months – and work on as State Senator.
“These men and women deserve more than thanks – they deserve a real shot at the American dream they’ve worked and fought to protect.
“In the meantime, we should honor our veterans in any way we can. So, Happy Veterans’ Day to dad and all of our veterans out there! Thank you again for all your service.
“(And a belated happy birthday to the Marine Corps which celebrated its 240th birthday yesterday!)”
State House candidate Daisy Baez:
Florida Democratic Party:
“Floridians from every corner of the state stand as one to honor the bravery and sacrifices of our nation’s veterans and their families. Over the last 239 years, the men and women of the United States military have selflessly borne the burden of protecting our nation and the freedoms we enjoy with unyielding courage. Today, as we stand united in heartfelt gratitude to those who have worn the uniform, we must recommit ourselves to honoring our nation’s promise to veterans and their loved ones. They deserve nothing less.”