Gov. Scott honors 71 Vietnam veterans with Service Award

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Gov. Rick Scott awarded 71 Vietnam War veterans with the Florida Governor’s Veterans Service Award presented during Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting.

Scott and the Cabinet, joined by Department of Veterans’ Affairs Executive Director Colonel Mike Prendergast, also presented a Cabinet resolution proclaiming this March 30 as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day,” marking 41 years since the last U.S. combat forces left Vietnam.

“As a Navy Veteran, I know firsthand that we can never fully repay our debt of gratitude to those brave men and women who served and protected our freedoms,” Scott said.

The Service Award is a gold medal honoring Florida military veterans, which displays the Great Seal of the State of Florida on the front, and five seals representing the five branches of U.S. Military on the back, along with an inscription reading “Honoring Those Who Served.”

“From the dedication of Florida’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1985, to high school diplomas for draftees unable to complete their education, to creation of a Vietnam War license plate, we recognize the honorable service of our Vietnam Veterans,” Prendergast said afterwards.

“In honoring the Sunshine State’s nearly 500,000 Vietnam Veterans, we must not lose sight of those who did not return,” he added. “Florida remembers it’s missing by flying the POW/MIA Flag daily over the State Capitol and at the state’s network of Interstate Rest Stops and State Parks.”

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.