Gov. Scott Honors 193 Veterans with Governor’s Veterans Service Award
PANAMA CITY, Fla. – Governor Rick Scott today, joined by Colonel John Haas, Florida Army National Guard Deputy Chief of Staff Operations, Alene Tarter, Florida Department of Veterans Affairs Director of Benefits & Assistance, and Ruth Bentley, Home Administrator of the Panama City Sims State Veterans Nursing Home, awarded 193 Florida veterans with the Governor’s Veterans Service Award for their service to Florida and the nation.
Governor Scott said, “I am honored to recognize these Panama City veterans during the final stop of our Florida Veterans Service Award tour. This week we had the privilege of presenting 1,712 veterans across the state with the Governor’s Veterans Service Award. These brave men and women have protected the freedoms and opportunities that all Americans enjoy, which is why we must take every opportunity possible to thank them for their service and sacrifice. We will continue to make Florida the most military-friendly state in the nation and give our veterans the support and recognition they deserve.”
Alene Tarter, Florida Department of Veterans Affairs Director of Benefits & Assistance, said, “As we approach one our most patriotic holidays, we are truly honored to pay tribute to the local veteran and military community for their service and sacrifices for our great nation.”
The ceremony was held at the Headquarters of the 1-153rd Cavalry in Panama City, Florida. During the ceremony, Governor Scott highlighted the service of Florida veteran Bob Piner and the Florida National Guard 3rd Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment.
Bob Piner is a 96 year-old veteran of World War II who served as an Infantryman in the 1st Infantry Division for two years. He received the Legion of Honor from France and was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received while with a six member patrol team behind enemy lines during the Battle of the Bulge. After his service, Bob retired from Ford Motor Company in Michigan and then worked at a hospital as the Director of Financial Planning. He relocated to Florida in the mid-1990’s, and has lived here since.
Florida National Guard – 3rd Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment
The 3rd Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment, led by Command Sergeant Major Rogers, were called upon to serve their nation in February 2003. In less than ten days, they left their families, homes and jobs to deploy to Iraq as part of “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” The unit fought alongside the Marines as they neutralized nine Iraqi divisions in one month. The Battalion also assisted in humanitarian aid and in the training of the “Iraqi Civil Defense Corps.” They received the Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Presidential Unit Citation and the Governor’s Unit Citation for their extraordinary heroism and outstanding accomplishments in combat.
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 U.S. Military with an inscription that reads “Honoring Those Who Served.”
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