Governor Rick Scott today awarded more than 240 veterans at the Louie C. Wadsworth Armory in Live Oak with the Governor’s Veterans Service Awards for their service to Florida and the nation.
Governor Rick Scott said, “I’m proud to honor some of Florida’s great veterans for their service to our state and country. As a son of a World War II veteran and Navy veteran myself, I recognize the sacrifices our service members make to protect our freedom. We must take every opportunity to honor and thank our American heroes.”
The Governor highlighted the following Florida veterans at today’s ceremony:
Sergeant First Class Thomas Graff
Sergeant First Class Graff joined the United States Army in 2000 and attended Infantry OSUT and Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia. Sergeant First Class Graff was assigned to B Co. 2-325 Airborne Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division and served as a Fire Team Leader during his first deployment to Iraq. In 2004, Sergeant First Class Graff joined the Florida Army National Guard and served a second tour in Iraq as a Convoy Escort Team Leader. Sergeant Graff’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, three Army Commendation Medals, and a Combat Infantry Badge.
Sergeant Major Rob Sweat
Florida native Sergeant Sweat joined the United States Air Force Reserve in 1991 and was assigned to the 919th Special Operations Squadron. In 1994, he transferred to the Florida Army National Guard. Sergeant Major Sweat’s service includes two deployments to Iraq and assignments to the 417th Signal Battalion, 269th Engineer Company, 927th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion and 83rd Troop Command. His awards and decorations include two Bronze Star Medals, a Meritorious Service Medal, and three Army Achievement Medals.
Staff Sergeant John E. “Jack” Scott
Staff Sergeant Scott was drafted in the United States Army in 1942 and attended basic training at Camp Grant in Illinois. During his active duty, he served in New Guinea, Luzon and the Philippines as a front line infantry aid in the 32nd Infantry Division before being honorably discharged in 1945. Staff Sergeant Scott has been recognized with an Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon with three Bronze Stars and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one Bronze Star.
T5 Corporal Robert F. Dutton
Corporal Robert Dutton was drafted into the United States Army in 1943 and assigned to the 141st Ordnance MM Co. of the 7th Army during World War II. Corporal Dutton traveled through France, Germany and Austria under orders to retrieve equipment from the front line as battles moved to the next locations. In 1945, he and members of his unit were wounded from entering into a building rigged with bombs and was honorably discharged later that year. Corporal Dutton has received the Purple Heart, two Battle Stars, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and the Good Conduct Medal for service. A few years ago, he was also recognized with the Frances Knight of the Legion of Honor by the French government in a ceremony to recognize those servicemen who fought in France during World War II.