Gov. Rick Scott in Ocala to honor veterans
Ocala Star Banner
August 29, 2018
Ralph Tulli of Ocala will turn 100 in December and his voice is barely a whisper, but he still chatted cheerfully, as best he can, about the rich life he has experienced.
Tulli, wearing a World War II veteran’s cap, was one of 219 members of the military waiting at the Florida National Guard Armory in Ocala on Wednesday morning to receive the Governor’s Veterans’ Service Award from Gov. Rick Scott.
“Today we honor each of you for the courage and sacrifice you have displayed in your service to our nation and the service you continue to give to our communities,” Scott told the veterans and their family members.
The governor said he has recognized more than 15,000 members of the military — including veterans honorably discharged and the currently serving — since instituting the award.
“It’s nice to hear their stories about their service,” Scott said after the ceremony. “Many of them have never been thanked, especially the Vietnam War era veterans.”
Scott told attendees he has worked to make Florida “the most military- and veteran-friendly state in the nation.” He said Florida has 20 military bases and three unified commands and he meets with the leaders every 90 to 120 days to make sure the state is meeting their needs.
After ending his remarks, Scott and his wife formed a receiving line with state and local dignitaries, among them Major Gen. Michael Calhoun, adjutant general of Florida; Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn; and Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods. The governor presented each veteran with a medal hanging from a red and white ribbon, shared a brief conversation and posed for pictures.
Among those receiving a medal Wednesday was Geraldine Lamb, 60, of Palm Coast, who served in the Army from 1979 to 2000.
…Lamb chose to retire to Florida and agreed with Scott’s assessment that the state is veteran-friendly.
“This is the state to retire for veterans,” she said. “They honor us, they recognize us and they give us what we deserve.”