While Veterans Day may be over, organizations around the state are hoping to use the full month to show veterans their gratitude.
Throughout the month of November, those visiting the Florida History Museum will have the chance to send handwritten thank you notes to the state’s Veterans. Kerri Post, Deputy Secretary of Cultural Affairs and historical Resources says just outside the World War II exhibit, visitors will pass a small table covered with notecards.
“Here’s where we want to invite the community to fill out a personal thank you note to thank the brave men and women who’ve served our country. Take a moment there’s pens there’s a beautiful notecard with a flag and it says thank you,” Post says.
So far, Post says it’s been a pretty popular activity.
“It has been gangbusters. I’m not kidding you when I was down here in the museum probably about 45 minutes ago the table was surrounded with both school children and adults," Post says.
Posts jokes she’s already planning to put in an order for more note cards.
At the end of the month the notes will be delivered to veterans though the local Honor Flight Program. Karen Moore, whose business helps support the Honor Flight in Tallahassee, says honoring veterans is an important tradition in the community.
“We are very fortunate in this community to have many veterans living among us and it’s our responsibility to say thank you to them in many ways, not only through a letter writing campaign, but to see to it that they have opportunities in education, that they’ve got the quality of life that they deserve," Moore says.
And Department of Economic Opportunity Director, Jesse Panuccio says that’s just what his department is working to do. He says November is Hire a Veteran month.
“One, it’s important that we as a state and we as a society serve those who served us. But veterans also typically are able to fill the needs that employers are looking for. We often hear that employers are looking for higher skill workers who have the soft skills and the technical skills to do a good job and former military members often fit that profile exactly,” Panuccio says.
Pannucio says more than 1.5 million veterans live in Florida and state officials are working to attract more. In order to do that, Panuccio says DEO is working with businesses to encourage them to hire veterans and helping military members address any possible stumbling blocks.
“For the average veteran is may just be something as simple as making sure you can translate on a resume many of the skills you gained in the military into terms that civilian employers will understand,” Panuccio says.
Panuccio says career source center employees are trained to help veterans with that very issue. He says officials are also trained to help veterans who are disabled to find positions that will fit their needs. And he points to the recent Florida GI bill, which gives veterans in-state-tuition and waives fees for those seeking licensed positions in Florida.
As one more way to show their gratitude, state officials are creating a Veterans walk in the Capitol Courtyard. Governor Rick Scott laid the first brick just after Veterans Day.