Florida inducts 20 veterans into Veterans' Hall of Fame
Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Cabinet voted to induct the 2023 Class in September.
Florida government officials recently inducted nearly two dozen former service members into the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame.
This year’s list of inducteesfeatured twenty names of retired officers from branches like the U.S. Coast Guard, Marines Corps, and the Navy.
Tuesday's ceremony was held at the Florida State University Alumni Center in Tallahassee. Florida Veterans Affairs (FDVA) Executive Director James Hartsell presided over the event.
“They gave so much for their fellow Floridians needs," said Hartsell. "It’s our honor and our privilege FDVA to serve those who have served us.”
The Florida Legislature established the Veterans Hall of Fame in 2011. It falls under the FDVA. In 2012, lawmakers passed a bill to give the hall its own council. The group is made up entirely of veterans and helps select nominees each year and submits names to the Governor and Cabinet for approval.
“The Florida Veterans Hall of Fame recognizes and honors military veterans who have honorably served our nation," Hartsell said at last year’s cabinet meeting. "Who [veterans] have made significant contribution to Florida by their civic, business, personal public service, and other personal actions in helping the citizens of our great state.”
Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis attended the induction ceremony. He was joined by Okaloosa State Representative Patt Maney (R), who also serves on the Veterans Hall of Fame Council. He says it’s never an easy task to choose which veteran gets into the hall.
“It really is a difficult job to go through the applications of many veterans who have done tremendous things for their communities," said Maney.
This is the 11th class to enter the Veterans Hall of Fame. Their names will be available for the public to see at the Florida Capital Building in Tallahassee.
Class of 2023 inductees include:
- David Abramowitz, Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret)
- Dennis O. Baker, Commander, U.S. Navy, (Ret)
- John E. Bircher III, Colonel U.S. Army (Ret)
- David Blair Craig, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret)
- Dr. Benjamin Findley, Colonel, U.S. Air Force (Ret)
- Michael Fleming, Brigadier General, U.S. Marine Corps/ U.S. Army (Ret)
- R. Craig Ham, Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret)
- Gerald Hollingsworth, MD, Colonel, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force (Ret)
- Joseph Kittinger, Colonel, United States Air Force (Ret)
- Henry Lowery, Chief Warrant Officer 5, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret)
- Bruce Melnick, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard (Ret)
- Frederic Raymond, Major General, U.S. Army (Ret)
- Walter E. Raysick, Sr., Master Chief U.S. Navy (Ret)
- Leon J. Roy, IV, Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Army (Ret)
- Edward C. Sheffield, U.S. Army Veteran
- Joseph G. Sicinski, U.S. Air Force Veteran
- Alene Tarter, Master Sergeant, U.S. Air Force (Ret)
- Dewayne Thrift, U.S. Air Force Veteran
- Donn Weaver, U.S. Army Veteran