Three former governors to be added to Florida Veterans Hall of Fame
Three former Florida Governors are among 11 people to be to the state’s veterans hall of fame.
Later this morning Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet are expected to vote to approve the new inductees, which include Govs Reubin Askew, LeRoy Collins and Spessard Holland. The Florida Veterans' Hall of Fame, established in 2013, is a wall in the state Capitol building in Tallahassee with plaques commemorating inductees.
If all 11 are approved, there will be an official ceremony on Nov. 9 adding them. While adding names to the Veterans Hall of Fame would seem non-controversial, it hasn’t always been. Last year, three veterans of the Confederate Army were nominated, but ultimately were declared ineligible, prompting protests at the Cabinet meeting. This year, none of the 11 nominees has any ties to the Confederacy.
Askew, who died in 2014, was governor from 1971 to 1979. The Democrat served two years in the Army as a paratrooper from 1946 to 1948. Then during the Korean War, Collins served in the Air Force from 1951 to 1953 as a military intelligence officer.
Collins was governor from 1955 to 1961. In the 1940s he was a state senator who resigned his position to join the Navy during World War II.
Holland was governor from 1941 to 1945 before serving more than 24 years in the U.S. Senate. During World War I, he flew reconnaissance missions behind enemy lines and was later awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
It won’t just be elected officials added to the veterans hall of fame. Other inductees on Tuesday include:
Army Sergeant Jordan Corbett who served in World War II and became a voice against racial injustice as well as a teacher and coach in Polk County.
The late-Rear Admiral Kevin Delaney who was an aviator and later a civic leader in Jacksonville.
Retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Dennis Freytes, an Orlando-area resident who became an advocate for veterans and civil rights.
David Goetsch, a Marine veteran who later became a professor and administrator at Northwest Florida State College for more than 40 years.
William Proctor, a former U.S. Army Reserve captain, served in the Florida Legislature from 2004 to 2012 and served as president of Flagler College for 30 years.
Retire Army Colonel Washington Sanchez, a Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient who currently serves as chairman of the Florida Veterans Foundation.
Retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant John Stewart, a Vietnam veteran and longtime veteran advocate from Citrus County.
And Vietnam veteran Frederick Taylor Jr. who is a three time Purple Heart recipient.