Florida veterans are expressing support for proposed legislation, SB 346 and HB 357, which aims to designate November as Veterans Appreciation Month in the state.
The bill, supported by Republican Senator Blaise Ingoglia and House Representative Jeff Holcomb, also a Navy officer, seeks to extend the recognition beyond Veterans Day, focusing on a month-long focus on the needs and contributions of veterans.
Seth Ramsey, a former Marine infantryman who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, believes the bill is a positive step forward for the veteran community. Ramsey, now 34, helps fellow Florida veterans in their post-military transition. He emphasizes the importance of citizens devoting more time to meeting the needs of veterans and applauds the proposed legislation.
The concept of dedicating November to veterans is not new, as it is already celebrated at the federal level. Since 1966, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation declaring November as National Veterans and Military Families Month. To align with this initiative, the federal government has introduced a resource assistance page for veterans and their families.
If approved by the Florida legislature and Governor Ron DeSantis, who is also a veteran, the state will follow in recognizing November as Veteran Appreciation Month. The proposed legislation encourages Floridians to hold special events and programs throughout November to show gratitude to veterans.
Although specific examples were not outlined, suggestions included creating a platform for veterans and their families to upload photos to pay tribute to service members.
Retired Air Force pilot and director of Florida State University’s Student Veterans Center, Billy Francis proposes using various media outlets to share photos of veterans, both living and deceased. He envisions these profiles being broadcast by local governments during public service announcements, city council meetings, and breaks.
Trey Purvis, a former Navy sailor, envisions more parades for recognition and a city-wide shutdown akin to homecoming. He emphasizes the importance of honoring martyred comrades and acknowledging their sacrifices.
Florida lawmakers are scheduled to meet in January, giving the Legislature an opportunity to vote on officially designating November as Veterans Appreciation Month. Veterans like Purvis highlight the importance of recognizing those who have served and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.