The Florida Veterans Hall of Fame added 11 new members. Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs recognized the new inductees Wednesday.
- 11 veterans inducted into Florida Veterans Hall of Fame
- Inductees recognized by governor, Florida VA
- Hall of Fame members have made a significant contribution to Florida
“We are incredibly grateful for the service and sacrifice of our veterans," said Scott in a news release, "and we must take every opportunity to thank and honor these brave service men and women. Each of these inductees defended our nation’s freedom and continued their service to the State of Florida through public service and community involvement.”
The Veterans Hall of Fame honors military veterans who have made a significant contribution to the state of Florida through civic, business or public services.
“As remarkable patriots and leaders in their respective communities, they answered the call to duty after their military service by making significant contributions to the citizens of the great state of Florida. We honor their service,” Florida VA Executive Director Glenn Sutphin said.
Here is the list of veterans who were inducted into the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame:
- Gov. Reubin O’Donovan Askew
The late Gov. Reubin O’Donovan Askew was an Army and Air Force veteran from Pensacola who served with distinction in both the Florida House of Representatives and Senate. A 1951 Florida State University graduate and student body president, he was later elected to two terms as Florida governor in the 1970s. He helped lead Florida to enormous growth and was a trailblazer for good government.
- Gov. LeRoy Collins
The late Gov. LeRoy Collins served with distinction in the Florida House of Representatives and Senate before joining the U.S. Navy during World War II. A strong advocate of racial justice in the post-war years, he was reelected to the Florida Senate and went on to become governor from 1954-1961. His son, the late Rear Adm. LeRoy Collins Jr., was inducted into the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame Class of 2014.
- Sgt. Jordon J. “J.J.” Corbett
Jordon J. “J.J.” Corbett, a Florida native and Army sergeant with the “Triple Nickel” 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion during World War II, fought against racial injustice during a lifetime of distinguished and noteworthy service teaching and coaching in Polk County. His experiences in and out of uniform have positively influenced hundreds of young people and inspired them through personal example.
- Rear Adm. Kevin F. Delaney
The late Rear Adm. Kevin F. Delaney was a highly decorated naval aviator who served with distinction as a business and civic leader in the Jacksonville area. A Naval Academy graduate, he was a prominent veterans’ advocate through the Florida Defense Support Task Force and The Wounded Warrior Project. He spent two decades advising the boards of many diverse northeast Florida non-profit organizations.
- Lt. Col. Dennis O. Freytes
Dennis O. Freytes is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel who has served with distinction as a relentless and passionate advocate for veterans, civil rights and the advancement of Hispanic Americans. A highly respected Orlando area community leader, his noteworthy civic involvement includes grassroots community associations, non-profit organizations and governmental appointed city and county boards.
- Dr. David L. Goetsch
Dr. David L. Goetsch, an award-winning educator and enlisted veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, served with distinction as a professor and administrator at Northwest Florida State College for more than 40 years. A respected leader in economic development, he served as founding chairman of the Florida Defense Support Task Force and is a notable author on business and professional development issues.
- Gov. Spessard L. Holland
The late Spessard L. Holland, a World War I veteran of the Air Service, American Expeditionary Force, served as a county judge, state senator and governor of Florida during World War II before serving as a U.S. senator for more than 24 years. A Florida native, he is noted as the sponsor of the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, eliminating the poll tax in federal elections.
- Dr. William L. Proctor
Dr. William L. Proctor, a former U.S. Army Reserve captain and staunch veteran supporter, served with distinction in the Florida Legislature representing District 20 from 2004-2012. In addition to advocating legislation supporting education, veterans’ issues and health care, he served as President of Flagler College in St. Augustine for 30 years and is currently the school’s chancellor.
- Col. Washington J. Sanchez Jr.
Retired Army Colonel Washington J. Sanchez Jr. is a Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient whose countless, inexhaustible volunteer hours supporting veterans in need has earned him statewide honors. A respected leader in the Military Order of the Purple Heart, he serves as chairman and CEO of the non-profit Florida Veterans Foundation, which provides emergency assistance to veterans in crisis.
- Chief Master Sgt. Johnny E. Stewart
Retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Johnny E. Stewart is a Vietnam veteran and life-long champion of veterans’ issues from Citrus County whose generous outreach and support touches veterans of all ages. A life-long leader in the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization, he has successfully advocated for improvements in veterans’ services, while ensuring his fellow Vietnam Veterans receive the honors they deserve.
- Frederick A. Taylor Jr.
U.S. Army veteran Frederick A. Taylor Jr. is a Vietnam veteran and three-time Purple Heart recipient. He is an award-winning entrepreneur, humanitarian, distinguished speaker and veterans’ advocate. A former national commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, he has superbly advised elected leaders on the national state and local stage on issues involving veterans and their families.