Governor Scott Announces 20 Inductees to the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame

November 28, 2017

TALLAHASSEE – Gov. Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott joined the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs Nov. 27 to honor 20 inductees to the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame. The Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame recognizes and honors military veterans who have made a significant contribution to the State of Florida through civic, business or public service.

“As a Navy Veteran myself, I’m proud to honor these brave veterans for their courageous service to our great nation,” said Governor Scott. “These inductees worked to better their communities after their military service. Ann and I join all Floridians as we thank these veterans for their service to our state and country.”

Governor Scott and the Cabinet voted unanimously to induct the 20 members of the Class of 2017 into the Hall of Fame during the Oct. 17, 2017 Cabinet Meeting at the Capitol.

“This year’s inductees join a distinguished heritage of patriotic Floridians whose work values and ethics have made a positive impact on the lives of others,” said Glenn Sutphin, executive director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs. “Their names will be proudly added to the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame Wall in the Florida Capitol.”

Class of 2017 inductees are:

  • Harold (Hal) Baumgarten, U.S. Army veteran (deceased) – Jacksonville Beach
  • Joseph J. Celli, U.S. Army veteran – Jensen Beach
  • Lt. Col. Earle L. Denton, U.S. Army, retired (deceased) – Orlando
  • Capt. Dale W. Doss, U.S. Navy, retired – Tallahassee
  • John P. Folsom, U.S. Navy veteran – Tallahassee
  • Thomas G. Gates, U.S. Air Force veteran – Land O’ Lakes
  • Lt. Col. Leo R. Gray, U.S. Air Force Reserve, retired (deceased) – Fort Lauderdale
  • Col. Bruce J. Host, U.S. Air Force, retired – Tallahassee
  • Richard R. Hunt, U.S. Marine Corps veteran – Floral City
  • Brig. Gen. Albin F. Irzyk, U.S. Army, retired – West Palm Beach
  • Master Sgt. James L. Lamb, U.S. Air Force, retired – Sarasota
  • Maj. Albert H. Linden Jr., U.S. Army, retired – Gainesville
  • Col. Francis (Len) Loving, U.S. Marine Corps, retired – Jacksonville
  • Rodney L. Phillips, U.S. Army veteran – New Smyrna Beach
  • 1st Sgt. Thomas S. Rice, U.S. Army, retired – Fort Walton Beach
  • George (Ben) Ritter, U.S. Marine Corps veteran – Tampa
  • John E. Thrasher, U.S. Army veteran – Tallahassee
  • Donald L. Van Beck, U.S. Army veteran – Tavares
  • Robert N. White, U.S. Army veteran – Miramar
  • Bernard E. Wilson, U.S. Army Air Corps veteran (deceased) – Madison


For 24-hour counsel, call the National Veteran Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. You are NOT alone!