TALLAHASSEE – Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Cabinet voted unanimously today to induct 20 veterans into the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame. The names for the Class of 2020 were presented for a formal vote during the Sept. 22 Cabinet Meeting by FDVA Deputy Executive Director James S. “Hammer” Hartsell.
The Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame recognizes and honors those military veterans who, through their works and lives during or after military service, have made a significant contribution to the State of Florida through civic, business, public service or other pursuits. It is not a traditional military hall of fame, as it focuses on post-military contributions to the State of Florida.
“I was honored to forward the names of these great Americans to the Governor and Cabinet,” said Hartsell, a retired Marine Corps Major General. “These former service members represent the best of the best of our veteran community.”
Last month, the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame Council met to review and select nominees submitted from the general public. Following a formal report and audit, the results are transmitted to Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs, which submits the nominations to the Governor and Cabinet. Today’s vote formally approves the selection. A ceremony honoring the 20 inductees from the Class of 2020 will be scheduled in the future.
The Class of 2020 is the eighth class to enter the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame.
Gary Clark, Colonel, USAF (Ret)
George Duren, U.S. Army Veteran
The late Michael Ferguson, Brigadier General, U.S. Army (Ret)
Jay Garner, Lieutenant General, U. S. Army (Ret)
Martin Gayeski, U.S. Army Veteran
Frank Hahnel, Jr., U.S. Marine Corps Veteran
George Hardy, Lieutenant Colonel, Army Air Corps/ U.S. Air Force (Ret)
Ronald Joe, Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret)
Daila Espeut-Jones, Master Sergeant, U.S. Army (Ret)
Darryle Kouns, Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret)
Cliff Leonard, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran
Mike Mason, U.S. Army Veteran
Michelle Poitier, U.S. Navy Veteran
Deloris Quaranta, Technical Sergeant, U.S. Air Force (Ret)
Dean Resch, Chief Warrant Officer 4, U.S. Army (Ret)
Claude Shipley, Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret)
Donald Slesnick II, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret)
Morris Steen Jr., Captain, U.S. Navy (Ret)
Dr. Norman Thagard, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and Astronaut
Alton Yates, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force (Ret)