I am who I am today because of my tough-love mom and my adopted dad. They lived a hard life — we grew up poor and my parents struggled to find work — but they loved this country and worked tirelessly to give their children a better life. They are my heroes.
My adopted dad joined the Army as a teenager and was one of the few who did all four combat jumps with the 82nd Airborne during World War II. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge. What he and our brave men and women in uniform did to protect the freedoms we enjoy is awe-inspiring. And we can never forget their accomplishments.
I served in the Navy and know firsthand the sacrifice our military members and their families make to keep us safe. One of my favorite jobs as Governor of Florida was meeting veterans. I heard stories of service and sacrifice, of hardship and honor. I was able to pass along the thanks of a grateful state to those who deserve it most, and I awarded more than 14,500 veterans with the Governor’s Veterans Service Medal.
As Governor, I worked every day to make Florida the