November 8, 2019
This Veterans Day weekend, I look forward to reflecting on the sacrifice of the men and women who selflessly served our country at home and abroad. Florida is currently home to an estimated 1.5 million veterans and approximately 65,000 active-duty military personnel and I could not be prouder that these heroes reside in Florida. While we can never repay the sacrifices made by these extraordinary individuals and their families, I’m fully committed to ensuring that Florida is the most veteran-friendly state in the nation.
In honor of Veterans Day, I’m highlighting ‘Operation Return the Valor’, my statewide initiative to further honor those who serve in our armed forces. The initiative’s first mission is to find owners or heirs of nearly 40 medals of veterans left in forgotten safety deposit boxes and sent to the state’s unclaimed property program. The medals include decorations such as Purple Hearts, Bronze Stars, and Distinguished Flying Crosses. I need your help to find these veterans and their families, so they can be reunited with the honors they received during service. For more information on Operation Return the Valor, click here.
Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis today announced one of his 2020 legislative priorities, the Florida Veterans Protection Act. Sponsored by Senator Tom Wright and Representative Bobby Payne, this legislation will help protect veterans by adding the victimization of 10 or more veterans as an aggravated white-collar crime.
Patronis said, “Veterans are twice as likely to be targeted for scams than you or me. We must do all we can to protect the estimated 1.5 million veterans in our state, and that includes doing everything possible to guard veterans from identity theft and scams. This year, with the leadership of Chair Wright and Chair Payne, we will crack down on criminals who scam our veterans. The brave men and women who serve our nation in our armed forces deserve to be honored and protected.”
Senator Tom Wright said, “I’m proud to be working with CFO Patronis to protect Florida’s veterans from fraud. These men and women served our country and we must do everything we can to ensure they are not victimized by scam artists looking to make a quick buck. I look forward to working on this important legislation to protect these heroes.”
Representative Bobby Payne said, “With CFO Patronis’ support, we will ensure that Florida remains the best state in the nation for veterans to call home and we’ll send a clear message that there is zero tolerance for scam artists who target veterans. We are committed to serving our state’s veterans just as they selflessly served to protect us at home and abroad.”