Gov. Rick Scott honored 58 service members in Orlando on Wednesday with the Governor’s Veterans Award.
The award recognizes Floridians who served their country in the armed forces.
During the ceremony at the Marriott World Center, Scott also touted $1 million in the “Keep Florida Working” state budget set aside for Building Homes for Heroes, a nonprofit organization that erects or remodels homes, awarding them mortgage-free to injured veterans and their families.
In his speech, the governor recognized the work of event organizers, as well as the military service of those in attendance.
“Thank God that there are individuals in the world today that care about our military” Scott said.
Building Homes for Heroes is on pace this year to build or modify 40 homes for Florida veterans and their families. By the end of 2015, Building Homes for Heroes expects to have worked with nearly 300 Florida contractors and vendors on a total of 55 homes going to Florida veterans.
During the event, Scott highlighted two recipients: Air Force Master Sgt. Joseph Deslauriers and Army Spc. Hugo Gonzalez, who will a home in Destin and Port St. Lucie respectively.
With 1.5 million veterans, Florida is third only to Texas and California as having the largest population of current and former service members.
“We’re going to do everything to take care of them” Scott told reporters after the event. “We have a Legislature that cares about taking care of veterans and a strong budget, and we’re able to do these things.”