The late Sam M. Gibbons served with distinction with the 101st Airborne Division at D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge. He later
served 10 years in the Florida Legislature and 34 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. An inspiration for Tom Brokaw’s The Greatest Generation, he spearheaded major construction projects at the Tampa International Airport, James A. Haley VA hospital, MacDill AFB and University of South Florida.
Robert F. Milligan served with distinction for 35 years in the US Marine Corps before retiring in 1991 as a Lieutenant General. He was elected for two terms as Comptroller of Florida and later served as interim Director of the State Board of Administration, Chairman of the Florida Veterans Foundation and interim Executive Director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
John R. D. Cleland retired from the US Army in 1980, rising from the rank of private to Major General during his career. Following military service, the championed veteran continued his service as president of the Cape Canaveral Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, served in executive positions with the Florida Institute of Technology, Brevard Arts Council, Florida Tech School of Business and Eau Gallie Yacht Club.
Retired US Marine Corps Major John L. Haynes is a 30 year veteran who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Following government service, he assumed state and national leadership roles in the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans and Military Order of the Purple Heart. In addition to his outreach work as a service officer, he served as chairman of the Florida Veterans Foundation.
Retired Captain Jeanne E. G. Rubin served in the US Navy Nurse Corps during World War II. Leaving active duty in 1948, she served in the Navy Reserve until 1978. She dedicated thousands of hours of volunteer service on behalf of veterans and received numerous awards for her war at VA hospitals and clinics. An active member of the American Red Cross since 1941, she is a recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award.
A Vietnam War Veteran, retired Captain Robert J. Silah served for 27 years in the US Navy. In 2004, he founded the non-profit Operation Helping Hand, a community outreach project which to date has assisted more than 1000 wounded veterans and 1300 family members at the James A. Haley VA Hospital. He received the Tampa Chambers Humanitarian of the Year Award and Navy Secretary’s Meritorious Public Service Award in 2006.
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