Gov. Rick Scott Honors 232 Veterans With Governor’s Veterans Service Award
By Space Coast Daily // May 27, 2015
ORLANDO – Today, Governor Rick Scott awarded 232 Florida veterans with the Governor’s Veterans Service Award for their service to Florida and the nation.
“As a Navy veteran myself, I was honored to present 232 Florida veterans today with the Governor’s Veterans Service Award in recognition of their service to our state and our nation,” said Governor Scott.
“With Memorial Day earlier this week, we are reminded that the brave men and women of our armed forces chose to selflessly serve our country in order to protect our families and our freedoms, and we will continue to take every opportunity to thank them for their sacrifice.”
The ceremony was held at The Ferncreek Armory. During the ceremony, Governor Scott highlighted the service of Florida veteran Sergeant Odell Barbe and Staff Sergeant Mark Forsythe.
Sergeant Odell Barbe
Sergeant Odell Barbe is a 100 year old US Army veteran who served during World War II. Sergeant Barbe’s duties included squad leader and acting First Sergeant. He took part in the Battle of the Bulge in Normandy, Rhineland, and Central Europe.
Sergeant Barbe was awarded many medals for his service, including the World War II Victory Ribbon, Bronze Star Medal, and Good Conduct Medal. Sergeant Barbe and his wife Nina of 67 years currently live in Orange County and they have one son, Jack Barbe.
Staff Sergeant Mark Forsythe
Staff Sergeant Mark Forsythe enlisted in the US Army in 2005 as an infantryman. During a 15 month deployment in Iraq, Staff Sergeant Forsythe served as a gunner and a transition specialist for a team training Iraqi Army Troops. In 2008, he was deployed to Nasiriya, where he was placed in charge of a joint service station that housed 100 soldiers.
Following his two Iraqi deployments, Staff Sergeant Forsythe joined the Florida Army National Guard in 2011, where he continues to serve as a squad leader.
Staff Sergeant Forsythe has been given many awards and decorations for his outstanding service, including the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Meritorious Unit Citation, and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.
Staff Sergeant Forsythe is married to Julianne Marie, and they have two sons, Anthony who is 4 years old and Dominic who is 1 year old.
Florida Veterans Medal
The “Governor’s Veterans Service Award” honors Floridians who have served in the U.S. Military. The front of the medal depicts the Great Seal of the State of Florida.
The back of the medal displays the five seals representing the five branches of U.S. Military with an inscription that reads “Honoring Those Who Served.”