PENSACOLA, Fla. - Governor Rick Scott today, joined by 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team Commander Colonel Mike Canzoneri and Florida Department of Veterans Affairs Director of Legislative Affairs Bobby Carbonell awarded 227 Florida veterans with the Governor’s Veterans Service Award for their service to Florida and the nation.
Governor Scott said, “It was an honor to be with so many veterans today and to recognize them for their service and sacrifice. I was also pleased to be able to present the first medical license under the VALOR System to Dr. Joyce Fiedler during the ceremony this morning. I encourage all qualified military and veterans who want their medical license in Florida to take advantage of this great program that was designed for them.”
Bobby Carbonell, Legislative Affairs Director for the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs, said, “We appreciate that so many local legislators and other senior officials showed their support today. Their attendance underscores how much we all value our veterans and guardsmen as we honor them today.”
State Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong said, “As a former Colonel in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, I know firsthand the sacrifices our servicemen and women make on behalf of our country. The Department of Health is committed to easing the transition of military health professionals into civilian life and the VALOR System helps make that possible.”
The ceremony was held at the Headquarters Troop of the 153rd Cavalry in Pensacola, Florida. During the ceremony, Governor Scott highlighted the service of Florida veteran Alesia Hall and presented the first medical license issued under the VALOR System to Dr. Joyce Fiedler. Governor Scott signed House Bill 7105 into law this past March, which created the VALOR (Veterans Application for Licensure Online Response) System. The VALOR System allows qualified military and recent veterans who are medical professionals to go through an expedited process of receiving their Florida medical license.
Alesia Hall is a 20-year Navy veteran. She was the first female to be permanently assigned to the USS Kitty Hawk CV-63. Alesia earned several Achievement and Commendation Medals, was qualified in both Surface Warfare and Aviation Warfare, and also was selected as the Sailor of the year in 1998 for the Commander Naval Air Force Pacific Fleet.
Dr. Joyce Fiedler
Dr. Joyce Fiedler graduated from Chicago Medical School in 1992 and worked for several years as a doctor in New York and Virginia before joining the Air Force in 2002. Over the last 12 years in the military, she has been deployed to Iraq, Kuwait, Oman and Afghanistan. She is currently the Flight and Operational Medicine Flight Commander at Eglin Air Force Base and is planning to retire from the military in October, but continue her work as a civilian doctor in Florida.
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.”