Four members of VVA chapters throughout Florida were recently inducted into the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame by Governor Rick Scott.
The 20-member Class of 2017 was inducted on Nov. 27 in a ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion attended by numerous state officials, veterans, and supporters.
Established five years ago, the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame recognizes veterans that have impacted their communities positively through civic, business or public service. The Veterans’ Hall of Fame distinction focuses on post-military contributions to the State of Florida.
VVA Chapter 1048 member Rodney L. Phillips, who served in the Army, has worked on veterans homelessness and with veterans in the justice system. He is currently President of Chapter 1048 in Daytona Beach and second Vice President of the VVA Florida State Council. He is active in the Veterans Court in Volusia County and serves as Chairman of the VVA Florida State Council’s Agent Orange and PTSD committees. He has coordinated five Agent Orange Town Halls across the state.
Naval Aviator and VVA Chapter 96 Life Member Captain Dale W. Doss was a prisoner of war who would later become the Leon County Director of Veterans’ Affairs.
Retired Army Brig. Gen. Albin F. Irzyk is a Life Member of VVA Chapter 25. He is a 100-year-old World War II and Vietnam War veteran who has authored many books and magazine articles.
VVA Chapter 1046 member Retired Marine Corps Col. Francis (Len) Loving has mentored fellow veterans by providing food, housing, assistance securing veterans benefits, and financial and mental health counseling as they worked to improve their lives with his non-profit, the Five Star Veterans Center.
Other Vietnam veterans that were inducted into the Class of 2017 include John P. Folsom, Thomas G. Gates, Retired Air Force Col. Bruce J. Host, Richard R. Hunt, Retired Air Force Master Sgt. James L. Lamb, Retired Army Maj. Albert H. Linden Jr., John E. Thrasher, Donald L. Van Beck, Robert N. White, and the late Army Lt. Col. Earle L. Denton.
PHOTO: Len Loving (left) and Rod Phillips. Photo by Jane Verkouteren