July 26, 2023 – Flagler County’s Veterans Services Office is asking for nominations for its “Colonel Gary E. DeKay” Veteran of the Year Award, which will be presented on Veterans Day.

The award will be presented to a living Flagler County veteran who has not only served the United States with honor but has used the leadership skills and abilities learned in the military to improve the Flagler County community through selfless volunteer service.

“We have more than 13,000 veterans in Flagler County and they have done so much for all of us,” said Veterans Services Officer David Lydon. “This award gives us an opportunity to say thank you as a community.”

Nominations will be accepted now through September 30. The Flagler County Veterans Advisory Council commissions a panel of veterans and community leaders to review and select the Veteran of the Year from the eligible candidates.

The following criteria must be met for an individual to be considered for the Flagler County “Colonel Gary E. DeKay” Veteran of the Year:

  • Must be a resident of Flagler County.
  • Must be a living veteran of one of the six Armed Forces of the United States, including Reserve or National Guard, or the United States Merchant Marine.
  • Must have demonstrated outstanding patriotism, leadership, and selfless service as a veteran and as a volunteer in community or civic service.
  • May be awarded for a single act or for continuous service.
  • May not be a previous recipient of the Flagler County Veteran of the Year award.

Nominations must be postmarked no later than September 30 and may not exceed three typewritten pages.

The nomination must include a resume of no more than two pages with a minimum font size of 11 points that includes:

  • Period(s) of military service and branch of one of the six Armed Services or USMM
  • Military Awards and Decorations
  • Membership in nationally recognized veterans’ organizations
  • Community and/or civic organization memberships
  • Community and/or civic organization awards or special recognition
  • Nominees address, telephone number, and email if available.

A one-page typewritten nomination statement of no more than 250 words that describes why the individual being nominated should be selected as the Flagler County Veteran of the Year should be provided along with the resume. Proof of military services is also required through either a DD214 or verification by a nationally recognized veteran’s organization.

“It will be difficult for the panel to select only one recipient, because our community has so many civic minded veterans who volunteer their time locally,” said County Administrator Heidi Petito. “Given their service and dedication to our country, every one of them deserves to be nominated for this award.”

Mail or hand deliver nominations to: Flagler County Veteran’s Service Office, Attn: Veteran of the Year, 1769 E. Moody Boulevard, Building 2, Bunnell, FL 32110. For more information, call Lydon at 386-313-4042.

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