Victor Torres named to Florida Veterans Hall of Fame Council

Victor Torres
The council develops lists of Hall of Fame nominees for the Cabinet to consider.

Orlando Democratic state Sen. Victor Torres has been appointed by Senate President Bill Galvano to the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame Council.

Torres, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and one of two veterans in the Florida Senate, will get an immediate chance to weigh in on the next class of potential Florida Veterans Hall of Fame inductees. The panel is set to next meet on Thursday to consider the next class.

He succeeds former Senate President appointee retired Sgt. Maj. Ray Quinn, whose term expired at the end of last year. Torres, a Democrat from Orlando, is to serve a four-year term on the seven-member council.

“I thanked President Galvano for nominating me for this board,” Torres said. “I’m hoping to have a positive impact on our veterans and what goes on in the state of Florida, and I’m honored. I really am.”

The council does most of the ready-work for what ultimately become enshrinement selections of as many as 20 veterans a year to the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame by the Florida Cabinet.  The council sets criteria for the Hall of Fame and advertises statewide for nominees. It then holds meetings to review nominees, hear public input and rank nominees, ultimately recommending as many as 20 a year for enshrinement.

The Florida Department of Veterans Affairs then vets the vets, and makes the final submission of recommendations to the Governor and Cabinet.

“I am pleased to appoint Sen. Torres to the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame Council. Not only is Sen. Torres a proven advocate for veterans’ issues, but he truly understands the sacrifice and bravery that is required of our nation’s heroes,” Galvano stated in a news release announcing Torres’ appointment. “As a U.S. Marine Corps veteran himself, I am confident that Senator Torres will serve the Florida Veteran’s Hall of Fame Council with integrity and honor.”

Thursday’s meeting will be a mostly-new council, which only comes about every four years. In July, retired Lt. Col. Marlene Carter was appointed by FDVA Executive Director Danny Burgess, and Judge Thomas Patterson Maney was appointed by Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis. In January Jimmy T. Smith was appointed by House Speaker Jose Oliva. Holdovers include Retired Maj. Gen. Ron Harrison, appointed by former Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam; and retired Lt. Col. Chris Hart, appointed by former Attorney General Pam Bondi. Their terms expire at the end of 2020. An appointment has not yet been announced from Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Torres long has been an active advocate for veterans, most recently exploring emerging non-profit programs that providing housing for disabled veterans, something he said he wants to see Florida pursue.

“It’s not only the veterans,” Torres said. “It’s their families, their spouses and their children.”

The Florida Legislature established the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame, and its nominating Council, in 2013 to recognize and honor those military veterans who, through their works and lives during or after military service, have made a significant contributions to the State of Florida.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


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