The tributes are flowing Don Courtney’s way after serving nearly a decade as chairman of the Manatee County Veterans Council.
On Thursday, Carl Hunsinger, who succeeded Courtney as chairman earlier this year, presented the 72-year-old retired U.S. Army chief warrant officer with a plaque in honor of his service.
“He is the longest-serving chairman of the veterans council,” Hunsinger said at Thursday’s council meeting. “He is involved not only with the veterans council, but with a lot of other veterans organizations.”
Gary Tibbets, special assistant to Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, was up next with a certificate for Courtney from the congressman who represents much of Manatee and Sarasota counties.
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Courtney, a Vietnam War veteran who retired after 30 years service, accepted the tributes with humility, and thanked council members for their support and hard work.
The Manatee County Commission plans to recognize Courtney at its 9 a.m. meeting Tuesday. The commission will also recognize Manatee County Purple Heart recipients, those who were wounded in combat.
The Manatee County Veterans Council is now inviting nominations for its Veteran of the Year, Auxiliary Member of the Year and Civilian of the Year. The awards recognize outstanding service to the veterans community. Nominations must be submitted to Manatee County Veterans Council, P.O. Box 1881, Bradenton FL 34206-1881 by the end of July. Guidelines for the awards can be found at my-mcvc.org. Honorees will be announced on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
“We should be flooded with recommendations. We have a lot of great people and we need to recognize them,” Hunsinger said.
Other notable dates in the veterans calendar discussed:
▪ A service to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11 is set for 6 p.m. Sept. 11 by the Sarasota Ministerial Association at Sarasota National Cemetery.
▪ The Manasota Military Ball, set for 6 p.m. Oct. 15, at the Renaissance on 9th, 1816 Ninth St. W., Bradenton. Tickets will be $35 each, with ticket locations to be announced. The ball is for all veterans from Manatee and Sarasota counties.
▪ The 15th annual Standdown for homeless veterans and others will be 8 a.m. -noon Nov. 5 at the Manatee County Fairgrounds in Palmetto
▪ The USF Sarasota-Manatee veteran appreciation day is set for 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 3.