Florida Agriculture Commissioner and Republican candidate for governor Adam Putnam received an important service award from the Florida Purple Heart veterans organization.
Earlier this month, The Purple Heart Veterans of Florida and other veterans from around the Sunshine State gathered in Jacksonville at the Purple Heart Stated Convention to honor distinguished public service members.
Putnam, a Bartow native, was awarded the Military Order of the Purple Heart Distinguished Service Award for his work on Operation Outdoor Freedom (OOF), which offers wounded veterans and Purple Heart recipients hunting, fishing, and horseback riding opportunities on designated state and agricultural lands, at no cost to them.
Operation Outdoor Freedom is the only one of its kind, size and scope in the nation. We are proud to have served over 3,600 veterans and given them opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors here in Florida. pic.twitter.com/a0R5IKn3I8
— Adam Putnam (@adamputnam) June 4, 2018
In his speech before the group of veterans, Putnam remarked that the veterans therapy initiative, launched in 2011, is to his knowledge the only one of its kind, size, and scope in the nation.
Since then, he has has made it his personal mission to provide veterans with unique recreational and rehabilitative opportunities to ease them back into civilian life.
This past January, Putnam opened a second 5,000 acre OOF camp located in the Peace River State Forest in Arcadia.
As he’s stated along the campaign trail, his top priority is making Florida the most military and veteran-friendly state in the nation.
Putnam believes that staying active outdoors provides alternative forms of therapy and can help prevent veterans’ suicide.
In total, OOF has hosted events for thousands of veterans, and as governor, Putnam says he will be committed to expanding the program to support military families and active duty servicemembers.
By building out OOF, he hopes Florida’s care and treatment towards its veterans, military families, and active duty military remains second to none.
Watch Putnam accepting the award below:
Thank you to the Purple Heart Veterans of Florida for honoring me with the Distinguished Service Award last night for our work on Operation Outdoor Freedom and for everything they have done to protect our great country. pic.twitter.com/0evD96LyBU
— Adam Putnam (@adamputnam) June 3, 2018
What do you think? Should other states around the country replicate Putnam’s Operation Outdoor Freedom? Anything that helps United States Veterans is a plus!