In recent years, many states have tried to make life better for veterans living there. However, Florida recently decided to try actively courting them.
Veterans Florida was created in 2014, and has state funding of $4.3 million for 2016, according to a report from the Orlando Sentinel. It is now advertising to vets in other states – including Kentucky, New York, Texas, and Washington – about the many programs and opportunities Florida provides to former servicemembers, including employment, job training, tax breaks, and perks specifically for military families.
"They come ready to work and come with skills that will help boost the economy," Bobby Carbonell, Veterans Florida executive director, told the newspaper. "They are used to working hard and are great employees. Many of them are looking for a place to start businesses, raise their families and go to school, so it's a smart move attracting them here."
Interestingly, the veteran population in the U.S. has fallen 17 percent since 2010 as those who served in wars decades ago have died. However, Florida's population is on the rise, the report said. Having programs that can better respond to the evolving needs of veterans could make Florida a key destination for younger servicemembers and veterans as time goes on. Indeed, VA medical centers throughout the state are on the rise, and so too is the number of veterans they treat on an annual basis. That alone could make a huge difference for many.
Showing veterans that they are valued citizens is extremely meaningful and beneficial to all involved. These types of efforts that improve the lives of veterans go a long way.