LARGO - May is National Military Appreciation Month, and Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark is asking residents to honor veterans they know by submitting their biographies to be featured in the Vote in Honor of a Vet program.
“We are reminded of the sacrifices of veterans over the years to preserve our freedom as Americans, including the right to vote,” Clark said, “and for over a decade we have provided a unique program to high school students to remind them of our veterans’ sacrifices that allow them to live in a representative democracy.”
The Vote in Honor of a Vet program encourages high school students to register to vote and to regularly participate in the democratic process by voting. Students learn that by exercising their right to vote, they are showing veterans the respect they deserve for protecting our democracy.
During the program, elections staff present a slide show with war casualty statistics and photographs of U.S. troops. Afterwards, students receive certificates with veterans’ biographies as well as dog tags inscribed with “In tribute to my vet’s sacrifices I will keep my promise and vote.” They are encouraged to vote in honor of their veteran in all subsequent official elections.
More than 29,000 Pinellas County students have registered to vote through the program, which was first presented in the spring of 2002.
“We are grateful to our veterans for their service and sacrifice for all Americans, and we celebrate their legacy year-round each time we receive a new veteran biography,” Clark said.
If you are a veteran, or a friend or family member of a veteran, please consider submitting a Veteran Biography for use in this program by visiting www.votepinellas.com and selecting Voter Education/Vote in Honor of a Vet to download the appropriate form.