Lake Wales Veteran Recognized

Kathryn “Kat” Gates-Skipper, of Lake Wales, and 16 other Floridians were inducted into the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame at the Florida State Capitol Building in Tallahassee March 9.

LAKE WALES — Kathryn “Kat” Gates-Skipper and 16 other Floridians were inducted into the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame at the Florida State Capitol Building in Tallahassee March 9.

“This medal and induction into the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame is the icing on the cake and means a lot to me in so many ways,” Gates-Skipper said. “Recognition from my peers is humbling. I’m just a veteran trying to help other veterans.”

Gates-Skipper is a United States Marine with 20 years of experience. She has advocated for local veterans through the American Legion for many years since leaving active duty.

Her husband, Army veteran Charles Skipper, some of her friends and other supporters watched Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis present awards to the veterans. Florida Department of Veterans Affairs staff also recognized the Hall of Fame inductees who have made a significant contribution to the State of Florida.

Gates-Skipper's name is now engraved on a plaque hanging on the Florida Veterans' Hall of Fame Wall in the state capitol building.

A reception, sponsored by the Florida Veterans’ Foundation, was held on the 22nd floor of the capitol building.

The inductees received additional recognition in the form of a Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame framed certificate signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Danny Burgess (FDVA Exec Dir), and Ray Quinn (Chairman of Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame). They also received challenge coins from the Florida Veterans’ Foundation and Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame, membership into the Florida Veterans’ Hall of Fame Society, Inc. along with a patch and pin to wear.

Gates-Skipper also received a personal Letter of Appreciation, signed by Senator Rick Scott.

“I leave behind a legacy for my children and grandchildren,” Gates-Skipper said. “I hope that I have taught them it isn’t as much the material things that matter in life, but rather the love and respect. What you do for people and your country — that matters most of all.”

Contact Charles A. Baker III at cbaker@d-r.media.

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