[UPDATE] 1-4 9:00AM --
Gov.-elect Rick Scott’s inaugural eve events turned country at an afternoon military appreciation event a few blocks from the state Capitol. The anthems of the nation’s military branches were sung by Fort Pierce’s Avenue D Boys Choir to open the show, which also featured performances by John Michael Montgomery, Rockie Lynne, Pensacola’s Aaron Tippin – he of the Gulf War era hit, ‘You’ve Got to Stand for Something’ – and, of course, Lee Greenwood, who capped the event with – what else – a rendition of “God Bless the USA,” with Scott and incoming Lieutenant Gov. Jennifer Carrroll standing by him. About 1,000 people attended, including many service members and their families, along with many military retirees. Also in the crowd was retired Col. Bud Day, the former Air Force officer and Vietnam POW who frequently steps into Florida politics. Scott’s inaugural committee has raised $3.5 million for the events surrounding his swearing-in. A portion of the contributions – so far just over $100,000 – has gone to the “wounded warriors” program which helps injured veterans and their families. Carroll, who like Scott served in the Navy, retiring as a lieutenant commander, said “she outranks him. Until tomorrow.”
Monday afternoon at the Civic Center was all about honoring the heroes that have protected and defended our country.
Though it's all a part of Governor elect Rick Scott's inauguration, he wasn't necessarily the center attention. And his supporters say it's not surprising that he deflected the lime light from himself to our service men and women.
The event was called Military Appreciation: Honoring Those Who Serve. Hundreds of military personnel and the their families filed in to the Civic Center for music and dinner.
Several country music stars graced the stage with live performances for our men and women in uniform.
A spokesperson from the State of Florida Department of Military Affairs says Scott, who is veteran, saw it fit to make this even about them.
"I am sure that people have all formed opinions, but he is a veteran, he served in the Navy. His father served in the 82nd airborne in World War II. And he really believes in the common working mankind; those who work hard to make our nation what it is," said Glenn Sutphim with the Department of Military Affairs.
This was just one of several events taking place over the next 24 hours to commemorate Governor Rick Scott's inauguration.