Standing alongside several members of the National Guard in Camp Blanding, the “heartbeat” of the National Guard, Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., announced that he will be allocating $3.4 million in funding to military communities and bases across the state of Florida.
DeSantis, who is a military veteran himself, remarked during a press conference on Wednesday that he is “proud” Florida has so many military families across the state.
The governor explained that most of this funding will be given to Northeast and Northwest Florida where the military presence is the most prevalent. He said, “having a strong active duty component is not only something we are proud of from a patriotic perspective, but it’s also good for our communities. When you have strong bases, that has a really positive economic impact on the surrounding areas.”
Other areas of Florida including, the city of Jacksonville, its Naval Air Station, and Naval Station Mayport will be gaining $500,000 and $100,000 respectively to what Florida hopes to work towards a nuclear aircraft carrier in the Jacksonville area soon.
A majority of the chunk of change amounting to $1 million will be spent at Camp Blanding to improve the base’s structure, and hopefully, build a strategic site inventory for future endeavors. Explaining the importance of renovating the base, DeSantis explained that it dates back to World War II, therefore it is a priority to maintain its historical value to the state of Florida.
The governor also said that he and his administration have made certain that veterans across Florida have access to treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, not just from the state but also from the private sector and different non-profit military organizations. He also hopes to expand school choice for military families throughout Florida.
“We want to make sure that folks, that these communities are really able to benefit, and that we can work in concert when, when appropriate, with the military services to make sure that we have the appropriate infrastructure in place so that they have a great footprint here for themselves,” DeSantis said.