In 2018, the Honorable Mark S. Earley, Leon County Supervisor of Elections, established a Vote in Honor of A Veteran program in Leon County, Florida. The program encourages any Leon County voter to publicly dedicate their vote to honor America’s military service men and women. Current or retired service members and/or their family and friends can participate. Participants that submit a photo and a biography for display on our Wall of Honor digital image gallery at LeonVotes.org will be given a commemorative pin to wear while voting.
Leon County voters that wish to participate can fill out an online form, print a PDF then mail it or turn it in to our office at 2990-1 Apalachee Pkwy, or come into the office to fill out a form in person during office hours. Please call (850) 606-8683 if you need assistance.
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Meet Dr. Samuel Caplowe, WWII Army Medic (d.), served in the Pacific. A proud dad to Susan Caplowe, Leon Co. SOE Outreach Specialist, he received a Purple Heart and 2 Bronze stars for his bravery as he saved lives during his time in service. “For meritorious service in connection with military operations against the enemy on USS *** on 2 April 1945, Army Medic Caplowe, although himself injured, was among the first volunteers to report to the sick bay after the USS*** was bombed. Without waiting to have his wounds dressed, he immediately began to administer to a stream of casualties. In spite of the confusion that followed the bombing and the fire, he calmly and efficiently proceeded with medical treatment. Working with only a flashlight for illumination, he showed great initiative in improvising means and methods for emergency treatment. Ignoring the imminent danger of the ship capsizing, Dr. Caplowe administered to the wounded for ten hours without respite. His untiring efforts to alleviate suffering and prevent further loss of life were praised by both army and navy officials.” Dr. Caplowe became a successful Podiatrist in his professional career and raised his family in Wadsworth, Ohio before retiring with his wife, a teacher. Spending the rest of their golden years in Delray Beach enjoying loving visits from Susan, Dr. Caplowe passed at the age of 95. His wife, Millie, was 91.
Meet Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Michael B. Duncan I, proud dad to Monique C. Duncan-Jones, Leon Co. SOE Outreach Coordinator. He is a decorated combat Veteran who served 20 years in the U.S. Army. After graduating as a 2nd Lieutenant from the Florida A&M University Army ROTC program, his first assignment was as platoon leader in South Korea. LTC Duncan went on to serve with First Infantry Division in Vietnam (67-68) during the TET offensive. Monique’s dad earned 3 bronze stars for his service in Vietnam and retired in 1984 and is pictured being pinned by her mother as he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel at Fort Stewart, Georgia.
Meet Staff Sergeant Charles Harlan Williams who is the proud father of Karen A. Williams, Leon County SOE's Election Records Manager. Sergeant Williams proudly served and sacrificed his life for our country; he passed away 1989 when Karen was 8 months old. He was last stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Florida.
Meet Donald Jake Coshey, U.S. Army, SFC, Ret., proud Dad of Diana Mitchell, Leon County SOE’s Election Project Manager, who retired from the U.S. Army after 23 years of service. He saw combat twice in Vietnam (65-66, 68-69) in aviation (helicopters) as part of the 1st Sqaudron (Bullwhip), 9th Calvary serving under COL Stockton. His division flew more combat hours than any other comparably sized unit.
Living on bases throughout the world, Diana grew up hearing the "whop-whop-whop" of Heuy helicopters overhead and the sound of morning reveille. SFC Coshey later served in the infantry and then retired from Ft Meade, serving as First Sergeant of the Baltimore Military Entrance Processing Command. He and his wife now raise chickens on their farm in NW Florida.
Meet Frank Clover Roll, proud grandfather of Cory Logan, a Leon County SOE Voter Services Specialist. Frank enlisted in the US Navy in WWII at the age of 17. He was then assigned to the USS Atherton, a Navy destroyer escort ship. He saw combat in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. The USS Atherton helped deliver supplies and protect other supply ships crossing the oceans. After WWII ended, Frank left the Navy and found a job with Corning Glass located in NY. He would work there until retirement. Frank and his wife Barb currently live in The Villages and are enjoying retirement. Here is a photo of Frank on the Honor Flight on May 20th 2017.
Larry Allen McLane served in the Vietnam War from 1964 through 1966, and then he was in the reserves for a short time. During his time in the Army he was stationed in Vietnam in August 1965 until he was sprayed with Agent Orange. As a result, he was moved to Japan in December in order to be treated for illness. He was honorably discharged in January 1966.
After he returned from Japan to America, he began working at the Florida Department of Transportation in the aerial photography division. He then met his wife, Betty Gardner McLane, and got married in 1970. Soon after, they had a son in 1972. Life seemed to be good after the war until they noticed that he showed signs of Parkinson'sDisease in 1988. From that point, the symptoms of Parkinson's progressively got worse and he became unable to do a lot of daily tasks. Nevertheless, throughout the years Betty selflessly has been working with him to make sure that his life is as comfortable as it can be. Their love and dedication has been such an inspiration to Brooke, their granddaughter. According to Brooke, “Even though life has not always been easy for my grandfather, he has never lost his sense of humor. For as long as I can remember he always had a joke at hand and he still makes all of us laugh. He also loves Florida football. Since he grew up in Jacksonville he became a Gator fan and he passed down the tradition to all of us.”
Brooke is very proud of her grandfather and everything that he has done to serve our nation. Although his time with the Army was cut short due to illness, his legacy will always be remembered. He continues to demonstrate great strength, courage, honor, and commitment. Brooke prays that his legacy and love for this nation continues to live on within all of us!
Joyce McMillian writes, "I entered the service department of Armed Forces and was assigned to The Women’s Army Corp (WAC) located in Anniston, AL. There, I completed 8 weeks of basic training. I was then stationed in Fort Ord, CA, where I completed my AIT training and my MOS was 71B20. I was assigned to Silas B Hayes Army Hospital on Fort Ord as a Ward Clerk. I met and married my first husband, also in the Army, and I became pregnant and opted to early honorable discharge to start a family."
Sgt. Glen T. Swartz, from St. Paul, Minnesota, served as a gunner on B-24's flying out of Italy during WWII. On October 17, 1944, Swartz was part of a crew that participated in a raid on a German ammunition depot at Vienna, Austria. In addition to poor weather over the target, the official after-action reports stated the flak was "heavy, intense, and accurate." Nearing their home field, the aircraft's pilot radioed that they were having some trouble getting the gear down because the hydraulics had been shot out. He advised the tower that the crew had voted to stay with the plane instead of bailing out near the base. An eyewitness stated that flying only a few hundred feet above the ground, while banking to line up with the runway for landing, the plane continued to roll over onto its back and crashed into the ground, killing all ten aboard. Sgt. Swartz was posthumously awarded the Air Medal and, along with one other crew-member, was buried in the Rome-Sicily American Cemetery in Netunno, Italy. He was 19 years old.
Buddy Stewart, Gunnery Sergeant, 1st Division Infantry, U.S. Marine Corps. He is the proud grandfather of William Stewart, Voting Systems Manager. Gy Sgt Stewart is a decorated Korean War Veteran who served with courage and valor as one of the "Chosin Few" in 1950 during the bitter battle of the Chosin Reservoir. The battle in which he fought has been described as the Iwo Jima of North Korea, taking place in the coldest winter seen by the region in 100 years. Stewart's bravery and duty to country is recounted in the stories he now shares with his grand children and great grand children in Tallahassee, Florida.
Richard L. Duley writes, "[I] served in the Vietnam war as a Chinook Helicopter Pilot with the 196th ASHC. Received the Bronze Star for missions during the Cambodian invasion. Native Floridian born in Miami, Florida. Moved to Tallahassee in 1996 to work in the Aviation Office of the FDOT. Volunteered as a poll worker while in Miami and enjoyed being the Deputy and seeing all my neighbors vote. Always liked helping Senator Graham catch up on all the local issues. Started as the Deputy when I moved to Tallahassee and eventually moved up the Clerk position. My military service taught me about freedom. Defended the rights of those hopefully being able to have the privilege of voting. Respect the American flag and consider it an honor to serve as a volunteer to help others vote in Leon County."
After 10 years of service, including 2 tours in Iraq totaling 2 and 1/2 years, Ryan Bruce McKibben came back to Tallahassee and began advocating for veterans' rights from Tallahassee to Washington, D.C. Now active in state politics, he ensures that every campaign he works for includes veterans issues in their policy development.
James Curtis Ratliff was a Lt. Colonel in the US Air Force and served from 1972 to 1993. His daughter, Julie Moodoyan, is voting in his honor: "Thank you, Dad, for all your years of service to our country. I love you!"
Kathy Ann Manders, proud daughter of Air Force veteran Robert Leo McTearnen, writes, "Dad enlisted in the Air Force at 19 years young to serve his country. He was stationed in Munich, Germany and met a beautiful young blonde, our mother Inga. They were married by the Bergermeister in Munich celebrated there with Mom's family in Germany and then celebrated with Dad's family back in the USA. Mom was a stay at home parent and took care of the family. Dad dedicated himself to serving in the Air Force. He was stationed in Detroit, Michigan; Madrid,Spain; Rome, NY; Newfoundland, Canada. He retired at Scott AFB,in Illinois in 1968. Dad rests in peace at Jefferson Barracks cemetery in St.Louis, Mo. since 1998. We miss him daily and are honored to have had his love, guidance, sense of humor, and service to our country to honor his memory! Love you Dad!"