Ballou named Veteran of the month for September 2021
TALLAHASSEE – Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has announced that Specialist Mark Ballou, who served in the Florida National Guard and as a Veterans Social Worker at the Department of Veterans Affairs, was the September 2021 selection for the veteran of the month from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. .
Fried presented a proclamation honoring his service to Ballou at the September Florida Cabinet meeting.
The FDACS Veteran of the Month initiative, created by Fried shortly after taking office in 2019, recognizes Veterans who have excelled in serving their fellow Floridians and honors the contributions the men and women in uniform have made to our nation. State.
“I am proud to recognize Specialist Ballou for his significant contributions to our state and to our country,” said Fried. “Specialist Ballou has dedicated his life not only to protecting the United States, but also to helping his fellow soldiers. We know he will continue to do a great job and make Florida proud. “
Ballou served in the Florida National Guard and as a Veterans Social Worker with the Department of Veterans Affairs in Crestview. In the National Guard, he served as a combat medic and was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In Iraq, Specialist Ballou was tasked with performing guard duties, combat patrols and a rapid response to the situation. While deployed, he was wounded in combat and received a Purple Heart. After leaving the military, he became a VA social worker and served as a readjustment counselor at the Shalimar veterinary center.
He is currently a Veterans Social Worker and has had the opportunity to serve Veterans in many different situations: from homeless veterans to veterans involved in justice. In the spring of this year, he celebrated his 10th birthday with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Ballou’s military awards include the Purple Heart, Combat Medic Badge, and War on Terrorism Service Medal.