Providing a “Welcome Home” to Our Veterans

Gayle’s ties to the military are long and deep. Her family has a long history of military service; from her grandfather and father to her husband and daughter, Gayle and her family understand and appreciate the sacrifices our military personnel and families make each and every day to protect us.GayleHarrellVeterans2

Both Gayle’s grandfather and father served their country in times of war as did her husband, James, and her daughter Melinda.

Gayle’s father served as an officer in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II, completed 28 years of service in the Army Air Corp and Air Force Reserves and attained the rank of Colonel. Her grandfather, Dr. W. Clarence Bauer, served as a First Lt. during World War I in France.GayleHarrellVeterans3

James served in the army and was deploy to Viet Nam in 1967 with the 25th Infantry Division. Their daughter, Melinda, served in the Air Force spending 15 months in the Middle East and Melinda’s husband is currently serving in the Air Force as a Colonel.


Gayle welcoming daughter Melinda home from the Middle East

In addition, James has four siblings, and all of those families have served in the Military.  Two were in the Army and three were involved in service with the Navy. Two of James’ uncles served for the duration of World War II. His Uncle Martin served in Europe for three and a half years, and Uncle Jack died in a plane crash just weeks before the surrender of Japan.

Gayle also had the opportunity to see firsthand the outstanding job our troops were doing in Iraq to protect our country when she served as an official observer of the Iraqi parliamentary elections in 2010. She traveled to Iraq as one of the seven members of the National Foundation for Women Legislators delegation. She has served as Past President NFWL. It was the only American organization invited to serve as official observers of the election.


Gayle on her way to Iraq to serve as an official observer of the elections 2010

In addition to meeting with many of the women candidates before the election and actually visiting many polling locations the day of the election (in helmet and flak vest) she had the opportunity to meet with many of our troops while she was there. She saw the sacrifices they were making to keep us safe.

That’s why Gayle believes our veterans deserve every opportunity for success. She wants our heroes to be able to come home to our state and adjust to civilian life more easily. She wants to encourage our veterans and their spouses to get an education and choose a career path that provides the best future for themselves and their families. Gayle is committed to making Florida the “welcome home” state for our veterans.

(Click here to see Gayle’s record.)