Last year Congressman John L. Mica (R-FL) took to the floor of the United States House of Representatives to honor an outstanding person who has contributed so much to the Sunshine Chapter, the Central Florida community and a grateful nation.
Mr. MICA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the legacy and service of Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col Earle Denton.
Hailing from a small town in Missouri, Earle was one of a graduating High School class of just 17. Inspired by the World War II veterans who had just returned home from the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific, Earle enlisted in the U.S. Army as an infantryman immediately following graduation. During his 25 years of service Earle would rise from the rank of Private to Lt. Col., a feat achieved by very few.
As a veteran of both the Korean and the Vietnam wars, Earle distinguished himself in numerous battles, including the infamous battle for Pork Chop Hill during the Korean conflict, where his actions earned him both the Purple Heart and Silver Star. The battle is known for the intense fighting and hand to hand combat it brought and to this day is considered one of the most brutal battles ever fought by U.S. soldiers.
After retiring from the service in 1973, arle settled in Orlando where he was a member of the Army Participation Group, the forerunner to PEO STRI (the U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation).
Since his retirement, Earle has been steadfast in his dedication to our veterans. His advocacy efforts on behalf of veterans have included, serving as the Vice Chairman for the Central Florida Veterans Memorial Park Foundation, and Membership in Central Florida Veterans Inc., where his efforts helped to secure the new VA hospital in Orlando which will serve the more than 400,000 veterans who reside in the region.
Earle has also been a great volunteer and community leader serving on the Orange Mayor’s Advisory Committee, the Orange County Sheriff’s Citizens Advisory Council, the Orange County Citizens Corps Council and is a former President of the Orange County Homeowners Association. Earle was also honored as the “Distinguished Citizen of the Year” for District 3 in 2002.
To this day, Earle continues to advocate for our veterans, in many ways, including serving on my Veterans Advisory Board which helps keep me in tune with the issues that are most concerning to the veterans of Florida’s 7th Congressional District. I am proud and grateful that I am able to seek guidance from him and the other distinguished members of the council when it comes to serving those who have sacrificed so much for our nation.