TRIBUTE TO MAJ. GEN. EARL G. PECK, USAF, RETIRED
HON. MICHAEL BILIRAKIS
in the House of Representatives
THURSDAY, JANUARY 25, 1996
- Mr. BILIRAKIS. Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to a man who has served his country and his State for almost 50 years, Maj. Gen. Earl G. Peck. I have had the privilege of working with Earl for a number of years on issues of concern to veterans.
- General Peck began his military service in 1948 and served for more than 36 years in the U.S. Air Force. He was a command pilot with more than 7,000 hours in fighters, bombers, tankers, and trainers. Earl received numerous military decorations, including the Defense and Air Force Distinguished Service Medals, the Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters, the Bronze Star, the Vietnam Service Medal with four campaign stars and the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm.
- During his distinguished military career, Earl held many different positions. He served as Chief of Staff, Strategic Air Command; Director, Intelligence and Space Policy, Office of the Secretary of Defense; Deputy Commander, Sixth Allied Tactical Air Force, Izmir, Turkey; Chief, Office of Air Force History; Commandant, Squadron Officers School; Commander, 3902d Air Base Wing; Chief, Special Air Operations, Vietnam; and many others as a squadron pilot and staff officer.
- When the general left the Air Force in 1985, he could have sat back and enjoyed his retirement. But as so often is the case with veterans, Earl continued to contribute to his community.
- Since his retirement, he has been active in the Retired Officers Association, the Air Force Association, and the Order of Daedalians. He is also a member of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and Paralyzed Veterans of America.
- In 1989, Earl was appointed as the Executive Director of the Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs. Immediately preceding his appointment, he was Director of the Florida Division of Veterans' Affairs, the department's predecessor.
- As an advocate for Florida's veterans, Earl has worked to improve the quality of life for all of the State's 1.73 million veterans. The resources of the department has increased by 400 percent, providing increased services to veterans. During his tenure, veterans' homes have been constructed in Lake City and Daytona Beach and more are planned. He has worked to elevate the VA's understanding of Florida's problems and to improve the resources and facilities available to our veterans. He has always been a valuable resource for our congressional delegation in Washington.
- Earl is the outgoing President of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs. Secretary Jesse Brown presented Earl with the Secretary's Award for Outstanding State Director--a well-deserved honor.
- In 1994, I was honored by the Association as `Man of the Year.' I know he was instrumental in my selection for this award and I am grateful for his support.
- As Earl prepares to retire from the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs, I wanted to wish him the best of luck in his retirement. Although he may be retiring, I know Earl will remain a strong advocate for Florida's veterans.