‘Fit to Fight’ Casey DeSantis Launches New Program for Veterans

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis, declaring herself “fit to fight,” has launched an initiative to encourage veterans and former law enforcement officers to sign up to work as investigators. of child protection.

“I feel good and I’m here,” she told the crowd at Eglin Air Force Base in Pensacola on June 22. “I’m fit to fight, and that’s in large part because of your encouragement.”

Her initiative – “Continue the Mission” – is in line with the mental health and resilience issues of children that have been at the center of her duties as the governor’s wife. This is a program in which veterans, former law enforcement officers, and military spouses are encouraged to complete training as a Child Protection Investigator (CPI) under the aegis of the Ministry for Children and Families.

The job, which involves investigating cases of child abuse and neglect, is very stressful and emotional work that sees high turnover, she explained.

Additionally, in conversations with veterans across the state, the first lady said some felt they had “lost their purpose.”

“They’ve spent their whole lives…doing something bigger than themselves, and then they come back and some of them feel like they’ve lost their purpose in life.”

“Our veterans, military spouses and former law enforcement officers are a group of men and women who have dedicated their lives to serving our country and keeping our communities safe,” said Casey DeSantis. “I’m thrilled there’s a new path for these heroes to ‘pursue the mission’ through rewarding career and mentorship opportunities protecting the children of Florida. We not only help children across the state, but we also help veterans and retired law enforcement.

The new program is a collaborative effort between DCF and Florida’s Disabled Veterans Association as well as local veterans organizations and other community groups across the state. They will be responsible for actively recruiting veterans, military spouses, and former law enforcement officers to become ICCs. A mentorship program as well as case managers will be some of the other opportunities available.

The state’s first lady has increased her public appearances over the past five weeks after taking a break while undergoing chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer.

Governor Ron DeSantis first publicly announced that his wife had been diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2021, and in March 2022 declared her to be “cancer free”.

At the Pensacola event, the first lady thanked those who had written her letters of encouragement and prayed for her recovery.

“I want you all to know this hasn’t gone unnoticed,” she said.

Before becoming Florida’s first lady, Casey DeSantis, 41, worked for two Jacksonville television stations and was a producer and host of the PGA Tour.

Reflecting on the campaign trail last month, she took the time to say a few words about the governor, who is actively campaigning to serve the state for four more years.

“I kick a good guy every day…I couldn’t be prouder of everything he’s done.”


Jannis Falkenstern is an Epoch Times reporter who covers the state of Florida.

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