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Every year, Moffitt celebrates our patients and team members who have served in the armed forces at the annual Veterans Day flag-raising ceremony at the Magnolia Campus. This year, in honor of those who have sacrificed the most for our country, we asked our patients and team members about their service, what it means to them to be thanked and how they celebrate this special holiday.

Herman Bennett"I feel very proud when people thank me for my service. It removes a lot of stress — just for saying thank you. Many veterans deal with a lot of prior military issues that nonveterans don’t ever understand." - Herman Bennett Middleton, U.S. Marine Corps, Moffitt Caregiver


Iliana Simo"I am honored to be serving our country. Although I was born in a different country, the U.S. welcomed me and my family with open arms. My military service gives me an advantage in my role at Moffitt because I can confidently lead others and show great respect to our team members and patients.” - Iliana Simo, U.S. Army Reserves, Moffitt Team Member, Patient Experience

Delmar Hinds"It’s nice being recognized for my service. It humbles me. I’d do it all over again. When I see someone who respects the service, it gives me hope for the next generation." - Delmar Hinds, U.S. Air Force, US Army, Moffitt Patient


"As a retired, active duty Navy, Air Force and Civil Service, I was honored to serve my country. My family and I traveled around the world where we met quite a few friends that we are still in touch with. I appreciate when people thank me for my service, but it was an honor to serve my country. We raised three beautiful children. What more could you ask for?" - Harry Mains, U.S. Air Force, Patient Advisor, Patient and Family Advisory Program

Tyesha Stewart"Continuing to be of service to others is the best honor for me and taking the oath of protecting our country is for everyone. No one is excluded, regardless of race, color or religion. I defended the freedom of speech for us all. For Veterans Day, I would like to see more people giving back as a day of service to those in the community." - Tyesha Stewart, MSN, ARNP, FNP-C, U.S. Army, Moffitt Team Member, Heck & Neck

"I was proud to serve and I am so happy for everything the VA and Moffitt has done for me. When people thank me for my service, I get emotional. It makes me happy. I wear a veteran’s hat and get a lot of thank-you’s, especially from young kids." - John Krusinski, U.S. Army, Moffitt Patient

Lary Robinson"Unless you serve in the armed services, I think civilians don’t realize that military life involves a great number of sacrifices of comfort and security, as well as absence away from family. Since I did lose military friends to several helicopter crashes in Thailand and had to learn to cope with their loss, I feel far more empathic with my patients and their families as they face life-threatening or life-ending cancers." - Lary A. Robinson, MD, U.S. Air Force, Moffitt Team Member, Thoracic Oncology

"It has been a while (over 30 years) since we were active duty, but we occasionally get thanked for our service when people find out we served. It is always nice to hear, but we feel that we are thankful to have been able to serve and to contribute to keeping our country free." - Michelle Sullivan, U.S. Air Force, Moffitt Patient, and Patrick Sullivan, U.S. Air Force, Moffitt Caregiver

Bill Johansson"To me, Veterans Day is a celebration of service. While we celebrate those who have served in the armed forces, I encourage anyone to use this day as an inspiration to serve others — true patriots are willing to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of others, whether overseas or in the local community. That is the spirit of Veterans Day to me." - Bill Johansson, U.S. Navy, Moffitt Team Member, Radiation Therapy

Barney Morris"It was an honor for me to serve. Most Americans aren’t aware there are many trying to take away the precious freedoms we enjoy in this great country. Without the many sacrifices of dedicated military professionals, they would be successful. These sacrifices are done without expectations, but it’s really appreciated when someone thanks us for our service. Even though I was injured and missed many family celebrations and holidays, I would do it all over again without hesitation." - Barney D. Morris, U.S. Air Force, Patient Advisor, Patient and Family Advisory Council