CW4 Donald Courtney - US Army (Retired) - Palmetto, FL

In the 24 years he has lived in Florida, his mantra has been “Continue Serving”. Listing his memberships in organizations, his leadership positions in those organizations, and his awards do not do him proper justice. He has distinguished himself by providing valuable and honored service to veterans and the community, in all capacities as a volunteer.

Primarily through his extended involvement with the Manatee County Veterans Council, he is recognized as the face of veteran activities in the County. Being an active member of many organizations is significant in itself, but the depth of his involvement clearly demonstrates his passion and remarkable dedication to the cause of helping veterans.

His leadership skills enable him to organize and manage assets to ensure successful accomplish of specific tasks. His involvement in community affairs is similarly outstanding. By understanding the “big picture”, he does a remarkable job supporting local governments and their functions.

He cares for people and works diligently to ensure the greater good is accomplished. The Nominating Criteria for this section requires a listing of “…significant contributions made to the State of Florida in civic, business, public service or other pursuits”. I believe CW4 (RET) Donald Courtney’s accomplishments personify the meaning of “significant contributions” to the State of Florida in the arenas of civic, public service or other (veteran-related) pursuits.

His integrity and ethical standards are of the highest caliber. I have often said that there is no veteran in Manatee County who does more for veterans and the community then Donald Courtney, 

Education and Training Accomplishments:

  • Army Basic Training –1961.
  • Army Advanced Individual Training –1961.
  • Army Warrant Officer Orientation Course — 1974.
  • Army Supply Management Officer Course – 1974.
  • Army Warrant Officer Senior Course –1974.

Professional or Employment History:

  • June 1961 to June 1991 — United States Army.
  • June 1991 to June 1995 –Purchasing Officer for Serv-Air, a division of E-Systems, Lakehurst, NJ.

Advocacy on Behalf of Veterans:

Since his move to Florida in 1995, CW4 (RET) Donald Courtney has dedicated his life to the support of veterans, not only through his membership in numerous veteran-affiliated organizations, but also through his extensive involvement in those organizations, all as a volunteer.

  • The Military Officers Association of America.
    – Life member.
    – Chapter President for six years over three terms. 
    – Area Vice President four years over two terms
    – Treasurer of State Council for nine years. 
  • The Military Order of World Wars.
    – Life member.
    – Two years as Chapter President. 
    – Two years as State Commander.
  • The Manatee County Veterans Council.
    – Ten years over multiple terms as Council Chairman.
    – Eight years as Special Projects Officer, responsible for supervising all Veterans Day and Memorial Day parades/ceremonies. 
    – Selected as Manatee County Veteran of the Year in 2004.
  • Life member, Veterans of Foreign Wars.
  • Life member, Korean War Veterans Association, including a term as Staff Judge Advocate and six years as a member of the Color Guard. 
  • Life member, American Legion.
  • Life member, Warrant Officers Association.

Civic Activities and Contributions:

In addition to his un-paralleled contributions in support of veterans through organizational activities and individual endeavors, CW4 (RET) Donald Courtney contributes to the overall welfare of the local community to a most remarkable extent at various levels, all as a volunteer.

  • National:
    – Appointed by Member of Congress in 2002 to task force to locate appropriate grounds for a new National Cemetery, an endeavor that resulted in the establishment of the Sarasota National Cemetery in 2009.
    – Has served as the Treasurer for the Sarasota National Cemetery Advi­sory Committee since its inception in 2002. 
  • State:
    – Has served as an Ombudsman for Long Term Care of the Elderly for 12 years, performing duties which include inspecting nursing homes, assisted living facilities and adult family care homes in Manatee and Hillsborough Counties and resolving complaints from residents of those facilities.
    – Selected Ombudsman of the Year for 2011. 
  • County:
    – Has served as a Special Magistrate for Manatee County Code Enforcement for 19 years.
    – Served as a member of the Manatee County Construction Trades Board for three years, to include one year as Chairman.
  • Local:
    – Served as Licensed Lay Leader for his church for 10 years, taking communion to shut-ins.
    – Served as an usher at his church for 10 years.
    – Served as a volunteer at Blake Hospital for six years, including one year as Volunteer Chairman.
    – Served as driver for Meals on Wheels for six years.
    – Instituted a Christmas Toys and Food Drive for families of a local National Guard unit that had deployed.

 Awards or Honors: 

  • 2017- Tribute to Veterans Service Award from the Jewish Federation of Sarasota County.
  • 2016- Received honor of being individually recognized by the County Commissioners of Manatee County for his overall continued excellence in support of veterans with a Certificate and having July 26, 2016 declared “Donald Courtney Day” in Manatee County. This distinction is a most unique and honored one; it is rarely awarded and then only to individuals who have particularly excelled. No other volunteer veteran has been so honored.
  • 2004- Manatee County Veteran of the Year, selected by the veteran organizations in the County.