St. Pete honors 3 local veterans at annual Veterans Day ceremony

Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla (WFLA) — Dozens of Veterans Day ceremonies will take place across Tampa Bay on Thursday to honor the brave men and women who have served our country.

St. Petersburg’s 8th annual Veterans Day celebration will take place at 8 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial in Williams Park.

Mayor Rick Kriseman says its time for the community to come together and honor those who have fought for freedom, and thank them for their service.

“I think this is a way for all of us of reminding ourselves that we have this freedom and this democracy because of the sacrifice that was made by thousands of men and women over the years that have served in our armed forces,” said Mayor Rick Kriseman.

Three local veterans will be given the Honored Veteran Award. Members of the community nominated them for the award last month. Mayor Kriseman said he was blown away by all the submissions for the award.

“We are fortunate truthfully as a community to have folks like these three who had given so much during their time in the service but continue to give even after they left the service,” Mayor Kriseman said.

This awards will be presented to:

Rear Admiral Sidney “Sid” Boyd Vaughn, Jr., USCG, Retired

Sidney “Sid” Boyd Vaughn, Jr. served as a Coast Guardsman with stations in Alaska, Mississippi, Washington DC and St. Petersburg. In 1984, after 38 years of service to the United States Coast Guard, Vaughn retired as a Rear Admiral and was awarded the Legion of Merit medal for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the United States.

Vaughn has roots in St. Petersburg, graduating from St. Petersburg High School in 1944 and being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000. At the age of 92, Vaughn completed the Skyway 10K in March 2020, saluting military families and being the race’s oldest participant. Vaughn plans to take on the Skyway 10K again in March 2022.

Captain Antonio “Tony” Sanpere, U.S. Army, Retired

Antonio “Tony” Sanpere served as a Captain in the US Army from 1960 to 1968 in Germany and Vietnam. Sanpere earned many awards for his service, including multiple Purple Heart Awards and two Bronze Star Awards with Valor, along with good-conduct medals for years of service, a national defense medal for his Cold War Efforts and air medals for his hours in the air.

After his service, Sanpere earned a degree in Engineering and an MBA. Sanpere is an avid sailor and races sailboats all over the world and recently represented the US at the Hansa World Championship in Palermo, Italy.

Master Sgt. Cathrine Washington, U.S. Army, Retired

Cathrine Washington joined the United States Army Reserves in 1974 where she served as a Master Sergeant for 30 years. Washington is a two-time winner of the Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service for outstanding leadership and professionalism and a three-time winner of the Army Achievement Medal for meritorious performance for her untiring devotion and selfless service. In 2008, Washington received The Legion of Merit Award, one of the most prestigious awards of the military.

After her military career, Washington has served as a License Practical Nurse at Bayfront Medical Center and as a 26-year retired Firefighter EMT with the St. Petersburg Fire Department. Washington was the first African American woman to join the St. Petersburg Fire Department, and she and her daughter were the first and only mother and daughter to serve as Firefighters/EMTs with the department since.

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