Army Vet Danny Alvarez Parachutes into Public Service in the Florida House
Like other veterans, Danny Alvarez’s time in the service placed his role in the Florida House in a certain perspective.
“Ultimately, nobody is shooting at me,” said the U.S. Army veteran. “How hard can anything else be after that’s the standard?
“When we come to Tallahassee, it is another mission set,” said Alvarez, who represents portions of Hillsborough County in his first two-year term. “We have objectives, we have goals, and we approach it in a tactical way.”
While attending the University of Florida where he earned his Bachelor’s of science in Journalism, Alvarez was the Cadet R.O.T.C. Battalion Commander and served in the Florida National Guard with the 124th Infantry Regiment in Leesburg.
After graduating, he was commissioned as a U.S. Army Infantry Officer and was deployed to South Korea as a line platoon leader.
He served in leadership positions within the US Army Airborne School and became a jumping member of “The Silver Wings” exhibition parachute team.
After leaving the Army in 2001 as a Captain, he became a lawyer and has taught at the University of Tampa. He currently serves as General Counsel for the Tampa Police Benevolent Association, representing more than 1,000 active, reserved and retired members of the Tampa police department.
“My time in the military was the quintessential experience that made me who I am, after my parents and God,” he said. “I could not love something more than when I was in.”
Alvarez said that like Veterans Florida, he works to help vets and separating service members understand the value and skills they bring to the civilian workforce.
“It can be pretty intimidating. What seems normal to (veterans) is not normal for others,” he said. “When I talk to transitioning folks I tell them they are already ahead of the game if you let your brain believe it. Your competition doesn’t have one-third of the preparation for the workforce. You’re set up for success and you may not even know it.”
This session, Alvarez is working to secure state funding for a new and more effective way to treat PTSD in veterans. The $10 million would fund brain scans and allow pulses to be sent directly to the frontal cortex.
“The early results show this is ultra effective for veterans and to get our brothers and sisters off the psychotropic drugs,” he said.
The ability to pursue cutting edge technology to help veterans is part of Florida’s leading role among states to provide the resources for our veterans and those who move here.
“Our systems are in place to not only make veterans feel welcome in Florida, but to entice them to come here,” he said.
Alvarez is also sponsoring a bill that will provide property tax discounts for disabled veterans.
“We are fortunate to live in an environment in Florida that has shifted to an attitude that our debt to a veteran is never paid,” he said. “These aren’t catchphrases, this is our culture.”