By David Russell
On a warm sunny day at Freedom Lane — a portion of University Drive between Royal Palm Boulevard and Ramblewood Drive — Coral Springs Veteran Gerard “Gerry” Renda can be found beaming with pride under his newly minted Veteran Memorial banner that recognizes his service in the Navy.
Gerry never thought he’d be immortalized on a post in Coral Springs, but now he is both honored and humbled.
His wife, Barbara, surprised him with a coordinated city effort called the “Hometown Heroes” program that publicly honors and recognizes service members and veterans who live in Coral Springs.
“You can tell I haven’t changed a bit,” a smiling Gerry jests towards his 50 years younger self to a round of laughs.
Surrounded by loved ones, Gerry and his family clearly mean a lot to each other.
Originally from New York, Gerry moved to Coral Springs in 1988 after attending college in Long Island.
Serving on the Navy Reserve, he was on active duty during the Vietnam War but was fortunate not to be shipped overseas. Still spending another two years of active duty and another four in the service.
Find out more about the program on the Coral Springs website for those interested in getting involved.
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- A Coral Springs native, Florida State University graduate, and eternal optimist, David strives to find the local hidden gems in South Florida. He has a strong interest in technology, finance, and comedy.
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