Military veterans employed by Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office were honored yesterday during a special ceremony held in the rotunda of the William B. Clements Building ahead of the national observance of Veterans Day this Sunday.

The attorney general’s office employs 291 veterans from all branches of the U.S. military, along with surviving spouses and orphans of veterans. According to the federal Department of Veterans Affairs, there are more than 21 million veterans in the U.S., including nearly 1.7 million in Texas.

“Today we honor the military heroes in our office for their dedicated service to the people of Texas and to our great nation,” said First Assistant Attorney General Jeff Mateer. “To all veterans, we owe you our thanks, we owe you our respect, and we owe you our freedom.”

Floyd McLendon, Jr., an ex-U.S. Navy SEAL who serves as an executive assistant and travel aide to Attorney General Paxton, provided the keynote speech at yesterday's event. Over a 25-year career in the Navy, McLendon deployed five times with presence in 24 countries spanning five continents.

Attorney General Paxton has made hiring veterans among his top priorities. Currently, veterans comprise more than seven percent of the office’s total workforce. In state fiscal year 2018, more than 10 percent of hires by the attorney general’s office were veterans.