Published: Aug 26, 2010 4:43 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 26, 2010 1:43 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Former state Comptroller Bob Milligan will head the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs on an interim basis.

Gov. Charlie Crist and the Florida Cabinet on Thursday appointed Milligan, a retired Marine Corps. lieutenant general, to replace the late Leroy Collins Jr.

Collins, the son of 75-year-old Gov. Leroy Collins, died last month when hit by an SUV while riding his bicycle in Tampa.

Milligan was classmates at the U.S. Naval Academy with the man he's replacing.

He will serve until a new governor and Cabinet take over in January. None of the incumbents are seeking re-election.

Milligan said his biggest challenge is making sure the state's veterans nursing homes are properly staffed.