Salisbury pledges support to military caregivers as Hidden Heroes City

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 29, 2016

Washington, D.C. — Salisbury was recognized Wednesday as Tom Hanks and Tom Brokaw joined Sen. Elizabeth Dole in Washington, D.C. to launch Hidden Heroes, a groundbreaking campaign created by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation to call attention to America’s 5.5 million military and veteran caregivers.

As campaign chair, Hanks presided over the launch that included a series of major announcements and commitments that will bring resources to those caring for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans.

Salisbury joined the campaign as one of the first cities to sign on as a Hidden Heroes City, one of the campaign’s key national initiatives designed to develop military caregiver resources at a local level. Each Hidden Heroes City pledges to help identify local military caregivers and organize community resources to offer them vital support.

Individuals caring for someone who served, or those who wish to support the campaign, can visit HiddenHeroes.org for more information.

“If we want to be a nation that truly cares for those who have borne the battle, we must also be a nation that cares for our caregivers,” said Hanks as he called on public leaders, corporations, nonprofits and individual Americans to each do their part.

The launch event unveiled additional key national initiatives of the Hidden Heroes campaign, including:

  • Video public service announcements featuring Hanks that began airing nationwide Wednesday and on the campaign’s website HiddenHeroes.org. A print public service announcement has already begun running in October editions of national magazines.
  • HiddenHeroes.org, a new website launched as the premier online community for military caregivers. The website features a private community where military caregivers can share questions and advice, a directory for caregiver resources and a national military caregiver registry to help connect caregivers with support. The website also features a call to action page for every American who wishes to be part of the campaign.

Addressing what she hopes to accomplish through the campaign, Dole said, “The Elizabeth Dole Foundation envisions an America where military caregivers are empowered, appreciated and recognized for their service to the nation. Together, we are working towards a future where supporting military caregivers is no longer a cause, but it is part of the culture of our nation.”

The emcee of the event, Richard Lui, MSNBC anchor, announced that Tom Brokaw, NBC News special correspondent, would also join the campaign as a Hidden Heroes Ambassador. Brokaw, one of the most respected names in news, spoke about America’s legacy of coming together to support its military and veteran communities.

His remarks reflected Dole’s original call for a national response to the caregiver crisis following the release of a 2014 RAND caregiver study commissioned by her foundation.

Two of the foundation’s earliest supporters, Democratic House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald, spoke to the need for a national campaign for military caregivers. The U.S. Congress and Department of Veterans Affairs have both taken steps to ease the challenges of those caring for service members and veterans. Yet, they echoed Dole’s call for every American to recognize and support these hidden heroes.

In addition to the commitments announced by campaign leaders, the launch event recognized the Starr Foundation for its enduring commitment to the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and The Independence Fund for its contributions to Hidden Heroes. Additional support was provided by Hilton Hotels, American Airlines, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Booz Allen Hamilton and Hope for the Warriors.

Charlotte, Raleigh and Fayetteville also pledged their support.

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