As we thank our war heroes each day for sacrificing their lives for our liberty, oftentimes we forget to thank those who come in afterwards: the caregivers who take on the responsibility of assisting our veterans after they return home.
Hidden Heroes is a revolutionary campaign created by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation aimed at calling necessary attention to the 5.5 million American military and veteran caregivers who tend to the wounded, ill, and injured. The foundation is making efforts nationwide, state by state, to influence faith organizations, public leaders, corporations, nonprofits, and even individual Americans to aid in giving care back to these caregivers.
The website, www.hiddenheroes.org is platform for military caregivers to come together and share their stories and advice with one another.
Elizabeth Dole described the goals of the foundation as follows: “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.”
While these caregivers are busy giving their all to our heroes, who is giving their all to them? Many struggle between trying to maintain working and caregiving full-time. While the war is over for the veterans, it has seemingly just begun for their caregivers, sometimes with no real end in sight.
Those cities that pledge to be a Hidden Heroes City will work to identify these caregivers and provide them with vital support and community resources. Several cities such as Alexandria and San Diego have pledged their part.
Many notable individuals have joined this campaign, such as actor Tom Hanks, who will be featured in the video public service announcements. Other supporters include: Colonel Jennifer Pritzker, Retired Army National Guard and Founder and Chair of the Pritzker Military Museum; Ambassador of the UAE to the USA, Yousef Al Otaiba; Harriet Dominque of the USAA; Comcast-NBC Universal; News Anchor Tom Brokaw; Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi; and Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Robert McDonald.
It is about time that our that our secondary heroes are recognized and taken care of in the manner that they deserve. After all, without them, where would our war heroes be? Our support needs support.
For individuals that are currently caring for someone who served, or those who wish to support the campaign, please visit their website.