Mayor Faulconer, Sen. Elizabeth Dole, Tom Hanks, Tom Brokaw & Nation’s Military Caregivers Launch ‘Hidden Heroes’

Campaign Honors and Supports Military and Veteran Caregivers

Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016 - NEWS RELEASE

Washington, D.C. – Announcing that San Diego will help lead a national campaign to honor and support those who care for service members and veterans, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer today joined former Sen. Elizabeth Dole, actor Tom Hanks, former Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw, U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald and dozens of military and veterans’ caregivers to launch “Hidden Heroes.”

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s “Hidden Heroes” initiative aims to create a national coalition to highlight the enormous challenges and long-term needs that America’s caregivers – family and friends that support service members and veterans – face every day and inspire Americans to take action.

“San Diego is home to a proud military community so when Senator Dole asked me and our city to help ‘Hidden Heroes,’ there was no question that we would not only join the cause but help lead it. The blueprint San Diego develops will be a template for cities across the nation to follow,” Mayor Faulconer said. “Much of the conversation about veterans care is focused on Washington, but the reality is family members are often the first in line to care for veterans. This is why cities should be the first in line to support these hidden heroes.”

As a region that is home to more than 330,000 veterans and military personnel, San Diego was selected as the first city to join “Hidden Heroes.” Its steering committee will develop the first blueprint for how cities and local governments can raise awareness and support the men and women who care for veterans and military personnel. The steering committee is composed of caregivers and local organizations that support active-duty and former service members.

Today’s launch showcased three key campaign elements:

  • A national public service announcement featuring Tom Hanks, with a military caregiver and her family. Broadcast spots will be distributed to television stations across the country. A print version will appear in national magazines starting in October. The PSA can be viewed here.
  • The launch of HiddenHeroes.org, which will be the online hub for military caregivers. It includes more than 50 caregiver testimonials, a vetted directory of valuable resources, access to a military caregiver private online community, and a call-to-action for communities and individuals to get involved.
  • Hidden Heroes Cities, a network of more than 50 cities nationwide that have committed to supporting military caregivers. Each city has signed on to create a steering committee of public and private organizations to both assess and address the specific unmet needs of its city’s military caregivers.

CONTACT: Jen Lebron at (619) 384-5289 or [email protected]