Hattiesburg among first to pledge support for military caregivers as Hidden Heroes City

September 30, 2016


HATTIESBURG, Miss. - This is a press release from City Hall.


Hattiesburg was recognized today as Tom Hanks and Tom Brokaw joined Senator Elizabeth Dole in Washington, DC to launch Hidden Heroes, a groundbreaking campaign created by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation to call vital 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 critical resources to those caring for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans.


Hattiesburg 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 begin airing nationwide today 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, Senator 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 Senator went on to announce additional national initiatives already underway as part of the campaign and introduce the leaders of the first organizations to make commitments:


  • Colonel Jennifer Pritzker, Army National Guard (Retired), and Founder and Chair of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, contributed $1 million in support of the campaign. Colonel Pritzker will also serve as the campaign's Vice Chair.


  • The United Arab Emirates, represented by His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba


  • USAA, represented by Harriet Dominique, Senior Vice President of


  • The City of San Diego, represented by Mayor Kevin Faulconer, committed to become the first of 54 cities in America to join the campaign as a Hidden Heroes City.


  • Comcast NBCUniversal, represented by Brigadier General Carol Eggert,


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 Senator 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 Leader Nancy Pelosi and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald, spoke to the need of 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 Senator 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.


About The Elizabeth Dole Foundation

The mission of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation is to strengthen and empower American military caregivers and their families by raising public awareness, driving research, championing policy, and leading collaborations that make a significant impact on their lives. Learn more about the Hidden Heroes campaign at www.HiddenHeroes.org.


Hidden Heroes Cities


  1. San Diego, California

  2. Alexandria, Virginia

  3. Rapid City, South Dakota

  4. Birmingham, Alabama 

  5. Missoula, Montana

  6. Tacoma, Washington

  7. Manhattan, Kansas

  8. Aberdeen, South Dakota

  9. Houston, Texas

  10. Sumter, South Carolina 

  11. Charlotte, North Carolina

  12. Scottsdale, Arizona

  13. Oakland, California

  14. Clarksville, Tennessee

  15. Monterey, California

  16. Chicago, Illinois

  17. Colorado Springs, Colorado

  18. Charles Town, West Virginia

  19. Bismarck, North Dakota

  20. Greenville, Mississippi

  21. Garden City, Kansas

  22. Virginia Beach, Virginia

  23. Springfield, Massachusetts

  24. Watertown, New York

  25. Reno, Nevada

  26. Albuquerque, New Mexico

  27. Salisbury, North Carolina

  28. Hattiesburg, Mississippi

  29. Aurora, Illinois

  30. Lansing, Michigan

  31. Arlington, Texas

  32. Mountain Home, Idaho

  33. Waco, Texas

  34. Augusta, Georgia

  35. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

  36. Roanoke, Virginia

  37. Chattanooga, Tennessee

  38. Elmira, New York

  39. Alpena, Michigan

  40. Raleigh, North Carolina

  41. Nashville, Tennessee

  42. Columbia, South Carolina

  43. Austin, Texas

  44. Quincy, Illinois

  45. Madison, Wisconsin

  46. Little Rock, Arkansas

  47. Los Angeles, California

  48. Fayetteville, North Carolina

  49. Washington, D.C.

  50. New York, New York

  51. New Orleans, Louisiana

  52. Albany, New York

  53. San Francisco, California

  54. Yuma, Arizona





























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