Celebrities Adam Driver, Joe Mantegna, Darius Rucker, Hilary Swank, Jocko Sims, Nico Santos and Wilson Cruz narrate military caregiver stories in virtual program
WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 21, 2020) – Hidden Heroes Campaign Chairman Tom Hanks presented music superstar Tim McGraw with the Tom Hanks Caregiver Champion Award during the Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s Third Annual Heroes and History Makers event on October 20. TODAY co-anchor and Hidden Heroes Ambassador Savannah Guthrie emceed the program, and celebrities Adam Driver, Joe Mantegna, Darius Rucker, Hilary Swank, Nico Santos, Jocko Sims, and Wilson Cruz narrated personal stories of military caregivers from across the country. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark A. Milley delivered a special message of support to the nation’s military caregivers.
Made possible with the support of USAA, the event is the largest dedicated to honoring America’s 5.5 million loved ones caring for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans at home. Senator Elizabeth Dole opened the program by addressing the nationwide audience about the realities that military caregivers face every day, on behalf of the nation. She urged every American to lend their support, saying, “We want our hidden heroes to go to bed tonight knowing that their stories have been heard – that their service and incredible sacrifices have been recognized.”
McGraw is the third recipient of the Caregiver Champion Award, following Hanks and former First Lady Michelle Obama. In Hanks’ tribute to McGraw, he described the honoree’s personal caregiving experience that led to his national advocacy through the Tug McGraw Foundation. Hanks said, “Tim, himself, knows what it is like to have a loved one count on him for their care. He has lived that life consumed by endless cycles of tests, trials, and treatments. Tim’s personal experience now drives him to make sure no other caregiver faces that reality alone.”
McGraw accepted the night’s honor by echoing Senator Dole’s call to America to support our nation’s hidden heroes. He said, “These men and women deserve our deepest gratitude. And to our nation’s Hidden Heroes, our military caregivers, thank you for standing by your veteran. We recognize that you serve too. America stands with you.”
The line-up of celebrity participants delivered a series of powerful accounts of the personal stories of military caregivers from across the country. Jocko Sims shared a recap of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s “Military Kids Have Talent” virtual competition that took place earlier this summer and audiences saw a sneak peek of MSNBC Anchor Richard Lui’s documentary, “Sky Blossom,” which focuses on the lives of caregiver children and is set to debut on Veterans Day.
The full program can be found here.
Links to the individual caregiver spotlights, as narrated by celebrities can be found below:
- Alana Centilli, Alabama – Narrated by Adam Driver
- Briarly Wilson, California – Narrated by Darius Rucker
- Carol Snider, Oregon – Narrated by Joe Mantegna
- Colleen Rose, Virginia – Narrated by Savannah Guthrie
- Joseph Narvaez, Florida – Narrated by Hilary Swank
- Megan Zimmerman, Minnesota – Narrated by Nico Santos
- Silvia Lopez, Delaware – Narrated by Wilson Cruz
- Trizer Smith, Minnesota – Narrated by Jocko Sims
***Foundation leaders and military caregivers are available for interviews. If interested, please contact Austin Courtney at [email protected]***
Support for the event was provided by USAA, Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation; Cerner; Diana Davis Spencer Foundation; Prudential; American Airlines; Pritzker Military Museum & Library; TriWest; Wells Fargo; AWS; Booz Allen Hamilton; Comcast NBCUniversal; FedEx; Hilton; Philips; and Wounded Warrior Project, and more.