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Tom Hanks: ‘Military Caregivers Are Hidden Heroes And They Need Your Support’
On. Sept. 27, Tom Hanks and former Sen. Elizabeth Dole officially announced the launch of Hidden Heroes, a national campaign to raise awareness and garner support for the nation’s 5.5 million military and veteran caregivers.
At the event, Hanks addressed the crowded auditorium at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., and posed a simple question:
“What part are you going to play in this movement?” asked Hanks, the national chair of Hidden Heroes. “I trust that the stories of honor and sacrifice we will now share and those you will learn about in the weeks and months ahead will bring you to your answer.”
Hanks, along with guest speakers, journalist and former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw, Secretary of Veteran Affairs Robert McDonald, Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and others weighed in on the critical challenges facing military caregivers, and the importance of supporting them.
“And by military caregivers, we’re not talking about health care professionals, we’re not talking about educated experts, we’re talking about wives, and family members, and girlfriends, and kids, and parents,” explained Hanks. “Those are the military caregivers. The people giving care to their military loved ones.”
Hidden Heroes was launched by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, an organization founded by Dole in 2012. It seeks to strengthen and empower military caregivers and their families through research, raising awareness, and policy change.
“Bringing our country's hidden heroes, and that’s what they are, heroes who are hidden out of sight, bringing them out of the shadows to honor their service is a companion piece, I think, to welcoming home those who have served,” said Hanks.
According to the Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s findings, the challenges facing military caregivers include: depression, isolation, unemployment, and debt due to a severe lack of awareness and support. These strains have been exacerbated by the constant state of war since Sept. 11, 2001, with many younger caregivers facing daily challenges that last years, if not a lifetime.
Though the Army has yet to actually set an official recruiting goal for this year, leaders are confident they're going to bring in more soldiers than last year.
Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, head of Army Recruiting Command, told reporters on Wednesday that the Army was currently 2,226 contracts ahead of where it was in 2019.
"I will just tell you that this time last year we were in the red, and now we're in the green which is — the momentum's there and we see it continuing throughout the end of the year," Muth said, adding that the service hit recruiting numbers in February that haven't been hit during that month since 2014.
KABUL/WASHINGTON/PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The United States and the Taliban will sign an agreement on Feb. 29 at the end of a week long period of violence reduction in Afghanistan, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Taliban said on Friday.
Another Marine was hit with jail time and a bad-conduct discharge in connection with a slew of arrests made last summer over suspicions that members of a California-based infantry battalion were transporting people who'd crossed into the U.S. illegally.
Some Fort Bragg paratroopers who left for the Middle East on a no-notice deployment last month came home Thursday.
About 3,500 soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team were sent to Kuwait beginning Jan. 1 as tensions were rising in the region. The first soldiers were in the air within 18 hours of being told to go.
Large cargo ships, small fishing boats and other watercraft sail safely past Naval Station Norfolk every day, but there's always a possibility that terrorists could use any one of them to attack the world's largest naval base.
While Navy security keeps a close eye on every vessel that passes, there's an inherent risk for the sailors aboard small patrol boats who are tasked with helping keep aircraft carriers, submarines and destroyers on base safe from waterborne attacks.
So the Navy experimented Wednesday to test whether an unmanned vessel could stop a small boat threatening the base from the Elizabeth River.