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After helping launch the National Coalition one year ago, the First Lady will join the Foundation, along with leaders from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Congress, corporations, nonprofits, faith communities, and military and veteran caregivers to reflect on successes and look to the future

Washington, D.C., May 15, 2015   — First Lady Michelle Obama, Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert A. McDonald, Tom Hanks, and Pastor Joel Osteen will all play a part in a special week devoted to military and veteran caregivers, hosted by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, May 19 – 21, in Washington, DC.

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation will welcome more than 70 of its military and veteran caregiver Fellows to the nation’s capital over these three days, along with senior leaders from across the public, private, nonprofit, labor and faith communities, to celebrate progress made over the past year on behalf of those caring for wounded, ill and injured warriors, and to announce upcoming initiatives to continue raising awareness and support for these Hidden Heroes.

First Lady Michelle Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Dole will be joined by National Coalition members and caregivers for the Hidden Heroes Coalition Summit: Progress and Promise on Wednesday, May 20, 2 p.m., at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Washington, DC. The program will feature remarks from Secretary Robert McDonald, Senator Elizabeth Dole, and a special recorded announcement from Tom Hanks. The event will also feature remarks by Harriet Dominique, Senior Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Community Affairs, USAA, lead sponsor of the Summit. The following Coalition partners will also participate in the program: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes, Capitol One, Easter Seals, The Home Depot Foundation, Operation Homefront, TAPS, and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation.

The following day, Thursday, May 21, Senator Dole will co-host Hidden Heroes: Focus on Faith, an interfaith and congressional leadership breakfast reception honoring military and veteran caregivers in the Russell Senate Office Building, Kennedy Caucus Room, 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. The event will include Hidden Heroes Congressional Caucus co-chairs, Senators John McCain and Jack Reed, Leader Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Jeff Miller, and special guest Pastor Joel Osteen. The breakfast will serve as an example of the united, bipartisan support for our military and veteran caregivers, and an acknowledgement of the important role played by Congress and faith communities in ensuring them stronger support. Following the event, Elizabeth Dole Fellows will meet with scores of Congressional Members to discuss the specific actions Congress can take to support military caregivers.

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation elevated the issue of military and veteran caregiving to a national level last April with the release of a Foundation commissioned study by the RAND Corporation that found military caregivers are struggling to shoulder the enormous responsibility they take on as they care for wounded service members. In response to these findings, the Foundation, alongside First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, launched a powerful coalition to address the gaps in resources identified in the study. Hidden Heroes: the National Coalition for Military Caregivers draws support from the public, private, nonprofit, labor and faith communities, which were all represented at the White House Joining Forces event and continue to be involved today.

May 20 program participants available for interview include:

  • Senator Elizabeth Dole
  • Harriet Dominique, Senior Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Community Affairs, USAA
  • National Coalition members and program participants
  • Military and veteran caregivers from nearly every state across the country

Both events are open press. Members of the media who wish to cover Wednesdays event must RSVP to ntieman@susandavis.com by Monday, May 18, 2015 at 5 PM ET. Press who do not have a White House hard pass must include their social security number, date of birth, country of citizenship, current city/state of residence, and gender.

About The Elizabeth Dole Foundation

The mission of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation is to uplift American military and veteran caregivers by strengthening the services afforded to them through innovation, evidence-based research, and collaboration. Read more about the Foundation headquartered in Washington, DC at www.elizabethdolefoundation.org.


Contact: Nicole Tieman