Governor Glenn Youngkin signed a certificate Friday recognizing August as Hidden Heroes Month in Virginia to honor caregivers for wounded, ill, or injured military and veterans.
“Virginia is proud to partner with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and their Hidden Heroes program to support and acknowledge caregivers that receive little support or acknowledgment for their selfless sacrifices,” Youngkin said in a press release. “In fact, most of these Hidden Heroes simply consider the challenging work they do as unconditional love or carrying out their civic and patriotic duty, without realizing they should be categorized as caregivers. I call on all my fellow Virginians to join me in thanking and supporting them. They deserve nothing less.”
Elizabeth Dole is a former senator from North Carolina and is the widow of former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole. In 2012, she founded her foundation focused on supporting military caregivers including spouses, parents, family members, and friends, according to the foundation’s website.
“When my husband Bob Dole was admitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center for an extended period of time in 2011, my eyes were opened to the tremendous challenges facing the loved ones caring for our wounded, ill and injured warriors. Following Bob’s hospitalization, I established the Elizabeth Dole Foundation to help raise awareness and seek solutions for our military caregivers,” Elizabeth Dole said on the Hidden Heroes website.
“I’ve seen first-hand the tremendous impact 5.5 million young spouses, mothers, dads, siblings, and other loved ones make in the lives of wounded warriors every day, in neighborhoods large and small, in states like Virginia and across the country,” Dole said in Youngkin’s release. “Today we are one step closer to ensuring that these caregivers are woven into the fabric of our nation’s appreciation of the military. My heartfelt thanks to Governor Youngkin and his team for their strong support of military caregivers, America’s hidden heroes.”
Youngkin’s release highlights daily tasks of the caregivers, including bathing, feeding, dressing serious wounds, giving medication, caring for the home, working outside the home, and providing emotional support.
“As a veteran, I have seen the devotion that these caregivers provide every day to their loved ones who sacrificed so much for our Nation,” Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs Craig Crenshaw said. “If Virginia is going to remain the best state for veterans and their families to live, work and thrive, we must never forget how important these Hidden Heroes are and provide them with the support they need and deserve. This we pledge to do today and always.”
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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].