Tim McGraw received the Tom Hanks Caregiver Champion Award last night from Tom Hanks himself – virtually – during the Elizabeth Dole Foundations’ third annual Heroes and History Makers event, honoring America’s 5.5 million family caregivers of wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans at home.
McGraw accepted the honor on behalf of family members and others who care for injured and ill veterans. “These men and women deserve our deepest gratitude,” he said. “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.”
“Tim, himself, knows what it is like to have a loved one count on him for their care,” Hanks said. “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’s father, former major league pitcher Tug McGraw, died of brain cancer in 2004. McGraw is the honorary chair of the Tug McGraw Foundation, which is dedicated to enhancing the lives of those with brain conditions, and has helped many veterans and their caregivers. The program is a partner of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, and McGraw now joins previous recipients Tom Hanks, co-chair of the Hidden Heroes Campaign, and former First Lady Michelle Obama.
“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,” former Senator Elizabeth Dole said to open the program, which included a message of support to the nation’s military caregivers from General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Today co-anchor and Hidden Heroes ambassador Savannah Guthrie emceed the program, with Adam Driver, Hilary Swank, Joe Mantegna, Darius Rucker, Nico Santos, Jocko Sims, and Wilson Cruz narrating personal stories of military caregivers from across the country.
See their videos here:
Adam Driver: The story of Alana Centilli, Alabama
Hilary Swank: The story of Joseph Narvaez
Joe Mantegna: The story of Carol Snider, Oregon
Darius Rucker: The story of Briarly Wilson, California
Nico Santos: The story of Megan Zimmerman, Minnesota
Jocko Sims: The story of Trizer Smith, Minnesota
Wilson Cruz: The story of Silvia Lopez, Delaware