Hidden Heroes City - Military Caregivers
There are more than 5.5 million military and veteran caregivers in the United States. Countless spouses, parents and other loved ones transform their lives and set aside their own careers to care for those who cared for us. In most cases the caregivers begin this journey in total isolation, without any support.
Hidden Heroes is our way of providing these selfless men and women serving in the shadows with the help and recognition they deserve.”
Hidden Heroes brings vital attention to the untold stories of military caregivers and seeks solutions for the tremendous challenges and long-term needs they face. Hidden Heroes is a program of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, an organization dedicated to strengthening and empowering the nation's military and veteran caregivers.
Charlestown's Involvement with Hidden Heroes
On Veteran’s Day 2021 (Nov 11), the City of Charlestown proclaimed in support of military and veteran caregivers, a Hidden Heroes City. Most caregivers have challenging workdays as they carry out their civic and patriotic duty, without realizing they are, in fact, caregivers, and do not identify as such.
“Charlestown takes great pride in our military families,” said Charlestown Mayor Treva Hodges. “This dedication is our way of letting the caregivers in our communities know that we appreciate the service they provide for our Veterans. Much of what they do goes unrecognized by people outside the family and we want them to know that while we honor our Veterans, we also honor the commitment caregivers make to ensuring their long-term security and wellbeing. The message is this – we see you, we support you.”
As an Elizabeth Dole Fellow alumnus, Glenda Leary has helped advocate for military and veteran caregivers locally, statewide, and in Washington DC since 2014. The Charlestown resident was involved with advocating for the Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act, which was ultimately passed in 2016.
“It’s such a difficult thing to move into a community that is far from a military installation,” said Leary. “To know that Charlestown sees me, and sees other military and veteran caregivers, make living in this community much more welcoming.”
Identifying Hidden Heroes
- You may be a caregiver if you do any of the following for a service member or veteran:
- Manage medication and medical appointments
- Provide emotional and physical support
- Assist in the care of a disabling wound, injury, or illness
- Assist with activities of daily living
- Provide memory help
- Advocate for proper treatment and care
How to Register as a Hidden Hero
Military caregivers can register at HiddenHeroes.org to better understand their needs and connect with useful resources and support. In addition, visit caregiver.va.gov to see if you qualify for VA support.
City of Charlestown Hidden Heroes point of contact Glenda Leary, can be reached via email at GlendaLeary@gmail.com.