Montana Declared as a Hidden Heroes State

HELENA, MT (STL.News) Governor Greg Gianforte In honor of Veterans Day yesterday, Governor Greg Gianforte today issued a proclamation declaring Montana a Hidden Heroes State to recognize military caregivers.

“Montana is proudly home to one of the highest numbers of veterans per capita in the nation.  We’re also home to countless military and veteran caregivers, whether they’re parents, spouses, siblings, or friends,” Gov. Gianforte said.  “By proclaiming Montana a Hidden Heroes State, we’re recognizing those who are serving these vital roles in our communities.”

As a Hidden Heroes state, Montana joins the Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s network of more than 170 communities nationwide committed to identifying military caregivers and increasing awareness and support.

Launched in 2016, Hidden Heroes raises awareness of the issues military caregivers face; brings critical resources to our nation’s “hidden heroes” caring for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans; and connects military caregivers to a community of their peers.  The campaign was founded by Senator Elizabeth Dole, is chaired by actor Tom Hanks, and works with thousands of military caregivers representing every state in the union.

“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 Montana and across the country,” said Senator Elizabeth Dole, Founder of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation.  “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 Greg Gianforte and his team for their strong support of military caregivers, America’s hidden heroes.”

“It’s exciting to see Montana become a Hidden Heroes State.  I’m looking forward to bringing increased resources to my fellow caregivers, as well as increased awareness of Military and Veterans families’ needs as we step forward in the journey together,” said Krista Petterson, Montana Dole Caregiver Fellow.

Individuals caring for someone who served, or those who wish to support the campaign, can visit HiddenHeroes.org for more information.

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation will work with partners across the state to help with the amplification and dissemination of vital caregiver resources, such as no-cost respite relief.

“No matter where you are on your family’s caregiving journey, having a good road map will make the process a little bit easier, that is why AARP Montana is partnering with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and their Hidden Heroes initiative. We appreciate Governor Gianforte for signing a proclamation recognizing Montana’s Hidden Heroes, those who are caregivers to Montana’s veterans,” said Tim Summers, State Director of AARP Montana.

Senator Dole added, “The Elizabeth Dole Foundation envisions an America where military caregivers are empowered, appreciated and recognized for their service to the nation.  Together, we are working towards a future where supporting military caregivers is no longer a cause, but it is part of the culture of our nation.”

The governor’s proclamation can be viewed below and here.