Entertainers Honored for Support of Veterans
February 7, 2003

Notes: Home Depot was cited last year by veterans for not supporting VEVRAA (See News Flash). Home Depot decided to clean up their act before these awards (See News Flash). Who told Home Depot?

WASHINGTON – The movers and shakers of the entertainment industry will be honored for their support of veterans in the 8th Annual American Veterans Awards television program on Sunday, February 9.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Anthony J. Principi will honor actor Gerald McRaney for his work as chairman of the VA National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans campaign in 2002. He has agreed to continue serving as chairman in 2003.

“I am pleased to honor Gerald McRaney for his support of veterans,” Principi said.  “He has spent countless hours visiting hospitalized veterans and encouraging others to join him in volunteering to help veterans.”

The show will air on The History Channel Sunday, February 9, at 7 p.m., EST. 

Additionally, the Woman of the Year Award will be presented to actress Bo Derek for her work as the Honorary National Chairperson for VA rehabilitation special events.  Willie Nelson will present the Veteran of the Year Award to Kris Kristofferson.  The show will also honor those in the military and veterans communities for their service to the nation.

The airing of the American Veterans Awards show coincides with the kickoff of National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans Week, an annual celebration at VA health care facilities honoring the men and women who served their nation.  Community and state officials, military and veterans organizations, and youth groups often join with the public during the National Salute Week to visit patients in VA hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities.  Members of the public are encouraged to call their local VA health care facilities to participate in the 2003 National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans.  At the VA medical centers, they should ask for the voluntary service office, which coordinates the event.

Veterans News Flash

Hollywood Pays Tribute
To Men and Women in Uniform

BEVERLY HILLS, California, November 26, 2002 -- Stars shined bright at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel as America's men and women in uniform were honored together with Army veteran Kris Kristofferson at the eighth annual American Veteran Awards.

Five enlisted service members – Staff Sergeant Charles V. Hawkins of the Air Force; Sergeant Jason G. Burgess of the Army; Boatswain's Mate Second Class David An of the Coast Guard; Corporal Sean P. Tallon (posthumously) of the Marine Corps; and Yeoman Seaman Cean E. Whitmarsh of the Navy – each received the “Enlisted Service Member Award” presented by AT&T.

This star-studded salute to America's service members on land, in the air, at sea and in space also honored CNN correspondent Wolf Blitzer with the “Ernie Pyle Journalism Award” actress and activist Bo Derek, “Woman of Honor Award”; actor Gerald McRaney, “National Veteran Salute Award”; director Randall Wallace, “Best Patriotic Picture Award” for "We Were Soldiers"; actor Charlie Sheen, the “Audie Murphy Theatrical Award”; Brooks and Dunn, the “Elvis Presley Patriotic Song Award” for "Only in America"; and Robert Nardelli, chairman, president, and CEO of The Home Depot, the “Corporate Patriotism Award.”

Presenters, performers and honored guests included: Willie Nelson; Dennis Franz; Eric Roberts; Jack Kemp; Esai Morales; Buzz Aldrin; Ernest Borgnine; Carl Brashear; General James L. Jones, commandant, USMC; Anthony J. Principi, secretary of Veterans Affairs; Frederick D. Gregory, deputy administrator of NASA; General Lester L. Lyles, commander, Air Force Materiel Command; Sergeant Major Alfred McMichael, USMC; Master Chief Petty Officer Terry D. Scott, USN; Lieutenant General Harold Moore, (Ret’d); Sam Elliott; and David Carradine.

The American Veteran Awards is an annual tribute to veterans that unites arts and entertainment with the patriotic fabric of our nation. AVA is an project of Veterans Foundation Incorporated, a 22-year old nationally recognized non-profit, non-political, non-membership 501 (c)(3) organization. Additional information can be found by visiting http://www.avashow.com/