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Gov. Whitmer Signs Proclamation Declaring Feb. 18 Hidden Heroes Day

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today proclaimed Feb. 18, 2022, as Hidden Heroes Day in Michigan, recognizing the essential role of family members, friends and other caregivers who care for wounded and ill service members and veterans.

In conjunction with National Caregiver Day, recognized on the same day, Hidden Heroes Day encourages communities throughout the state to become "Hidden Hero communities" by creating supportive environments and opportunities for military and veteran caregivers.

"Across our state, thousands of caregivers work tirelessly to ensure the needs of Michigan veterans are met," said Gov. Whitmer. "These Hidden Heroes provide physical, financial and emotional support to Michigan veterans facing a range of life challenges. On Hidden Heroes Day, we recognize, uplift and honor the critical work they do every day. We salute these Hidden Heroes for their service to those who have served all of us."

There are some 5.5 million military and veteran caregivers across the nation - many of them spouses, parents or friends who don't even consider themselves caregivers. Yet these caregivers play an essential role in enabling veterans to live better quality lives, acting as nurses, pharmacists, schedulers and everything in between - often spending more than 40 hours a week providing care.

"Our veteran and military caregivers are true Hidden Heroes for the selfless care they provide to the brave service members who sacrificed for our country," said Zaneta Adams, director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, which championed the governor's proclamation. "Caring for a veteran is a valiant and heroic duty but it's also a difficult job that often goes unnoticed. Today - and every day - we applaud our Hidden Heroes for filling this crucial role."

Anne Zerbe, executive director of Michigan Veteran Homes, noted that the caregivers at the state's veteran homes - many of them volunteers - provide around-the-clock care for Michigan veterans.

"Our dedicated team of nurses, caregivers, therapists and other staff provide compassionate care to our state's veterans at our homes in Grand Rapids, Marquette and Macomb County," said Anne Zerbe, executive director of Michigan Veteran Homes. "Even through the Covid-19 pandemic, their commitment, professionalism and resilience has never wavered, ensuring the safety of our members and providing companionship when they needed it most." 

View the full proclamation here.