News & Politics

Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Dole Call for a Presidential Debate Focused on Veterans Issues

Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Dole Call for a Presidential Debate Focused on Veterans Issues
Actor Tom Hanks and Former Sen. Elizabeth Dole on Wednesday. Photo credit: Nicholas Ballasy

WASHINGTON – Actor Tom Hanks and former Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.) said there should be a presidential primary debate dedicated to issues affecting war veterans, their families and caregivers.

Hanks, Dole and former First Lady Michelle Obama were among the speakers at the Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s Heroes and History Makers event on Wednesday evening. The foundation’s work is focused on “empowering, supporting, and honoring our nation’s 5.5 million military caregivers; the spouses, parents, family members, and friends who care for America’s wounded, ill, or injured veterans.”

During the ceremony, Hanks and Dole were asked if they are satisfied with the Trump administration when it comes to supporting military caregivers.

“Last year, [Mike] Pence was a keynote speaker. Of course Secretary Wilkie does this with me and we also had another cabinet member so they’ve been right there with us and certainly very supportive,” Dole said.

When asked if there are any candidates in the 2020 race that are strong on supporting military caregivers, Dole said the foundation wrote a letter to all of the candidates with the hopes of the topic being included in a future debate.

Dole and Hanks were asked if they would like to see an entire presidential debate dedicated to veterans issues.

“I think it’d be terrific,” Dole replied.

“Yeah I would. I would like to be on the record of saying ‘yes, I would like that.’ Any national discussion about this is going to do a couple things. Number one, give validation to the people actually living this every day. Number two, just remind the vast majority of Americans that this is a subject that does not go away with a victory party or a ‘thank you for your service’ or some applause during a baseball game,” Hanks said.

“These folks deal with this every single day and there’s millions of them and it came about because of their voluntary service to the United States of America. It’s an important discussion to have,” he added.