October 25, 2019
Michelle Obama looked stylish in a brown suit on Wednesday as she accepted the Tom Hanks Caregiver Champion Award in Washington DC. The former first lady also got emotional during her acceptance speech.
Obama was one of many famous faces at the Elizabeth Dole Foundation's second annual Heroes and History Makers gala on October 23.
The foundation’s Hidden Heroes campaign highlights the struggles of military and veteran caregivers who are usually overlooked, and the former FLOTUS was honored for her efforts in this regard.
Dole, a former North Carolina senator, saw the plight of military caregivers while at the hospital caring for her husband
In photos shared on her Instagram page, Obama looked elegant in a loose-fitting brown silk suit while letting her natural curls fall freely. The 55-year-old was pictured interacting with other attendees at the event and also posed for a group photograph.
"Throughout my years in the White House, I spent a lot of time with our nation’s military caregivers," Obama began in an accompanying caption. "They’re the people—spouses, parents, siblings, children, and many others—who give so much to care for loved ones who’ve been wounded in service to our country."
"I can’t tell you how powerful their stories are—these women and men fundamentally changed me. They changed the way I see service and the way I see this country. They’re folks who upend their lives, putting careers on hold and moving across the country. They’re taking on the responsibilities of entire households while learning to care for physical and emotional needs in a new way. They’re simply incredible, and over these past few years, my hope was to help give a little something back to those who’ve given our country so much."
According to PEOPLE, Obama got emotional as she accepted the Tom Hanks Caregiver Champion Award following an introduction from the actor himself.
After recalling how she came to know about the struggles of military caregivers while her husband was campaigning for president the first time, Obama confessed that the experience changed her fundamentally.
"You all changed me forever. You have changed the way I see service, you’ve changed the way I see war, you’ve changed the way I see this entire country," she said while fighting tears.
"Whether we simply talk about the values we like to pride ourselves on, values like duty and honor and patriotism, or if we actually live them out," she added.
During his introduction, Hanks recounted Obama and Elizabeth Dole’s efforts eight years ago to get Americans to rally "around service members, veterans, and their families," per The Hollywood Reporter.
Dole, a former North Carolina senator, saw the plight of military caregivers while at the hospital caring for her husband, Senator Bob Dole, who is an Army veteran with permanent arm injuries from his service in World War II.
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