ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A bipartisan group of former presidents and elected leaders, cabinet secretaries, CEOs and luminaries from industry, journalism, entertainment and sports are joining a growing effort to provide widespread support for America's men and women in uniform and are urging everyone nationwide to do the same.
For Armed Forces Day, the Committee of 99 Distinguished Americans and the Code of Support Foundation issued their second formal Call to Service asking everyone to pledge to "do their share" for freedom.
The committee, symbolic of the 99 percent of Americans who benefit from the service and sacrifice of the fewer than 1 percent who serve in our armed forces, is co-chaired by Senators Bob Dole and Elizabeth Dole. New VIP signers range from President Jimmy Carter and defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld to Tom Brokaw to race car legend Mario Andretti and NY Yankees pitching ace Whitey Ford.
Organized by the national nonprofit Code of Support Foundation, which supports veterans, service members and military families, the Call to Service asks Americans to demonstrate their commitment to troops by signing the Code of Support. This Code is a counterpart to the Code of Conduct which our men and women in uniform are bound to follow and stating they are "prepared to give their lives in defense of our country." In return for this profound commitment, the 99 percent can give meaning to the words, "Support Our Troops" by committing to their own code.
"We are truly blessed as a nation that so many young Americans are willing to forego many pleasures of life that the rest of us take for granted to voluntarily put on the uniform and dedicate several years of their lives to military service on our behalf," said former Senator Elizabeth Dole, honorary co-chair for the Committee of 99. Her husband and fellow honorary co-chair, Senator Bob Dole, added, "We can't expect these young men and women to shoulder the entire burden of national defense on their own. Every American has an unwritten obligation to do his or her share in whatever way is right for them."
For some, a pledge of support may mean something as simple as learning more about what it takes to be part of the forces who defend our nation. For industry leaders it may be a commitment to help more veterans find jobs. For athletes and performers, it can be returning the admiration and respect which Americans have shown them.
"The fair share for Americans can come in many ways," said Foundation board chair and former Army Major General Alan B. Salisbury. "It's not arguing for any specific public policies. It's purely and simply acknowledging that we need to back the people who back us all up every day.
"It's time to stand with them," Salisbury added.
The Call to Service asks Americans to sign the Code of Support by going online to www.codeofsupport.org/calltoservice.
The Code of Support website also offers an additional 99 Ways for the 99% to Get Involved, from activities to support troops and veterans to engaging in broader community service roles.
Its PATRIOTlink resource platform showcases and facilitates support between nonprofits and government agencies with missions to aid America's veterans.
The Armed Forces Day publication of the Call to Service is co-signed by 18 new members who have stepped up since the first publication on Veterans Day, including:
Mario Andretti, car racing legend
Ambassador John R. Beyrle, former U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation
Rocky Bleier, NFL football legend, veteran and Purple Heart recipient
Tom Brokaw, television journalist and Author
Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States
Rosalynn Carter, former first lady of the United States
Bo Derek, film and television actress, producer and model
Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, USA (Ret), First woman 4-star in U.S. military history
Kenneth Fisher, Chairman & CEO, Fisher House Foundation
Whitey Ford, baseball legend, NY Yankees pitcher, Hall of Fame member
Sgt. Noah M. Galloway, Wounded "Iraqi Freedom" veteran, motivational speaker
The Honorable Chuck Hagel, former Secretary of Defense and U.S. Senator
Professor John Hennessy, Chairman of Alphabet Inc., 10th President of Stanford
The Honorable Dirk Kempthorne, former U.S. Senator, Gov of Idaho and Secretary of the
The Honorable Robert A. McDonald, former Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Chairman
& CEO of Procter & Gamble
Sgt. Maj. Kenneth O. Preston, USA (Ret), former Sergeant Major of the Army
The Honorable Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense
Evan Thomas, Author, historian and journalist
About Code of Support Foundation: Code of Support Foundation (COSF) is a national 501c3 nonprofit that provides essential and critical one-on-one assistance to those struggling service members, veterans and their families who have the most complex needs. COSF is dedicated to leveraging the nation's full spectrum of resources to ensure all members of our military, veterans and their families receive the support services they need and through their collective sacrifice have earned. Code of Support Foundation was co-founded in 2011 by MG Alan B. Salisbury (Ret.) and Executive Director Kristina Kaufmann and is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia.
For more information, please visit www.codeofsupport.org.
Media Contact: Steve Hirsh
SOURCE Code of Support Foundation