- Honorees include Vietnam veteran Jack Jacobs; NAMVETS founder William Sims; Team Rubicon CEO Art Delacruz; Women Warriors CEO Jodie Grenier; Actor Montel Williams; CreatiVets co-founder Richard Casper; IAVA Founder Paul Rieckoff; Blue Star Families Founder Kathy Roth–Douquet; and Paramount Global Chief Veteran Officer Rich Jones, among other veterans leaders
- Nation’s Finest launches traveling and online exhibitions that share the personal stories, dedication to service and veterans support demonstrated by all 50 honorees
WASHINGTON, June 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Nation’s Finest, a non-profit organization since 1972 that has been supporting America’s military veterans and their families through housing, health, and employment programs, marked its 50th anniversary with a milestone event honoring 50 leaders from across the nation who have gone above and beyond to support veterans with the first-ever Nation’s Finest 50 Award.
“For the past 50 years, Nation’s Finest has been guiding our Veterans home. We created the Nation’s Finest 50 Award to recognize and celebrate 50 people during this anniversary year, who have gone above and beyond to support our veterans,” said Nation’s Finest CEO Chris Johnson. “While the world has changed greatly during the past five decades since we were founded to support Vietnam veterans, the work of so many remarkable individuals and organizations continues to make a tremendous impact in helping support our veterans. Today, we celebrate and honor 50 of the finest.”
The recipients of the first-ever Nation’s Finest 50 Awards range from military veterans, founders and leaders of nonprofit organizations, community, and corporate leaders, to actors, musicians, comedians, philanthropists, and researchers. Among the 50 veterans awardees are Vietnam veteran Jack Jacobs; NAMVETS founder William Sims; Team Rubicon CEO Art Delacruz; Women Warriors CEO Jodie Grenier; Actor Montel Williams; IAVA Founder Paul Rieckoff; Blue Star Families Founder Kathy Roth-Douquet; CreatiVets co-founder Richard Casper; John 14:2 founder and Navy veteran Ginger Miller; country music singer Trace Atkins; actor and filmmaker Tom Hanks; Paramount Global Chief Veteran Officer Rich Jones; and military spouse advocate and author Sue Hoppin.
“I am deeply honored and humbled and filled with gratitude to accept the Nation’s Finest 50 Award,” said actor and motivational speaker Montel Williams. “This recognition isn’t just for me but for every individual who has donned the uniform and served our nation with unwavering dedication and valor. It is a privilege to use my platform to talk about the challenges facing veterans and help them access crucial services such as mental health support.”
The Nation’s Finest 50 Awards were announced during the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. where more than a thousand veterans and support organizations were in attendance. Kathryn C. Monet, CEO of NCHV was honored with a Nation’s Finest 50 Award for her leadership in helping end homelessness among veterans. In accepting her award she said, “today too many of our nation’s veterans face so many difficult challenges, including poverty and homelessness. They deserve so much better and through so many in our communities coming together, we are providing them dignity, hope and a brighter future.”
During the award ceremony, Nation’s Finest announced and unveiled traveling and online exhibitions featuring the Nation’s Finest 50 Awardees, along with a social media campaign that shares their personal stories, work and impact within the veterans community. The exhibition will travel to several cities, beginning in California, Arizona, and Nevada this summer. The goal is to raise greater awareness about veteran’s issues, the work of Nation’s Finest, and programs available across the country to support veterans.
Nation’s Finest 50 Award honorees were selected from hundreds of hardworking and inspiring individuals nominated by the public to receive the prestigious award and selected by a distinguished Blue Ribbon Panel appointed by Nation’s Finest. The panel was chaired by Koby Langley, a two-tour veteran and Bronze Star recipient, and included community leaders and veterans, including Major General (retired) James A. “Spider” Marks, among others.
“Today, we get to honor and celebrate those great patriots who have given their time, their resources, and their full emotion to support veterans and their families with the Nation’s Finest 50 Award,” said Marks. “I want to personally thank all of you for all that you do to embrace those that have given so much, and those that have selflessly embraced those that have gone forward in defense of our freedoms and liberties, to support this great nation of ours.”
For more information about the Nation’s Finest 50 Award, the full biographies and personal stories of each honoree, and to watch the award ceremony which includes touching video tributes, visit www.nationsfinest.org.
Nation’s Finest is one of the largest and most successful Veterans services organization in the United States. The organization was founded to support veterans returning from the Vietnam War 50 years ago by providing critical housing, health, and employment support to ensure Veterans reach their full potential. The programs and impact of Nation’s Finest continues to grow, having served 150,000+ veterans and providing $275+ million in direct services in 30+ locations. Learn more at www.nationsfinest.org.
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SOURCE Nation’s Finest