Walt Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger has been presented with a special award for his service to the military.
“Pirates of the Caribbean” producer Jerry Bruckheimer presented Iger with the Navy SEAL Foundation’s patriot award on Thursday evening — the producer was a former recipient. The night, dubbed the Los Angeles Evening of Tribute, raised over $4 million for the Navy SEAL Foundation, which provides everything from financial to therapeutic support for post-9/11 veterans.
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“We must never fail to recognize the sacrifices made by soldiers on our behalf,” said Iger, a former member of the president’s advisory council.
Iger has a program, Heroes Work Here, that reportedly has placed some 8,000 veterans in jobs throughout the Disney company while helping another 15,000 find jobs at other businesses. “My father served in the Navy in World War II. Back then war was an appreciated sacrifice. In Vietnam, the soldiers came back to a deeply divided nation. Every generation of veterans deserves a lifetime of gratitude.”
Along with such star-studded guests as producer Brian Grazer (“The DaVinci Code”), Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos, New England Patriots CEO Robert Kraft, and late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, Christina Valentine was also in attendance. The widow of late Navy SEAL Tom Valentine — who was killed during a training accident in 2008 — made a plea to those in the room and the rest of the country to never forget the sacrifice of these lost military members.
“It’s been nine years since [my husband] Tom died, and that moment when I found out will never leave me, and it’s shaped the person that I have become,” Valentine said to a gathering of teary-eyed guests. “These soldiers had a calling, and it was to serve their country. We must never forget the sacrifices that they have endured.”