Elizabeth Dole to receive award named for Medal of Honor recipient Leo K. Thorsness

Medal of Honor recipient Leo Thorsness speaks about America's Warrior Partnership in 2014.
America's Warrior Partnership

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 31, 2018

Former U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole has been named the recipient of the fourth annual Leo K. Thorsness Leadership Award.

The award, named for the Medal of Honor recipient, recognizes outstanding service to veteran communities, according to a news release from America’s Warrior Partnership.

The Vietnam War veteran, who died last year at the age of 85, had served on the board of directors for America’s Warrior Partnership. Thorsness was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during a dogfight over North Vietnam. He was shot down eleven days later and suffered serious leg injuries before being taken prisoner. He spent six years in the enemy prison camp known as the "Hanoi Hilton.”

“It is such a special honor to receive an award named for Col. Thorsness, who demonstrated such gallantry and courage on behalf of his fellow service members,” Dole said in the news release.

The former U.S. senator from North Carolina embodies the spirit of the organization’s mission through her leadership of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, according to Jim Lorraine, president and CEO of America’s Warrior Partnership, which aims to connect local veteran-centric nonprofits together to make it easier for veterans to find support in their communities.

Dole established her foundation in 2012 and works with leaders in public, private, nonprofit and faith communities to recognize military caregivers’ service and promote their well-being. The mission is to raise public awareness, drive research, champion policy and lead collaborations that make a significant impact on the lives of these military caregivers, according to the foundation’s website.

“We are honored for the opportunity to recognize her continued advocacy for the spouses, parents, children, family members and friends who care for our nation’s veterans and currently serving military members,” Lorraine said in the news release.

America's Warrior Partnership will present Dole with the award at the Warrior Community Integration Symposium, which will be held Sept. 5-7 in Atlanta.

Previous recipients of the award include former President George W. Bush, Home Depot co-founder and philanthropist Bernie Marcus and Fox News anchor Jon Scott.


Former Senators Elizabeth and Bob Dole were among the guests of honor at a May 24, 2014 ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the dedication of the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.