WASHINGTON — Nick Jonas is joining forces with Jerry Lewis, Gavin DeGraw and other entertainers Wednesday to honor those who serve and support U.S. veterans and military families with a new award.
Ten individuals and corporations will receive the inaugural Lincoln Awards during a musical special that comes at a time when many service members are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The honorees include Bruce Springsteen for supporting veterans for decades through his music and charity work; Segway inventor and bionic arm creator Dean Kamen for major advances in prosthetics for amputees; Fisher House Foundation CEO Ken Fisher for housing families of hospitalized military personnel and veterans; and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. for the company's commitment to hire 100,000 veterans by 2018.
Jonas, 22, who launched his solo career last year after performing for years with his two brothers, said he is honored to help salute veterans and those who are easing their transition back home. He will sing his hit single "Jealous."
"Anytime as a performer you're able to use your voice to honor veterans and military families, it's incredibly important and fulfilling," he said in a recent interview. "I think our job is to bring light and encouragement to people, and these people have done so much for us."
NBC's Brian Williams will host "The Lincoln Awards: A Concert for Veterans and the Military Family" at the Kennedy Center. The audience will include about 1,900 veterans and military family members. The show will be broadcast in May on PBS. An exact broadcast date has not been set.
The New York City-based Friars Club for entertainers created the new awards program through its charitable arm in the name of President Abraham Lincoln, who had issued a call for the care of the nation's veterans and their families in the last months of the Civil War.
"'With malice toward none, with charity for all ... let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations," Lincoln said in his second inaugural address 150 years ago.
While other awards honor veterans themselves, members of the Friars Club wanted to also honor the work of those who support veterans.
"That's why we're calling it the Lincoln Awards — to honor companies or people that have really made a huge difference in veterans' lives," said award co-founder Cappy McGarr.
Additional honorees include Justin Constantine, a veteran wounded in Iraq who advocates and raises funds for veterans in distress; Jackie Garrick, a veteran and social worker who has advocated for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder; Britnee Kinard, a caregiver for her veteran husband who also assists veterans and disabled children with the costs of owning service animals; Team Rubicon, a charity that deploys veterans to disasters around the world; Kayla Williams for portraying veterans through her writing; and 82-year-old Dick Young for his lifetime of service in the Navy and as a volunteer.