×

Disney CEO Bob Iger Receives Navy SEAL Foundation Honor, Recognizes Soldiers

The Los Angeles Evening of Tribute benefiting the Navy SEAL Foundation raised $4 million for the organization’s Naval Special Warfare community, which provides financial, emotional, and therapeutic support for wounded soldiers and families of fallen post-9/11 veterans.

Bob Iger, Walt Disney chair and CEO, was feted with the Navy SEAL Foundation’s patriot award at the Thursday night soiree, held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. “Pirates of the Caribbean” producer Jerry Bruckheimer, a former recipient of the award, was there to present Iger with the honor, as well as master of ceremonies Jimmy Kimmel.

Additional guests included producer Brian Grazer, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, actress Zoe Saldana, New England Patriots CEO Robert Kraft — who donated $100,000 at the event — U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, and keynote speaker Leon E. Panetta, former CIA director and U.S. secretary of defense. David Foster was also on hand to provide musical entertainment.

“We must never fail to recognize the sacrifices made by soldiers on our behalf,” said Iger, whose Work Here campaign has placed nearly 26,000 returning veterans in company-wide jobs. “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.”

But the most touching and emotional moment of the night came when Christina Valentine, whose husband was killed in the line of duty as a Navy SEAL, delivered a plea to hold the memories of those fallen soldiers in our hearts. There was not a dry eye in the house.

“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. :These soldiers had a calling and it was to serve their country. We must never forget the sacrifices that they have endured.”

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • Taika Waititi Jojo Rabbit Premiere

    Why Director Taika Waititi Decided to Play Adolf Hitler in 'Jojo Rabbit'

    “Fox Searchlight blackmailed me into doing it,” Taika Waititi told Variety of playing Adolf Hilter in “Jojo Rabbit” at the film’s premiere at American Legion Post 43 on Tuesday night in Hollywood. Staying mum when asked which other actors had been on his wish list to play the role, Waititi explained why he eventually decided [...]

  • Jessica Biel Limetown Premiere

    Why 'Limetown' Star & Producer Jessica Biel Thought the Show Was Based on a True Story

    In a world of increasingly outlandish headlines, the story behind “Limetown” — in which an entire community in rural Tennessee disappears overnight — seems plausible. Even Jessica Biel, who executive produces and stars in the Facebook Watch television adaptation of the hit 2015 podcast, was initially convinced that it was real. “I just thought I [...]

  • Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Watchmen

    Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Talks 'Watchmen,' 'Matrix 4': 'I'm Not Nervous At All'

    Yahya Adbul-Mateen II is facing some serious pressure. The actor is in the middle of a massive career surge, taking on roles in HBO’s “Watchmen” and the upcoming “Matrix 4” — and with those roles, the expectations of their fans.  “I have the responsibility of upholding something that was already done while also bringing in [...]

  • David Lindelof Watchmen Premiere

    'Watchmen' Creator Damon Lindelof Weighs in on Martin Scorsese's Marvel Criticisms

    Damon Lindelof disagrees with Martin Scorsese about his recent claims that Marvel movies don’t qualify as cinema. The director’s proclamation, along with the polarized critical reception of “Joker,” are the latest salvos in a long history of questioning comic book movies’ place in cinematic history. The lingering question: Can superhero fare be considered “high art?” [...]

  • Anne Hathaway Modern Love

    Anne Hathaway Talks Mental Health Awareness, Playing a Bipolar Woman on Amazon's 'Modern Love'

    In Amazon Prime’s upcoming “Modern Love,” Anne Hathaway sheds light on an important facet of living with mental health issues, playing a bipolar woman who struggles with dating. “We’re all becoming more sensitive, wiser and more cognizant of gentility, and especially emotional gentility. I think those conversations are starting to happen. And I think the desire [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content