Hollywood star Gary Sinise is not only known for being an amazing actor, he has also been making headlines for the many ways in which he honors the U.S. military. The kind-hearted star established ‘The Gary Sinise Foundation’ through which he has been able to donate millions of dollars to soldiers, veterans, first responders, and their families.
In 1994, Sinise starred as Lieutenant Dan in the classic movie Forrest Gump. In the movie he played Lieutenant Dan, a wheelchair bound veteran who struggles with alcoholism and mental illness after coming home from Vietnam. Since then he felt a connection with the military and their families, and has gone out of his way to offer assistance to them.
Sinise received an award for his performance by the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), which he has been working with ever since. The award stated, “Your superb performance brought awareness of the lifelong sacrifice of disabled veterans back into public consciousness in a remarkable positive way.”
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25 years ago today my relationship with the Disabled American Veterans organization began and it’s been my honor to support them in any way I can since. Take a look at our most recent blog (link in bio) and the video from Aug 5th where I return with my band to provide a rockin’ fun night! I send my sincere appreciation to all my pals at the @davhq, it’s been a wonderful 25 years and counting.
Speaking to The Arizona Republic , Sinise revealed, “I realized early on that that character was kind of an ice breaker. There were lot of veterans that were not in very good shape, and yet I would walk in and their face would light up and they’d want to talk about the movie.”
This inspired Sinise to start the Lt. Dan Band who play USO shows on military bases. He says this is simply to let military veterans know that “there are people out there who are aware of, and who understand the importance of keeping our military families strong in difficult times.”
Determined not to let this generation of soldiers slip through the cracks, Sinise also began the Gary Sinise Foundation in 2011. “When our veterans came home from the Vietnam War, they were not treated well and had to disappear into the shadows. When we started deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan, I wanted to do my part to make sure the men and women doing their part were appreciated.” Sinise said.
The Gary Sinise Foundation mission statement reads: “At the Gary Sinise Foundation, we serve our nation by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need. We do this by creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen, and build communities.”
Though Sinise has never sought praise nor tribute for his generous and compassionate acts, it’s become common knowledge that he puts others first. That’s probably why a number of his actor friends came together to thank and appreciate him for his work through a surprise video. The sweet video also features veterans who have benefitted from his foundation.
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Honored to be here at Hunter Army Airfield today for @garysinisefoundation Serving Heroes Program, and later at Ft Stewart for a LT Dan Band Concert. My first trip to these bases was 16 years ago, back in Sept 2003, visiting the Army Rangers. Good to be back. #throwback #flashbackfriday
In January, Sinise raised money for his organization by placing his custom-made jeep up for auction at the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.
At the release of his book “Grateful American” earlier this year, Sinise was surprised by the touching video, which included messages from such people as Tom Hanks and Ron Howard.
What a truly great man Gary Sinise is! Remember to share this article to pay tribute to this incredible man and show your support for our troops.