Actor Gary Sinise is known for more than the roles he has played in movies. He is also well-known for honoring the US military in many ways. In fact, he has become so involved with supporting the military that he has created his own organization – ‘The Gary Sinise Foundation.’ Through his foundation, Sinise has donated millions of dollars to families, soldiers, first responders, and veterans.
The veteran actor has been striving to help veterans for many years. It started in 1994, which is the year he starred in the movie, ‘Forrest Gump.’ He played Lieutenant Dan. Lt. Dan was in a wheelchair. He was a veteran who dealt with many struggles, including mental illness and alcoholism following his tour of duty in Vietnam and after he returned home.
As a result of his performance, the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) presented him with an award. It remarked about his superb performance, which made more people aware of the lifelong sacrifices of veterans who are disabled. It rattled the consciousness of the public in a positive way. Ever since this award was given to him, Sinise has been working with the DAV.
While playing the role of Lt. Dan, the character, aside from suffering from alcoholism and mental illness, he also lost both of his legs while in combat. As a result, the actor has developed a connection with US veterans who later responded to the character in the movie.
He said many veterans were not in very good shape. He said he always received an energy boost when he walked in as their face would light up. The veterans would then want to talk about his movie. This led him to a new endeavor; he created the Lt. Dan Band, which he named after his movie character.
The band plays at military bases and play USO shows. He said he wants veterans to know that many people out there know and understand how important it is to keep families in the military strong in times that are difficult. He also founded the Gary Sinise Foundation in 2011. Through this organization, his goal is to make sure the soldiers in this generation do not fall through the cracks.
He explained that the soldiers returning from the Vietnam War were treated poorly. This resulted in many of them disappearing into the shadows. He said he didn’t want this to happen to the men and women deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. He wanted to make sure they were given appreciation for their service.
Those who know Gary say he is a great guy. They say he works his rear off in order to help people in less fortunate circumstances. Through it all, he has never wanted praise for his acts of generosity.
Recently, however, a group of his actor buddies got together to thank him for what he has done. They made a surprise video featuring veterans who have actually benefitted from Sinise’s foundation. The video included messages from such people as Ron Howard, Tim Allen, and Tom Hanks.