He never served nor fought in combat, but if there was ever an unsung hero of the men and women who serve in the military, it would be Gary Sinise.
While some actors earn the disdain of America’s warfighters through political tweets and often anti-American sentiments, Gary Sinise sticks to what he knows best- acting, music and helping military personnel.
Known best for playing Lieutenant Dan Taylor in Forrest Gump, Sinise was a staple in many a 90’s film, from playing Astronaut Ken Mattingly in Apollo 13 to George Milton in Of Mice and Men. While his film work leveled off, he has been busy on television, playing a lead role in shows such as Criminal Minds and CSI: NY, as well asnarrating veteran favorites such as WWII in HD.
When he isn’t acting, he’s supporting the causes of various veteran organizations, be it on his own or through his band, known as the Lt. Dan Band. Starting the Gary Sinise Foundation, he has played a major role in helping veterans and actively-serving troops, which earned him the third highest honor within the Department of the Army Civilian Awards, the Outstanding Civilian Service Award, in 2013.
Sinise’s charity and love for the military knows no bounds, it seems- earlier this month, his foundation decided to send over 1,750 Gold Star children (with surviving parent in tow) on trips to Walt Disney World, with one flight leaving the day after the Pearl Harbor anniversary.
“Over 1000 Gold Star Children travel w/ surviving parent, 1,750 in all, via @americanair to Disney World today as part of our @GarySiniseFound Snowball Express program,” he tweeted. “This charter left LAX this morning. I’ll join up in a few days. Have fun kids! We love you!”
The Gary Sinise Foundation also offers homes for severely disabled veterans, including 7th Special Forces Group veteran Staff Sergeant Bobby Dove, who lost most of his right leg and arm in Afghanistan after his dirt bike ran over an IED.
On December 5, Dove was awarded a new home in Florida’s Panhandle, not far from Eglin Air Force Base, where he was stationed while on active duty.
From dominating the screen to demonstrating what one man can do in the service of those who serve this country, Sinise is a hero in his own right- and one that military servicemembers don’t take for granted.
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