Entertainment

Gary Sinise Celebrates 25 Years of Advocacy for Veterans

There are not many people as selfless as Gary Sinise.

Hollywood star Gary Sinise just celebrated 25 years of fighting to help improve the lives of veterans for the United States military.

Forrest Gump Inspired Sinise to Help Veterans

Daily Wire reported that Sinise has been fighting to help veterans ever since 1994, the year he starred as Lieutenant Dan in the classic movie Forrest Gump. A press release by the Gary Sinise Foundation described Lieutenant Dan as a wheelchair bound veteran who struggles with alcoholism and mental illness after coming home from Vietnam. Sinise received an award for his performance by the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), which he has been working with ever since.

“Your superb performance brought awareness of the lifelong sacrifice of disabled veterans back into public consciousness in a remarkable positive way,” the award read.

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The press release went on to say that since being given the award, Sinise has supported the DAV in a variety of capacities, including as the spokesperson when the organization was advocating to construct the Americans Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial in the nation’s capital.

‘”The memorial honors veterans of the armed forces of the United States who were permanently disabled during the course of their national service,” the release states.

“I don’t know of any other actor or actress that played a role and then adopted it as part of their personal life,” said Dennis Joyner, a former national commander for DAV. “Twenty-five years later, and he’s still at it.”

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Sinise Starts Lt. Dan Band

Back in 2003, Sinise started the rock cover band the “Lt. Dan Band” as another way to help veterans. The band travels all over the world performing, and Sinise’s goal in doing this is 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.”

“It was an honor to play Lt. Dan, I guess it was in some ways — you know when Lt. Dan talks about his destiny, I kinda feel like there was something at play there, that I would get to play that part,” Sinise said in a performance featured in a video for the Gary Sinise Foundation.

Sinise Is a Rarity in Hollywood

DAV has over 100 offices all over the country that have helped 11 million veterans with filing claims benefits. It’s so refreshing to see a Hollywood star actually using his platform to help veterans. Sadly, Sinise is something of a rarity in Hollywood, which has largely abandoned the cause of helping veterans in recent years. We need more stars like him who are willing to go above and beyond to help our nation’s veterans!

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