Gary Sinise is an actor, director, musician and philanthropist who is most noted for his role as Lieutenant Dan Taylor in the famous movie, Forrest Gump.
After Forrest Gump, he went on to act in Truman, Apollo 13 as well as Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
He has won an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award — and has even earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
And while most know him today from his role as Detective Mac Taylor from the CBS series CSI:NY, what most don’t know about the renaissance man is his massive acts of philanthropy to aid US veterans to help rebuild their lives after their traumatic experiences at war.
The actor established the Gary Sinise Foundation in 2001 and since, has helped thousands of veterans.
Sinise goes on to share how he first started to give his time as well as resources on his foundation’s official website:
“After the tragic events of September 11, 2001, I began devoting much of my time supporting the men and women who were deployed in response to those attacks – the brave service members who, each day, protect and defend our great country.”
“Having veterans in my own family, and having been involved with supporting our military veterans going back to the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, it was after that terrible day I decided to become much more active for our defenders however and wherever I could.”
And Sinise did exactly that. He continues, saying:
“A few years after 9/11, I visited local NY firehouses, befriended many firefighters, and have supported the FDNY through numerous efforts, including raising funds to build The Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance, in honor of all 416 first responders lost on that terrible morning.”
“Through the Disabled American Veterans organization, I found it my mission to do all I could to support our wounded heroes and their families. And by getting involved with many other veterans Initiatives, I began to support the children of the fallen, Gold and Blue Star Families, and wherever I could serve and honor a need within the military, veteran, and first responder communities.”
“Over the years, I have met many dedicated people who are also actively working to do the same, and I have tried to do what I can to support their efforts as well as spearhead many projects on my own in support of those who are currently serving, have served, our first responders, and the families who serve alongside them.”
“I’ve traveled to visit our troops around the world, and have also performed with my band (Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band) in Kuwait, Afghanistan, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Japan, Okinawa, Korea, Singapore, Diego Garcia, Guantanamo Bay, Alaska and throughout the US in an effort to help boost the morale of our troops and military families. Through my travels, I’ve seen firsthand our service member’s extraordinary dedication,” he continued.
“My personal mission is what led to the founding of the Gary Sinise Foundation in 2011, and with the help of supporters like you, we will continue to expand this mission in support of our nation’s defenders, veterans, first responders, and their loved ones, while upholding the importance of keeping our country strong by taking care of those who serve.”
Sinise’s outreach has made such a massive impact that Everybody Loves Raymond star Patricia Heaton tweeted out to TIME Magazine as well as The Academy.
“Hey TIME Magazine, why isn’t Gary Sinise ever on the Person of the Year list? Hey, The Academy, why isn’t he ever picked for the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award? He raises $30 million a year to build homes for wounded vets along with his support to the Gold Star Family.”
Founded in January 2005, the Gold Star Family organization helps individuals who lost family members in the Iraq War and therefore entitled to display a Gold Star.
Currently, Sinise’s foundation works with Gold Star to help families heal after losing a family member.
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