Gary Sinise, best known for his role as Lt. Dan Taylor in the “Forrest Gump” movie, has dedicated his life to giving back to injured vets, first responders, and their families since the film’s release 25 years ago.
In February, the veterans he helped and several famous faces paid tribute to all the work Sinise had done for them in a special surprise video, which the actor shared on Facebook.
“Completely shocked and speechless by this surprise video,” Sinise wrote on his Facebook in reaction to the video.
Sinise’s “Forrest Gump” costar Tom Hanks, Gen. Colin Powell, Jay Leno, Ron Howard, Robert De Niro, and Tim Allen were just some of the celebrities, alongside veterans and first responders from all over the country and families of military veterans, who participated in the salute to Sinise.
“Thank you for all the things you have done for our men and women who have served our nation,” Gen. Colin Powell said in the video. “Not only what you’ve done for them but for their children, what you’ve done for their families, what you’ve done to help them rebuild their lives.”
“Your commitment, your dedication, your effort. You are awesome,” added his Apollo 13 director Ron Howard.
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Through his charity, the Gary Sinise Foundation, the actor has raised more than $30 million each year for veterans, a large portion of that goes toward building smart homes for the severely wounded.
The foundation also offers individuals in this category with many other items! Over 197,000 meals were served to the defenders of our nation through the foundation, according to the website.
As part of his outreach to wounded vets, Sinise formed the Lieutenant Dan Band in 2003. He’s sponsored almost 500 concerts to benefit veterans and their families around the world. And he’s proud that Lieutenant Dan lives on, as a role model of sorts for injured vets.
“A sincere thank you from all the fellas over here at Ladder One,” said one New York City firefighter.
Another firefighter chimed in with, “We here in Boston say thank you.”
Hanks gives the final salute in the tribute with a simple, “Thanks, Lieutenant Dan.”
It was revealed just a couple of months ago that more than 1,700 children of fallen soldiers went on a journey to Disney with a parent/guardian called the Snowball Express.
Clearly, Sinise has gone above and beyond giving back to our veterans, defenders, and first responders, including their relatives. Way to go!